Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Review

News Robert Bernstein 8/28/2013 at 8:58AM

Does TMNT: OOTS make us say Cowabunga, or are we left in shell shock at how bad it is? Spoiler: it's pretty awesome.

**May Contain Spoilers**

As a kid, I remember sneaking back into the living room after my parents had gone to bed and turning down the volume on the TV to quietly play a couple of hours-worth of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the arcade game) on the NES. It wasn't something I WANTED to do, but simply something that I HAD to do; the game just kept calling my name. Circling back more than 20 years later, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, from the developers at Red Fly Studio, takes a lot of elements that made its distant relative successful, but is it enough to bring long-time fans of the franchise out of the sewers for another round?

The short answer is: yes. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows does many things right. Aside from a few hiccups (which I will detail a bit later), TMNT: OOTS is a highly enjoyable arcade game that always gives you something to love about playing the game--right from the moment the game's music hits the speakers. Thankfully, the game doesn't use the theme song from the Nickelodeon show. The game stays true to the TMNT franchise, but follows the more recent storylines from the Nickelodeon show, not the 1980s cartoon or the movies.

The fighting mechanics feel a lot like Batman: Arkham City, but slower and a little less responsive. You'll have to piece together combos while avoiding being overtaken by The Foot Clan, The Krang, and those m.o.u.s.e.r.s that everyone loves to kill (yes, they're just as satisfying in TMNT: OOTS as they were in the arcade game 20 years ago). The combat is surprisingly complex for an XBLA, and there are many different combos to master. Each turtle has their own specialties, which can be further enhanced and leveled up through a skill tree mechanic that allows you to earn new moves and increase your turtle's stats.

There are a few boss battles in the game, and the one with Shredder in his hideout is so infuriatingly hard, you'll likely attempt it 4 or 5 times before actually defeating him. Out of all of the games I've played in my lifetime, the Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows might very well make it into the top ten hardest bosses of all time.

The turtles all remain true to character: Leo's the leader, Donnie is the brains, Raph is a tough guy, and Mikey is the funny one. Throughout the game, Raph will tease Mikey, Mikey will throw out some funny “what if” scenarios, and Donnie will come out with some words of knowledge. Not only do the turtles sound like the turtles we know and love, they also fight like the turtles we know and love. The turtles will all work together while fighting, creating combos with each other and doing many classic TMNT tag team moves, such as smashing a foot clan soldier's head inbetween two turtle shells. Splinter's dialogue also stays true to the Splinter we know and love, and I found myself in practice mode a few times just to listen to Splinter throw out some of his typical bits of knowledge that feel like they were stolen from Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

The game's graphics are very hot and cold--on the one hand, the overall look of the game seems to work, but some of the textures are dull and the game just generally lacks polish. More importantly, though, man are these turtles UGLY! We knew this from seeing the trailers, but they remind me of those failed Jurassic Park IV concept art pieces in which the dinosaurs looked more like humans. Aside from the ugly faces, the turtles actually look pretty good. The weapons are detailed nicely, and each turtle has their own unique features. You can tell it is an XBLA/PSN game, though, but that's okay; you're likely not playing TMNT: OOTS for a graphical 'Wow'.

Unfortunately, you can't play an offline co-op match without playing in split-screen, so playing an online co-op match is where the game is at its best. Players can join in and out of an online 4 player co-op match with hardly any effort, and can also create their own private matches if they want to play with their friends.

There were quite a few glitches along the way, though. Enemies will sometimes float in the air after being defeated, making them look like they are still alive, forcing you to fight them until you realize that they've already been defeated. Objects will also float in mid air awkwardly, such as a floating baseball bat or just the head of one of the defeated bosses. There was also a moment during an intense boss battle in which the only turtle I had left was Mikey, and when it switched to Mikey, he was glitched inside of a shipping container, forcing me to restart the entire boss battle.

Glitches aside, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has many of the elements from the original TMNT arcade game that made it so enjoyable, while adding a few new elements of its own into the mix. Teaming up with your friends online to beat up on the foot clan is highly enjoyable, and finding the perfect combo to help you defeat a horde of enemies is a rewarding experience. The game is highly re-playable, and you'll definitely get your money's worth with this one.

Gameplay – 7.5/10

Graphics – 7/10

Sound – 9/10

Multiplayer – 8/10

Replayability – 8/10

Den of Geek Rating – 7.9/10

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Shredder one of the hardest bosses ever and you beat him on your fifth go??

Maybe you should try Dark Souls or some 90's SNK fighters to learn what "hard" really means... >_>

okay, EXCLUDING Dark Souls. No argument with you there; I assume that was implied ha ha.

Regarding multiplayer co op, can the campaign only be played 2player offline? Is the only online mode the 4-player arcade mode?

yes can be played offline, and yes its only 4 player co op online

split screen offline, though.

which modes can be played online? Can the campaign be played online?

Crap, I was hoping the combat would be similar to the arcade version. Us rhythmly challenged folk are being left out of some wonderful games!

You let your 'casual' hang out. Tuck it back in, please. ...it's unsightly.

And you your elitist douche-bag. Which, incidentally, isn't just unsightly, it's also obnoxious and trite.

When viewed from below, all seem "elitist".

Why, back in my day we only had TWO buttons on our controller, and we were grateful! Something something uphill both ways, through the snow, and over broken glass, etc etc. Just because a game is harder doesn't mean it's better or more fun. They were harder in those days because arcades wanted to get as many quarters from you as they could.

I'm pissed off that arcade doesnt have online coop. Side scrolling is where it's at. Personality they fucked this game.

This game. I'm sorry but it's terrible. Installed it, played(endured) it for about an hour. Uninstalled it. Do yourself a favour. Download an emulator, and get some tmnt roms and you fill enjoy that way better than this.

The arcade mode of the game can be played offline, co-op, 4 players without splitscreen.

Harder = more fun = reductio ad absurdum.

The implication is that if a game challenges the player, asks them to invest time and effort into it and therefore 'forces' them to derive some kind of skill from what they're doing, it's almost always more rewarding. This, as opposed to indulging them like infants; as today's games largely do.

That notwithstanding, I've played this TMNT game and I have to say that it's a bit of al'right, for what it sets out to accomplish- a homage to old school brawlers. The combat is a darn sight more visceral and satisfying than the Batman games, at any rate.

Cyrax why don't you spend many year's like proffessional martial artists and develop the skill and feel the reward of hanging 80 pounds off your p***s. You bring up the comment about everything looks elitist from below. LOL. You're talking about video games you infinite loser. Go develope a new technology or fight in a war for a cause you believe in you mega video game warrior. LoLoLoL how hard you would pee your pants on a battlefield or rage quit at a job with any real challange. No truly intelligent person would have so much of an ego for success in just about any mainstream video game. General Pacman Sir Lol!

ww w.youtube. com/watch?v=mTZS8v4TXvI

It would have been nice if you'd mentioned that online multiplayer doesn't actually work at all, at least on the PC. That would have been helpful. :(

is that the case? I reviewed the Xbox 360 version, and didn't have that problem