Like most people, I found out about this franchise from the 80's Saturday morning cartoon. I haven't read many comics about them, much less any from the original run. Thus, I can't comment on what this will be like for those whose interest began when they first read about these heroes, many of whom have undoubtedly been disappointed with the silliness that runs rampant through the vast majority of the stuff that has to do with them, as of the airing of aforementioned show that got them their fame. However, with about a dozen different characters, including one or two I'd never heard of(this may very well have something from every iteration), this should certainly have something for anyone into the concept, be it an absolute new-comer or someone who grew up with them, from the written pages to any of the television versions. The graphics are excellent, and the designs are marvelous. This utilizes the same visual style as the 2007 CGI film and the licensed video-game for it(which is actually a rather well-done entry, if still rushed, and, well, it's basically Prince of Persia, only with rewards for speed and green skin and a shell on the back), and, just like in that one, everything is fast, easy to get into and plainly put, immensely fun and addictive. Ubisoft implemented many of those physics into this one, too; see a wall? Guess what, you can climb it. You can also leap to another one if you don't land in the meantime. Heck, you can attack from your position up there, pouncing your foe, often all the way across the arena. Seems unfair? Well, you can guard anywhere, anytime, even in mid-air, press of a button. In general, the impeccably done and nearly uniquely diverse(a cruise ship, the sewers, the old west, etc.; winning by "ring out" takes on a whole new meaning when you're tossing your opponent down from a tall building, a burning Chinese tower or a *moving freight train* after unhooking the carriage) levels(and there are around 10 of those, none overly similar to the others) have destructible or otherwise interactive environments. There are different control schemes(and you can customize your own, if you so desire), you can use a regular joystick(if you've got one), the Nun-chuk plugged to the Wii-Mote or the latter by itself, held sideways. The setups are intuitive, and, frankly, you can get into this nearly immediately, in spite of how free and open it is, with numerous moves to use in any given situation(and this isn't about figuring out and then memorizing combinations for strong ones, it's timing, reflexes and knowing when to use what). There is an instruction video that can inform you of the better part of them, Practice Mode for trying them out, and Mission Mode with 50(!) ones(that become available gradually, in batches of five, as you beat them, and you don't have to defeat 5 to get new ones), where they tend to be specific to a certain trick or option, so you have to master something before you can complete it. The camera is dynamic, perfectly following the intense action at all times, zooming in and out depending on the distance between combatants(and there can be a total of four of those on-screen at any time, by the way; FFA or some of them allies). There are Tournament Modes(one of them a Wi-Fi connection one, so you can play over the Internet) and the so-called Battle Royal, where you can go with either Singles or the Tag Team match(and if you partner up, you can switch to the other one at any time, and they will have one *mean* throw move together, and it is very simple to activate), and you can select the victory conditions, with the likes of Last Survivor, Knockouts(a certain amount) and Timed(the one who's done best when time runs out), that you can adjust. In fact, you have a ton of power over the rules. Now, when you start out, you can only, with exceptions, play as Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michealangelo, Splinter(who, for whatever reason, sounds German, not Asian), April O'Neill and Casey Jones. Among the many cool unlockables are the rest of the ones you can use. Each time you've finished Arcade Mode, you can pick one of them. This will enable one of the six nifty Bonus Games, as well. *And* you play one of them, your choice as for the ones, after every couple of fights in AM. I guess they may have been worried we'd get bored...? If so, I doubt that was a risk, as it takes 20-30 minutes to get to the end of it. Well, maybe they wanted this to stand out as particularly great in that regard to, and I'd say they succeeded. The plot is not exactly brilliant, though can you really name me a VG of this genre that does have a deep and intricate one? It's a competition, there's no real way to hide it. The story-telling is done through these graphic novel frames with limited color, and they switch between having a lot of detail and only a little, to fit what is going on and how calm - or not - it is. There are between three and five difficulty settings, depending on what mode you are playing, so this can provide challenge for the noob and the elite hacker alike. I have come across no bugs or glitches in this, and it doesn't feel hurried or underdone. The humor of this can be a tad goofy, but the overall tone is not childish, and the jokes aren't as irritating as they are in, say, the 1990's live movies. There is mild, bloodless violence that is not disturbing, and no other offensive material, in this. I recommend this to anyone into TMNT, regardless of what series got you to notice them. Awesome, non-stop, exciting, swiftly paced game-play that will entertain you and your friends for countless hours. 10/10
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