Many fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series have been waiting an age for the return of their series and a return back to the heyday of their 1989 classic. Unfortunately this is an unwelcome return: a meandering brawler masquerading under the TMNT name for some extra brownie points with their fanbase. The game is a great homage to the series but the game itself is very poor.
Truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot to do in TMNT: OOTS (even the abbreviation is unnecessarily annoying). There are four chapters which last around 45 minutes each but are padded out by having the Turtles battle repetitive waves of enemies and traversing copy and paste environments. It makes for a bland experience which is only punctuated by some genuinely funny comments from Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo by even these are few and far between. Red Fly Studios clearly know their stuff when it comes to TMNT lore with concept art and little references dotted throughout the short running time. It is a real shame then that the gameplay isn’t anything to write home about.
You can control all four turtles as well as going online but the turtles, despite stats showing otherwise, don’t control as differently as you’d hope. There is no incentive to level up all four characters evenly through the standard XP system when you can level up one character and tank your way through the game.
The levelling system doesn’t even make that much sense. The façade of an RPG-like system is negated by the fact you already have combos that can kill enemies with absolutely no problem from the outset. You’ll never progress past button mashing in this game. The only real incentive for doing otherwise is the achievements of which there are plenty., but even that won’t make you come back for a second helping as this game is just so basic and mind-numbingly dull.
The graphics are fairly standard fare but the entire presentation is ripped straight out of a PS2 movie tie-in. The sound is pretty much non-existent and the constant popping of the camera and teleportation of the Turtles if they even so much as stray a yard away from you (and they will) are annoyances that will pester you as the game goes on.
Arcade mode is perhaps the only redeeming feature in the game. It harkens back to the aforementioned 1989 classic and the button mashing aspect of the game actually works in this mode rather than feeling like an outdated concept. It’s a shame that the game couldn’t have been more of a throwback rather than a misguided attempt to reinvent the video game franchise as that is clearly what most fans were pining for.
Red Fly Studios have managed to craft a game so awe-inspiringly flat that it would take some skill to actually attempt to create another game as devoid of a personality as much as this one. TNMT: OOTS feels about 10 years old straight off the bat and whilst the graphics are fairly nice it does not stop this game from being a turgid end to a mixed Arcade of Summer. No matter how it’s presented and padded out, there really isn’t a lot to come back to in this game. A mediocre brawler at best and a laughable tie-in at worst.
It would be best for all involved if you spent $10 on some pizza instead, dudes.
A copy of TMNT: Out of the Shadows was provided to us for review.