TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan (PS4)

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TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan (PS4)

Postby JustLikeHeaven » October 27th, 2016, 8:22 am

So I've had my eye on this game since it was announced. A TMNT brawler from Platinum Games in the artstyle of the most recent IDW comics...sounded too good to be true. Well the reviews came out and they were overwhelmingly poor. So I decided to wait for the game to come down into the $25 dollar range before I bought it. Well, I finally saw a copy on Amazon for $26 and I snatched it up.

I booted up the game and expected the worst. After I completed an optional tutorial level I was ready to roll. My first impressions were.....not good. Immediately in the first seconds of the first level you're thrust into battle with foot soldiers. Now in the game the four turtles are always together and fight like a party in an action rpg. Except the on-screen mayhem is displayed with the same over the top pizzazz and style of something like Bayonetta or DMC. Needless to say I could barely follow what was happening. Still, I managed to slowly get a handle on the controls, combat, and process of completing missions. After you finish a few missions April will contact you with the location of the stage's boss. Then you travel there for a big ol battle. The first level has you fight Bebop and he kicked my ass! I was playing on "Normal" and he really gave me trouble. I finally beat him and was able to level up the turtles afterwards. I then replayed the first level with a better understanding of the game's mechanics and this time it seemed to click. It was a much better experience. Here are a few thoughts:

Combat is not very deep - I think people were expecting this to be along the lines of Bayonetta, but the combat system is incredibly light. Hell, it doesn't even have a move list. Instead, the game seems to harken back to Turtles in Time and the TMNT arcade game for it's combat inspiration....only slightly more robust. I think this was a smart choice. The fighting is basic light, heavy attacks, mixed with a parry system, and special ninjitsu attacks you can pull off when they're charged. After playing for an hour or two I really began to appreciate what Platinum Games did here.

Boss Battles are AWESOME - These fights will test your skills and you better get good at guarding and parrying. The bosses have old-school style patterns and get this...THEY BLINK RED when they're life meter gets low. These are really enjoyable.

Customize the Turtles - You can gain new ninjitsu moves and passive abiltiies as you beat levels. At first I thought this was too shallow, but essentially you can tailor the whole group to your liking. You can make each turtle fit a specific role like healer, tank, support etc... It's pretty neat.

No local co-op - This seems like a sin for a TMNT game. However, I understand why it wasn't done. The game is fast, hectic and hard to follow while controlling one of the four turtles. It would be next to impossible to follow the action with local co-op.

Short game length? The game only has 9 levels and each one seems to take roughly 20 mins or so. So if you simply crushed through the whole game on easy or normal I could see this being a massive disappointment. I'm already finding myself replaying stages to level up and try on the harder difficulties. Plus, I'm totally fine with a 5-6 hour experience.

I think this is a good game and one that TMNT fans should be playing. It's far from perfect, but it's probably the best TMNT game to come out in a long time. I can't help but think that Platinum Games was trying to take the Turtles in Time formula and slightly update it. This game practically wears it's old school heart on it's sleeve. In essence it feels like an updated 3D version of the classic arcade TMNT games. Only with a tiny bit more depth. If you can find it for $30 or less AND you're a Turtles fan I'd say give it a go.

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