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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare Member Review for the DS

3scapism By:
3scapism
04/05/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS  
PUBLISHER  
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E Contains Cartoon Violence

What do these ratings mean?


Once upon a time when I were a young lad, the cartoon industry was changed by four green brothers who lived in the sewer. About 17 years later they are still trying to cash in on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles phenomenon by releasing a fourth movie for the series. In today's day and age, possibly due to the Turtle's success, you can't have a kids movie in the cinemas without a shitty video game tie in, and TMNT for the Nintendo DS is just about as shitty a game as I've ever seen.

OK, lets get started: The game is a 3D computer-generated platformer with strong action elements. Essentially you get a turtle, jump from platform to platform and fight off bad guys. This is in itself a step down from other TMNT games. Normally when the game starts you get to choose the turtle you want to be. Instead, my guess is so they can follow the plot of the movie, you are issued a turtle to play as. This isn't a bad thing, or wouldn't be a bad thing, if there was some kind of distinguishing features between how the turtles played. The only real difference is the weapons they use and the colour of the mask they wear.

Another thing that bothers me is that the game is set up in two different sections. There's one mode your turtle is in for running, jumping, sliding etc., and a different mode for combat. Meaning that when you're jumping around you can't attack, and, more painfully , you can't jump around when you attack. This is a crippling flaw in game design. Both combat and jumping are pseudo-puzzles with one-button solutions. In the case of the jumps, there are icons scattered all over the city. you reach one of those icons and hit a button to jump to another, meaning it's nearly impossible to **** up. I did a few times **** it up, like when you go from jumping to sliding to swinging back to jumping, but even that was to easy. it's kind of like those old laser disc games where you just had to move the joystick to the left to avoid getting hit by a dragon.


Combat is a joke. With jumping, each button on the DS is assigned to a different jump direction. With combat, you only have the one attack button, and it attacks the way you face. So if you're taking on a bad guy, and he leaps out of the way, you swing and miss. this would be OK if the controls weren't so slow that every time you launch an assault. You're green ****wit completely forgets about being Teenage, Mutant and Ninja and just takes a God-damned age to attack like a turtle. So essentially combat goes like this: Enemy sighted, game changes mode for a second, you attack, your character thinks about it, then leans forward into the attack completely missing the footsoldier you were fighting. You try and turn around quickly and relaunch to have the same thing happen. It's kind of like they wanted to add more hours to gameplay. Speaking of wasting time...


I've had my DS for a little under a year, so it would be unfair of me to claim that I've seen everything on there, but TMNT certainly had a few features that surprised me; namely load times. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the DS hardware, it uses game cards, not CDs, to store it's games on. It works kind of like a digital camera's memory card. Since PS1 I've been prepared for long load times from CDs and the like, but on the DS I've played games like Resident Evil and Legend of Zelda which look and sound an arseload better than anything I've seen in TMNT, and they don't have any load times at all; its almost instant. The DS is fast with every other game I've played on it, and despite being about ninjas and having done reasonably well with the jumping sections of the game, this game chugs like a fratboy. And the thing that pisses me off about that this game should be fast. We've seen the movie, we know the plot, let's just go and smash some stuff.


So, this game should have been a lot more fun than it is. The jumping puzzles are briefly entertaining, but you're a turtle and turtles are supposed to fight. The combat engine and load times really dropped this game down. With a little refinement it might have been a lot better.

jim_doki

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