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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 (Video Game Review)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is out now in theaters from director Michael Bay. Developer Magic Pockets and publisher Activision have released an all new game to coincide with the film's release. The Nintendo 3DS exclusive may be a quick cash-in for the team behind the game before the film's release, but the game actually has some good qualities that will make fans of the film want to consider picking up the new release. Fans of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game will enjoy the button mashing gameplay featured in the new game, but there is actually a depth of strategy not seen in classic beat 'em ups. As such, there are some gamers and Ninja Turtles fans out there that will find the new game worth their time and money.

The storyline of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles definitely isn't the game's strongest quality. The game begins with the classic situation of Master Splinter missing and the four green brothers heading out in New York on a find and rescue mission. The brief narrative is spread thin over the game's 15 missions and will hardly make players want to go see the new film. The weak narrative is made even worse with voice acting that repeats itself often and distracts away from what is actually being said by characters in the game.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles does get the button mashing gameplay right however. Players will mostly use a primary attack button to deal damage to enemies and rarely use anything but the one button to deal the bulk of damage to enemies. As players progress through the game, the turtles will gain experience points, level and attain new skills. These abilities can be assigned to different buttons and range from projectile attacks to buffs for the whole party. In this way, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles separates itself from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games of old and adds a whole new depth of gameplay for players to experience.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also gets more strategic with how each turtle is used in combat. The new game is single player, but players can switch between the four brothers at any time during the game. Leonardo is an all around fighter, Raphael hits slow but hard, Donatello can use debuffs and hit large groups of enemies all at once and Michelangelo has fast combo and ranged attacks for dealing with foes. Each turtle also has their own set of weapons that have different statistical values and some passive abilities sometimes as well. Gameplay still largely boils down to mashing the attack button over and over again and eating pizza to regain life, but there is just enough content included in the game to keep it from being too generic.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based off of the new film, and so the game's characters have the same look as the turtles in the movie. The character models look nice and the game's graphics overall are fine, but the environments are very plain and couple with the mediocre storyline to make the game feel rushed and somewhat unsatisfying. A few other problems with the game include an isometric camera angle that sometimes obstructs fights and slow load times and autosaves that distract away from the fun.

Combat in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the game's main attraction, and luckily, fighting against Foot Clan members, mutated rats and robots is surprisingly fun in the new game. There is also a decent amount of bonus content with plenty of challenges to complete to earn additional weapons and items and 10 side missions that unlock later in the game to give players new challenges and an additional hour or so of gameplay. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a fun game that is more than just a cheap cash-in; fans of the series will likely find something to enjoy about the new game, and the game offers a fun experience for those that have already seen the new Summer film.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is now available exclusively for Nintendo 3DS and can be purchased for $29.99. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is rated E by the ESRB. To learn more, visit the official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Coincides with Film Release
  • Switch Between Four Turtles on the Fly
  • Create New Weapons
  • 15 Story Missions and 10 Side Missions

Game Information:
Developer: Magic Pockets
Publisher: Activision
Available exclusively for Nintendo 3DS (reviewed)
Release Date: August 5, 2014

Score: 6.8 out of 10
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