Does well to make you feel like a Ninja Turtle.

User Rating: 7 | TMNT PS2
TMNT follows the plot of the 2007 animated movie. It's told from the perspective of the Turtles looking back on the events and telling their parts of the story. Some of the scenes were altered for the game, and plots points were of course added to lengthen the time-line. No complaints there, although neither April O'Neil or Casey Jones (two main characters) make an appearance.
The voice acting is limited in terms of number of characters that have dialogue but where the Turtles and Splinter are concerned it's the same actors as in the movie, and they did a great job. Quality of the voices aside, the one-liners that are thrown about during combat don't take long to get repetitive.

The developers did a good job with recreating the look of the movie in respect to both environment and characters. The Turtles are well modeled and their movements look fluid and swift. Unfortunately the controls don't always seem to be as up to speed as the characters. I find in some cases the Turtles are meant to move faster than the controls can respond. The controls also seem to be simplified for game-play, which isn't a bad thing considering the target audience; I would have preferred the developers to have taken advantage of more of the buttons however, as little things tend to get in the way. For example, wall running is automatic. So you're trying to make a precision jump but are too close to a wall, your Turtle will take off running along it and you could end up falling into a pit. It would have been nice if you had to hold down R1 to run along the wall instead. Also the Square button is used to change characters, pull off team attack moves, and pull off a move where a brother helps throw you long distances to complete big jumps. Sometimes I found myself jumping, then pressing square just a little too soon before completing my landing. This resulted me in getting thrown off of a building or into a wall instead of switching characters like I had hoped. Most of these minor control issues are manageable and don't halt the game-play; they just get in the way every now and then.

The game-play is divided into two distinct categories: platforming and combat. I found the platforming to be the most fun. In this arena you'll find yourself doing a lot of running, jumping, using pipes, branches, and even parade balloons to navigate a variety of areas, as well as wall jumping, wall running, and wall climbing. Along the way you'll come across hazards like toxic ooze, steam vents, laser beams, and more. It's fun and engaging, but doesn't change a whole lot from beginning to end. There's only a few new tricks to getting by the obstacles in your way and not much new to unveil as you progress through the game.

Combat has similar pros and cons. You block and evade using the L1 button. You spin kick enemies with the Triangle button to knock them back, and there's a one jump attack that has a similar effect. You mash on the O button to string together your weapon's attacks which get stronger and fancier the longer your hit-string is, or you can press and hold the O button for a charged attack. When you're in a level that allows you to switch between turtles, you can press and hold the Square button to perform a team attack which is different depending on which turtle you're using at the time. It's fairly simple making it easily accessible to a variety of audiences, and is fun for a while. Like the platforming though, it doesn't evolve. You get to experience all there is to experience in combat fairly early on in the game and it doesn't change. The enemies stay the same, the moves stay the same, and after a few levels there's nothing new to unlock in terms of attacks. It also would have been nice if they combined the acrobatic aspect with the fighting to allow attacks from jumping off walls, or from swinging around pipes.

Multi-player is missing as well. At least give the option for a second player to join in locally. I'm not a big muti-player guy, but even I know that the Turtles are all about team work. Not having the option just seems wrong.

I've seen complaints about the camera in this game, but I didn't find it that bad. Sure there were times where I fell to my death not seeing that there was the gap between two buildings at first, but the check points are generous enough in this game to forgive the odd death-by-camera. And yes, the enemies sometimes go missing off screen, but the lock-on feature compensates for that.

As your make your way through the game you'll be able to replay missions to attempt to get a higher grade and unlock new bonus missions. The bonus missions are fairly short, and consist of trying to get from point A to B or take out a wave of bad guys in as little time possible usually less than 30 to 60 seconds). The bonus missions take place in a kind of virtual simulation comprised of blue cubes with a white grid on top.

I couldn't find any flaws to bring the game to a dead stop, but there is room for refinement. It does hold entertainment value for Turtle fans, with enough fun to even encourage new comers to the franchise to see this title through the end. It also matches it's difficulty and style well to the target audience. You could complete the story mode in the time allotted for a rental, but if you enjoyed the movie or the Turtles in general, you may want to pick it should you find it on sale.