Mutant Ninja Turtles were mysteriously absent during
the 90s. I would have said conspicuously absent but
nobody seemed to miss them. Their demised can be attributed
to eventually reaching over-saturation and finally
imploded. Now they're back due to a new cartoon which
has already spawned a couple of videogames. The latest
game is entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant
Melee and like the last two games, threatens to send
the Turtles back into hibernation or wherever the
hell they went last time.
time the Turtles may take to hiding out of embarrassment.
Mutant Melee is slightly better than Battle Nexus
in terms of control but it lacks a cohesive storyline
and overall the controls still aren't responsive enough.
Like the TMNT games before it, it lacks consistency.
I don't know if it's the convoluted storyline or the
meddling of the developers but the characters don't
come across with the same depth and charm that they
display in the series. Every aspect of this game is
if to appease fans, all of the enemies from the series
are featured in this game. The story tries very hard
to tie them all in but it's stretched and the seams
are showing. Missions are not much more than a few
simple commands that will either have you fight someone
or try not to get yourself hurt. The levels are short
and easy at first. While they remain short they do
increase in difficulty - and some levels don't even
change much except to re-arrange the layout.
"melee" in the title you would expect the
focus of this game to be on combat - which it is.
Unfortunately the combat system still suffers from
sloppy controls issues. Timing is everything in this
game and while I can't be absolutely sure I'm hitting
all the buttons perfectly, I am sure that I'm hitting
them much more accurately than is actually being registered.
There is a main and secondary attack for each turtle
as well as a block and counter move. Each turtle has
his own signature move which makes them more or less
valuable for a specific foe or situation. Often you
will have several enemies to fight at once. Instead
of pulling off awesome combos you'll find that some
blocks don't register and you'll take a hit which
puts a serious dent in your combo. There is no "perfect"
time to hit the controls. It's more or less arbitrary.
Just hit the button and hope for the best.
are plenty of unlockable characters but none of them
are much better equipped to deal with the wonky control
system than any other one. It might have been a nice
diversion to play as April but she may as well don
a turtle outfit since she has the same basic moves.
Even the unlockable stages and modes don't offer any
salvation. The four-player modes offers the most fun.
The arenas may be sparse but due to lack of precision
in the controls that's a good thing since there is
less things to get hung up on.
modes in Melee Mode are decent variations of Deathmatch,
KOH and Last Man Standing. In Keep Away you must take
a treasure chest into your possession and guard it
at all costs. The longer you can hold on to it the
more points you will earn. In all of these modes you'll
be kicking, punching and bashing your opponents around
in an effort to stay alive and complete your objective.
At the very least you are all equally matched by the
limitations of the control system.
the game looks like a cheap rendition of the cartoon
series. The movements are smooth but the environments
are best described as "vague" since they
lack no real detail. The lines are repetitive and
uninspired. These are like robot versions of the Turtles
that can't think for themselves. The sound effects
are good and the music is decent but they should be
since they came from the TV show.
twenty bucks, it's not a total rip off but the bargain
price doesn't make the game any better. If you look
around you'll find some really good older titles that
you may have overlooked for about the same price.
Check out more of our reviews for some hot tips.