The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the NES was so hard we used to sob with frustration. But we liked it anyway. Now Ubisoft has brought the Turtles to the Wii - but it's forgotten to leave out the frustration.
At first, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shows promise. It has the nostalgic feel of the old-school, side-scrolling game with the addition of some Prince Of Persia-style platforming, which adds a previously unexplored element to the Turtles carnage. But this new element creates camera problems. During your wall-jumping antics the view will often pan up and down sporadically, causing you to fall to your doom. Not that you'll ever die because there are save points almost everywhere.
Depressingly, combat doesn't hold up nearly as well as the vaguely enjoyable platforming. Although each Turtle is equipped with their trademark weapons, fighting is almost completely limited to unimaginative Remote controls that mostly have you randomly waving the controller.
The general attack has you waving the Remote back and forth, while an up-and-down motion performs a ground pound; shaking the nunchuk also triggers various kicks. This poor use of the Remote quickly breaks down into nonsensical waving that hurts our wrists. It amazes us that with characters wielding swords, staffs and nunchuks, Ubisoft couldn't do better.
Half-Assed Shell, More Like
Team moves are the sole redeeming cog in the fighting mechanics, allowing you to call upon one of your green brothers to help you perform new moves. But, unbelievably, there's no multiplayer mode at all. None! This is a platformer-cum-scolling beat 'em up with four badass ninja turtles on gaming's greatest party console, and we have to play it alone. Are we the only ones who think that doesn't sound right? What a missed opportunity.