80s. Madonna wannabes, heavy metal, the “A” Team, Miami Vice,
Rambo, and a whole lot of people with bad drum machines, bad
hair, and tacky (if expensive) clothes. One of the biggest
things that comes to mind about the 80s was the plethora of
cartoons that no longer existed for their own sake, but solely
for the purpose of selling product. G.I. Joe, the
Transformers, the Thundercats, the Smurfs, all the way down
the line to the Monchichis, every corporate merchandiser got
their shot at hucking toys, costumes, board games, video
games, comics, etc. etc. at those too young to know better.
One of the biggest phenomena of the 80s, at least after the
execrable Cabbage Patch Kids, was an obscure black and white
comic book parody of the then-unprecedented levels of
popularity of the Xmen, Teen Titans, and Frank Miller’s
Daredevil called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. From these
humble beginnings, and quite unexpectedly, there grew an
empire – toys, costumes, music, party favors, board games,
video games, even 2 or 3 (believe it or not) live action
movies (no wonder some clown thought a Howard the Duck
movie would be a good idea). Now, a good decade to twenty
years later, everyone’s favorite “heroes in a half shell” are
back big time, thanks to the folks at Konami. In true “big
80’s” fashion, Konami plans to flood the market, releasing
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for no less than five
systems: GameCube, Xbox, PS2, PC and GBA this fall.
Longtime fans might want to note: the game is closely based on
the current cartoon, as opposed to the one you grew up
with during that generally unjustifiable decade of dork
retro is retro?
Is this enough for ya? TMNT is the first Ninja
Turtle game since the days of the Super Nintendo and Sega
Genesis. As might be hoped, the game has been updated
just a bit from the days of 16-bit graphics, utilizing a
pleasant mesh of 3D graphics and cel-shading, which gives the
game that sorta 2D cartoonish look faithful fans might expect.
All of the earlier Ninja Turtle games were action platformers,
and this latest installment will continue in that proud
tradition (ahem). To keep the action light and fun, the game
will feature word balloon sound effects ala Adam West’s
Batman: “Crash,” “Bash,” “Boom” and the like will accompany
your attacks on such enemies as Shredder’s Foot Ninjas
(Marvel fans: read “the Hand”). Despite having
only two attack buttons (and one jump button), the game will
feature about 10 motion capture moves for each turtle, with
countless combos that can be thrown together therefrom.
Sundry and various items and weaponry (such as the
ever-popular shuriken, or “ninja throwing stars”) can be found
throughout the game to assist the player in their progress
through the game.
Surprisingly, the Story Mode will only allow for up to two
people to play at one time. That said, all four
turtles will be playable: Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael,
and Leonardo (ooh, how clever – personally, I would have
chosen Dali, Magritte, Munch and Delvaux, but then again, I
would have never come up with something so absurd as the
Turtles to begin with) all have their own special moves and
advantages. For example, Donatello has the longest reach of
all the turtles thanks to his Bo (staff), while Leonardo is
the fastest. Move scrolls can be found in the course of
gameplay, adding special attacks to the gamer’s oeuvre.
will be a total of 35 levels in the game, with each of these
divided into six individual stages. The game will, naturally,
take place in New York City, spotlighting such popular tourist
destinations as its sewers and rooftops. Hell, what did you
expect, since Disney…well, Disneyfied 42nd
Street, and a certain ex-mayor with pronounced fascistic
tendencies “gentrified” all the hobos, punks, ethnics and
generally colorful people right out of city limits, what’s
really left to see?
Mode will be included in the game. For the truly clueless
among us, this is where you can challenge a friend (or if you
don’t have one to spare, the computer will fill that lonely
ache in your heart, you poor little boy) and play as your
favorite turtle (or villain, as the case may be – go, Krang!).
Voices in the game will be provided by the cast of the current
TMNT cartoon on FOX. Unfortunately, despite his starring turn
in that cinematic masterpiece TMNT II: Secret of the Ooze,
Vanilla Ice will not be a hidden playable character in the
game (“Go, turtles! Go, turtles!”).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is expected to hit the
shelves this fall from Konami. Cowabunga, dude!