Major League Buttkicking is back in town!
Since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird dropped a canister of mutating ooze on four baby turtles in their 1984 comic, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have resurfaced again and again over the decades. The latest incarnation of the green machine comes in the form of a CGI animated series on the Nickelodeon network, bringing the pizza grubbing, buttkicking reptiles to a new generation of Saturday morning cartoon viewers.
With the success of the new show and the need to fill the empty hole in our gaming hearts, Nickelodeon and developer Red Fly are bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows to all those who remember the good old days of pizza time and arcade beat 'em ups. Rather than focus on the younger demographic, Red Fly is making Out of the Shadows for the older generation of turtle fans, and in turn, have filled the game with all kinds of homages to the classic IP. Check out the following slides for some of the most bodacious throwbacks we've seen so far.
The turtle's special attacks are taken directly from the comics and movies...
Master Splinter may have taught the four brothers to be masters of the art of Ninjutsu, but that doesn't mean they haven't come up with playful fighting moves of their own. The comics and movies have always shown the turtles having fun and cracking jokes as they lay the smack down on their enemies, and Red Fly intends to keep that fun-loving feeling in Out of the Shadow's combat.
One way to do that is by cramming in all of the recognizable moves we've seen in the old material. Raph and Mikey's bowling ball attack from the first movie mows down enemies, the turtles can use the shell-crushing wishbone crunch move they used to defeat Shredder's right-hand man Tatsu, and Donny can pull out the anti-gravity gauntlet we've seen in the comics. Some of the moves even get pulled from previous games. For instance, Raph can use his power drill move from the TMNT: Tournament Fighters game.
...and so are the taunts
The turtles have become the sensation they are not only for their fighting prowess, but also because theyre some radical dudes. Seriously, one look at them can inspire a chart-topping hit sung by a now-forgotten rapper. To reflect their bodacious attitudes towards performing fancy ninja moves and combos, the turtles get to show a bit of their personality in Out of the Shadows.
Right in the middle of a battle Michaelangelo can bust out the same breakdancing floor spins he used in the original cartoon opening or Donny can twirl his bo to egg enemies on. But when the four brothers sync together, TMNT fans get something extra special. The turtles can gather together to do the four-way, COWABUNGA high five that closed the first movie, or show their love for partying by doing the "Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go" dance that was invented by Vanilla Ice himself.
Arcade Mode lets you play the classic way
Out of the Shadows' Arcade Mode gives a nostalgic shout out to all of the retro gamers out there. Back in the day, side-scrolling TMNT brawlers were all the rage. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade and Turtles in Time games took an unholy amount of quarters from the hands of Turtles fans. Add the numerous TMNT titles that cropped up on home consoles and the developers have a ton of material with which to tickle your nostalgia bone.
Outside the standard single player adventure, Out of Shadows offers a secondary co-op, side-scrolling brawler that plays like the old games. The environments are interactive, with the ninja bros swinging around signposts, running off walls, and evading environmental traps, like cars pulling out of garages (a nod to the TMNT Arcade). Oh, shell shock.
Trade in the bros' colored bandanas for Raph's red
Back before there was a TMNT TV series, a half-dozen movies, and action figures crowding toy store shelves, the turtles were merely the heroes of a comic book series. They didn't even have their iconic blue, purple, and orange headbands. Nope, they only came in red.
To pay homage to the original heroes in a half-shell, players will be able to unlock the red bandanas from the turtle's first colored comic. This might make it a little more difficult to tell the turtles apart (which is probably the reason for the color swap in the first place), but going all red helps the mutants look a little more badass.
You can battle the foot in the turtle's original color scheme
If you want to get even more original than swapping the colored bandanas to red, you can also switch on Classic Mode. In Classic, all of the environment and character colors are wiped, leaving nothing but a black and white color scheme.
Now that looks familiar. Black and white turtles, kicking thugs' butts in a dark ally. All you need is Leonardo narrating his every action and you've got the first scene from the very first TMNT comic!
The title screen combines memorable moments from the comics and movies
The last nods to the old school turtles comes in the first instance in the Out of the Shadows game. The title screen features the four standing on a rooftop striking the pose on the Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 comic.
Not only do fans get to reminisce about the comic as the title screen hits, those who remember the first movie are sure to get a kick out of the music track. The song "Turtle Power" by Partners in Kryme plays behind the iconic ninja pose, wrapping both bits of nostalgia up into one nugget of awesome. T-U-R-T-L-E, POWER!
Strike hard and fade away...Into the night
There you have it. Those were our favorite homages we've seen in TMNT: Out of the Shadows. Do you have any memories of the turtle's games, movies, and comics that you hope make it into the new title? Have you already played the game and have more nods to add? Let us know your thoughts and potential additions in the comments below.
For more on the game, be sure to check out our TMNT: Out of the Shadows preview.