Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus Hands-On

We get hands-on with Konami's cel-shaded action sequel.

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The turtles must battle to save a burning village. Click "Stream for Free" for higher resolution.

We had the opportunity to spend a little quality time with an unfinished PlayStation 2 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus. The game will support up to four players when it's released, but we actually only got to play it solo and with one other person.

Strangely, when you play the game with less than four players, you'll still be required to choose a total of four characters from those that you have available to you. The roster includes, of course, the four turtles, but also a number of unlockable characters from the cartoon show, including Splinter, Casey, Karai, and Slashuaa. Only one character per player will appear on the screen at any one time, but when you're standing still you'll have the option to switch to any of your other characters with a single button press. All of the different characters we played had similar (although not identical) attacks, but some of them will have unique abilities--moving large boxes that obstruct your most obvious route forward, for example. It's worth noting that you'll be using the same energy bar when you switch characters, so you'll gain nothing by swapping out a character that's close to death.

Surprisingly, the early levels of the game that we played through weren't heavily populated by enemies. In fact, finding enemies to kill was a lot harder than actually killing them. The emphasis in the game this time around, it seems, is as much on platformer-style jumping and exploration as it is on combat. On more than one occasion we were required to string together sequences of double-jumps and jumps off walls in order to proceed.

The environments that we got to explore during our time with the game were most often comprised of large rooms. Although the environments that we saw weren't very detailed, the overall look of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus was certainly easy on the eyes. The cel-shading on the characters and the look of the environments is totally in keeping with the cartoon show on which the game is based. We didn't experience any major problems with the camera, even when there were two of us trying to move in different directions.

Toward the end of our session with the game, we were allowed to take a look at the version of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game that will be featured as an unlockable bonus. Unsurprisingly, the game looked to be "arcade perfect" in every way, save for the fact that licensing issues have prevented Konami from including any of the original game's music or voice talent.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus is currently scheduled for release in October this year. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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