Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Xbox Live Arcade review

  • Spot-on emulation
  • Great online performance
  • Remembering your youth
  • Not seeing the end
  • Limited move set
  • Graphics? 18 years old

There's a hit country song (written by an '80s hair rocker, much to the chagrin of some fans) that asks the question, "Who says you can't go home?" That's the spirit GamesRadar had when we logged on to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a beloved four-player beat 'em-up that originally cowabunga-ed its way into arcades in 1989. As it turns out, you totally can go home - it's just that the neighborhoods that haven't changed in 20 years might look pretty run down.

Oh, online support was good, with only one hiccup during our hour-long playtest, and the gameplay is just as simple, yet compelling as it's ever been. As a masked, humanoid turtle wielding a martial arts weapon, you have a joystick (which you're instructed to "waggle" if you get grabbed from behind), a button that jumps and another that attacks. This gives you a grand assortment of maybe four moves, though that jump kick is oddly tough to get out. 

There are some other problems as well. The first is a technical glitch that forced some players' screens into an odd, squished perspective when first starting up - luckily, a quick trip to the in-game options menu fixed it. The second, and more damaging, is an odd approach to continues in the online multiplayer mode: you have 20 lives, but once those are gone, there's no way to add in another quarter. It's just game over. Why? Did the arcade original do that? (No).

Granted, 20 lives seems like a ton, but remember: this thing was designed to gobble quarters. There are plenty of battles (the helicopters while on skateboards, pretty much any boss fight) that are nigh impossible to complete without getting repeatedly "shell-shocked". And call us pansies, but we feel that once we've paid our 400 points - and especially considering all four players had done it - we should be able to continue as often as we like. TMNT isn't the type of game you're going to play for 40 hours anyhow, so it makes little sense to add a buzzkill like limited lives just to force replays. Hopefully, when the second game in the series hits (Turtles in Time), unlimited continues will be part of the package.

More Info

Release date: Mar 14 2007 - Xbox 360 (US)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360
Genre: Action
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending


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