Available On: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Windows
Developer: Platinum Games
Genre: Action, Hack, and Slash
Official Site: https://www.tmntmutantsinmanhattan.com/
Release Date: May 24th, 2016
Where to Buy: Xbox Store, PSN, Local Retailers
When the movie Batman V Superman came out, I wrote a pretty extensive article addressing the negative reviews because I didn’t feel that much of the criticism the movie received was fair. Well, I really feel somewhat the same way here with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. I am not saying the game is a masterpiece or that it revolutionizes gameplay and breaks the mold for this style of game; but is it really as bad as some of the reviews it has received? Some of the concerns expressed about the game I think are valid and I completely agree with, but with some other critiques, I again find myself sitting with a blank stare at some of the things I read. Certain things really make me question how reviews are conducted in general as a whole, not only for games but for other aspects of the entertainment and gaming industry as well. Are we as reviewers really looking at what matters in regards to who this game generally appeals to? In this case, no, I don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong, the game does have some issues which may matter more or less to some depending on how you look at it. Throughout the game, you will accumulate points that can be cashed in to upgrade your character. These upgrades, however, really feel like they don’t have much of an impact because most battles turn into a button mash fest when fighting enemies. You can buy so many new weapons and moves that it becomes almost overwhelming, but ultimately it really doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. For a Ninja Turtle game like this, I really prefer if it stuck to the basics instead of all the extra fluff which is really just that… fluff. When it comes to other slight issues with the game, though, I really found myself perplexed to how much they really mattered.
I read one review that has two paragraphs dedicated to the lack of 60 fps (frames per second) in the game as well as the shadows having a “coarse, low resolution.” I mean that absolutely blows my mind to a level that is just staggering. You’re playing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game and you’re worried about the frame rate and the shadows? That’s what really stuck out with a game that opens with a brain like a creature named Krang talking to another guy named Shredder?? The shadows during gameplay? If you’re worried about shadows and fps in a cartoon game with turtles, then go do something more useful, like pound sand. My nine-year-old son played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant in Manhattan plenty of times and not once did he complain about the frames per second or how the shadows looked when he battled and traversed the map. Now there is a flip side to that coin about the FPS and I’ll get to that shortly but shadows? You’ve got to be kidding me. The only time I’m concerned about shadows is when a game boasts a realistic experience or graphics. If I’m playing a brand new driving game that calls itself “The most realistic driving experience ever,” then yes, I will be concerned with how everything looks on screen.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan has its flaws like any other game. One of the things that do bother me about the game is the amount of on-screen chaos that you generally have to deal with when playing solo with AI turtles on your side. I don’t even suffer from epilepsy yet I really felt like I was on the verge of a seizure looking at the blur of colors on screen during a battle with your AI’s unleashing their turtle power on every bad guy on screen. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos and it’s an element that does take away from the single play experience of the game.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan has a comic-cartoon look which works out just fine for what the game is offering. The action is generally fast-paced, intense and offers fans of the turtles plenty of familiar locations and enemies as you progress through the game. Each turtle has specific powers/abilities that you will utilize against your enemies. If one of the turtles gets beat up too badly then you’ll take control of one of the other three to continue the battle, assuming you’re not in a four player co-op.
Some of the complaints I’ve read about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan I do agree with. The game is ultimately very short in terms of length, running at about five to six hours, and even in that time, combat can get very repetitive. As I mentioned before, battles can also tend to get pretty chaotic on screen as you will always have three other AI-controlled ninja turtles trying to annihilate enemies with you so it can be very hard to keep track of what is going on. The biggest thing for me is the exclusion of local co-op play… that’s right no split screen co-op. This would be such a fun game to play with kids or with friends but was taken out supposedly for the frame rate and in comes the flip side of that coin I mentioned earlier. What irks me about the exclusion of this is that during an interview with the game’s producer, he said that the game was an online only game because the split screen would affect the 60 FPS game rate and cause it to drop.
Despite how I feel about some of the negatives, others didn’t bother my son, who is someone I really think the game is catered towards despite the “teen” rating. He didn’t care about the rooftop design or the repetitive combat. The only thing he generally got overwhelmed with was all the different ninjutsu moves to choose from and he didn’t like that we couldn’t play together on the same screen. That’s it for his complaints. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is not an awful game and it doesn’t blow the roof off either. It’s a game that largely depends on what type of gamer you are. If you are someone who is concerned about how shadows look, the rooftop design, or how this measures up to the Legend of Korra game, then maybe you should just skip this one. However, if you like hack n slash and enjoy the turtles then give Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan a go. If you’re still on the fence then check out Redbox or Gamefly because this may be a game you’d prefer to just rent.
Have you played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan and if so, what did you think? Are shadows and frame rate really important to you in games like this? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
- Gameplay: Hack and Slash style is fun but can quickly become very repetitive
- Graphics: Comic-Cartoon style makes the turtles and cut scene pretty sweet
- Sound: Plenty of jokes along the way
- Presentation: It’s a TMNT game, that’s how it’s presented and that’s how it plays
- Comic-Cartoon Vibe
- Fun for kids
- Boss Battles
- No split screen Co-op
- Coarse Shadows... no not really