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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PlayStation 2

Published by Konami
Developed by Konami
Released: Out Now
Price: £39.99

What a blast from the past this is. I remember when the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons (and films) first appeared in the 1980s. Children everywhere seemed to go crazy about them. As someone of school leaving age I couldn't see the appeal of them but then as I was almost an adult I wasn't bound to. What's even more puzzling is why they have re-emerged. Obviously imaginations aren't what they used to be and people can't come up with something original. Anyway the Turtles are back, not as popular as they were in the eighties, but back all the same.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is essentially a beat 'em up, button mashing game. There is nothing inspirational or innovative here and if you don't like fighting constant waves of enemies then it's not going to be the game for you. Essentially the story mode in the game is split up into stages and each stage is split up into areas where you'll trawl through the rather lethargic enemies. Each area will be split up into zones and until you've beaten the enemies in a particular zone, an invisible barrier will prevent you from wandering off. Once you've defeated all the enemies in a particular zone (enemies can be spotted on the radar) the invisible barrier will be dropped and the word 'Go' will appear onscreen to signify that you can progress to the next zone. It's all a bit uninspired but I dare say TMNT fans will love it as you can play as either of the four turtles. You can even play the game in 2-player co-op mode if you want to. There is also a versus mode and a challenge mode to keep you occupied when you've finished the story mode.

With a game so heavily steeped in repetitive combat you'd think the combat would be something special. Disappointingly it isn't and with only three basic attack moves it's all a bit limiting. OK small children might appreciate the simplicity of the combat system but few would feel like enduring the repetitive nature of the game play. Eventually you get to use shurikens and these can be thrown to pick off enemies or thrown at explosive objects, which makes a change from the melee combat but there isn't anything noteworthy here to make the game stand out. The turtles can dash around though and this is invaluable, especially during boss fights.

Graphically the developer went for a simplistic cel-shaded look and it looks OK, very much like a comic strip, which is undoubtedly the look that was trying to be created. The animations are also simplistic with only your chosen turtle showing any real finesse. Your enemies look and move in an uninspiring manner, which is a shame. As you would expect with such a simple looking game, there are no frame rate issues and everything remains smooth. You can even enable a 60Hz mode if your TV supports it. What might irritate some people is that you have no control over the camera. Personally I didn't like this but it doesn't really cause any problems as enemies can be spotted on the radar.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to catering for deaf gamers. The cutscenes are not subtitled. However, any conversations at the start of an area are shown in text. During combat your turtle will call out the name of the attack they are using and this is not shown in text. However the combat sounds such as Bash! are shown in text (which makes it look even more like a comic strip or Adam West's Batman). The lack of subtitles doesn't really spoil the game play but it would have been better had the cutscenes been subtitled so that deaf gamers could fully enjoy the story of the game they've paid for.

Your opinion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will really depend on how much you like the characters and how much you're prepared to play a game that if you take the license away, is at best mediocre. The PlayStation 2 has far better games in this genre, which of course makes it difficult to recommend. The non-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan will see the game for the repetitive game that it is and will lose interest fairly quickly with the game. However if you are a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it's just possible you might find some redeeming qualities.

Overall Game Rating: 5.0/10
Repetitive and uninspiring. Definitely a game for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans only.

Deaf Gamers comment:
Cutscenes are not subtitled.