Creative, but short movie tie-in
A lot of recent movie title tie-ins, actually sticks to the storyline of the movie instead of adding new elements from either the series it is based from or outside elements that the designers thought would be entertaining. This game actually allows the gamer to play elements from the movie, just in more detail than the movie. The downfall to this is that it makes the game extremely short! It can be completed in about five hours and that is if stretching it.
The game play itself is very similar to most beat-em up style games. Each turtle has a specific weapon that will vary on range, speed and style of attack. In certain levels, only a specific turtle competes in th the level. In other levels, as play advances, more turtles become available and finally, there are levels which all turtles are available. In the levels with multiple turtles in them, the turtles can be switched almost instantly with the touch of a button. Along with this, a co-op attack can be performed that will link two turtles with a special attack. Targeting enemies can be a little sloppy and it is quite common to be swinging air when it seems that the blow should have hit the enemy. The same goes where it was thought that a strike would miss hitting the turtle only to have it smack right between the eyes. Thankfully, combat is only about 1/3 of the total game. 2/3 of the game is puzzle solving and ninja acrobatics.
Most of the game will have the turtles jumping from rooftops and through the sewers. In this part of the game, the designers really put forth the energy and time. The turtles move with the grace and speed that a ninja should move. The techniques flow through the game and are almost intuitive. The only frustrating aspect is that the camera position is locked and it will cause the turtle to fall often because it cannot be determined where the next platform is located. The plus side is that it is not really possible to die in this game.
in most games of this style, there are a set number of spare guys or a life bar, that once empty, ends the game. Not in this game. If Leo or Don falls off a ledge, the game restarts back at the last check point. If Mike takes too much damage, an button icon appears on the screen that indicates to the player to rapidly push the button to wake the turtle up. During the entire run of the game, I never got a game over screen. And the only downfall to falling off a ledge is that it slows down the level clock and dieing in battle lowers the combat judge meter.
The game clock and combat meter judge how well the turtles did in the level. The faster the level is completed and the less damage taken will be awarded with better letter grades. These letter grades plus the number of silver coins collected in a level award the player with gold shells. These shells are used to unlock game bonuses like extra levels and movies.
The bonus levels are just harder versions of the story levels and only serve to collect more golden shells. They extend the game play a little, but the levels are not entertaining enough to play them over and over again. This game is not worth owning. It is a fabulous rent or borrowing from a friend, but is a waste to own.