These 'dudes' have reared their mutant heads, with the PC 'hero' dropped from the title: either the censors are losing their grip or they’ve decided to go for the original age group that loved the comics. Those fans of the original Turtles outing will find the theme tune has also changed, in line with the new cartoon. But apart from that, is this Konami and Turtle Power as we know and love?
The video is basically the same as the cartoon, and refreshing compared to some wannabee spin-offs, and the turtles have all the personality you’d expect. The in-game graphics are similarly cartoonish. For those retro freaks, some of the sounds are lifted straight off the Gameboy version, where the previous incarnation of the Turtles did very well.
The action itself is straightforward beat 'em up, which Konami is good at. The added 3D and graphics emphasizes that you're playing a PS2 game, but it is rather linear like the Gameboy version of yesteryear - it’s basically a platform game. Standard multiple enemies are the order of the day, with end-of-level baddies thrown in. I suddenly got the feeling I was playing Double Dragon on the Amiga, with lots of baddies and combos.
Control is simple, and mastering fast attacks is the name of the game - it’s button-slapping arcade action and doesn't pretend to be anything different. You can select which turtle you want to be; Leonardo seemed a bit boring, Michelangelo more dynamic, true to what you'd expect. You follow the sewers, or streets and attack as they come - you have to kill everyone before you progress through the level.
On first impression I thought it was a little sluggish, but paired with Michelangelo, I whizzed forward and changed my mind. Unfortunately the sound is very irritating - manageable for the player, but impossible for spectators or anyone else in the house. One of Mikey’s moves is the shellsweep, every time he performs the move, he says ‘shellsweep’: unfortunately it sounds like he’s shouting Chelsea - which seems fitting for a teenage thug.
Overall, it fits the cartoon well. It has an age rating of 12, which doesn’t seem to fit with the fact it’s a kids’ program, but the Turtles’ market has always been split this way thanks to Hollywood. It’s a good laugh, but requires little in the way of thought or skill. That makes it instantly playable, but ultimately forgettable. I don’t think it will tie people down for too long. The multiplayer option will appeal to fight fans - Konami at its best, including a “versus” mode. Party on dude.
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