Ahh, the 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 decadence.
How retro is
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.
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.
There 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?
A Versus 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!”).
Mutant Ninja Turtles is expected to hit the shelves this fall
from Konami. Cowabunga, dude!