My GameCube Library: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT.jpg
image: imdb.com

In this series I will go over all the games I remember playing as a kid on my Gamecube. Some were good, but most were bad, but all of them have a special place in my heart.

The early 2000’s was an interesting time to be a child as was evident by my brother and I. We both were fascinated by previous properties that were being rebooted at the time like Star Wars and also really into the new children properties like Spongebob. There was a rebooted property that still remained fresh and new in our mind, and that was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My brother was very obsessed with the property, to the point where most of the things he owned were related to the turtles. We didn’t often share the same interest in the property, but we shared a love for the video game based on the rebooted TV show.

TMNT (2003) was a game released for the sixth generation of consoles including PC and the GameBoy Advance. It was a 3D beat em up game based on the first season of the TV show and featured the same voice actors and had clips from the series. This is one of the first exposures I had to the turtles and I think that it is a good one. The graphics at the time were very cool and looked like 3D models of the TV characters, but nowadays they look pretty dated and out of place.

The gameplay is so easy for my 6 year old brain to understand, as A and B were the primary attack buttons while X was the jump. This allowed me to hit the two biggest buttons on the controller repeatedly and destroy the Foot Clan with no real strategy involved. The X button isn’t utilized in the first few levels, so my A and B button mashing made me and my brother invincible. The enemies were not difficult to defeat as a few hits would make them evaporate into the air and the enemies would come at the turtles with bats and crowbars, something that really wouldn’t be effective on muscular beefed up reptiles.

The game allows you to be any of the four Turtles from the get-go, each with their own specialized weapons and moves. Like most Turtle games, Donatello and Leonardo are the best characters to be because they have long range weapons. The biggest issue with this game is that there is no four-player support, even though it flaunts the ability to play as any one of the four turtles. That generation of consoles has the capacity to support four players simultaneously, but the game has issues supporting two players as it is considering the frequent frame-rate drop. The game could do four players, but it would make the game virtually unplayable. All of the characters have catch-phrases, which are played to a nauseating level and become grating and annoying after a few minutes into the game.

There’s a lot to love about the simple controls and satisfying gameplay, but there’s also a lot of burnout when it comes to level design and enemy difficulty. The levels are not interesting to look at or play through as the design is mostly a one way path that does not alter too much, and they are simply unappealing to look at. The enemies are very predictable and very easy to beat after one or two rounds of their repeated attacks. Despite the major flaws of the game, there is still much to enjoy in the game. Turtles fans will enjoy all of the throwbacks to the series, and the gameplay is satisfying, but outside of that, there’s not much to come back to.

Next week we go to the pineapple under the sea.

 

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