It's pretty amazing to think how long the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been popular. Ever since the original cartoon became a childhood craze back in the late 1980s (when they had to be called Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK because the word 'ninja' seemed too violent), they've consistently been well-liked by young and old alike. Even now, with 348 cartoon episodes, four feature films, 16 games and hundreds of comic books under their belts, they're still going strong.
Let's face it then - because of this popularity, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up could probably be a load of old rubbish and it'd still sell by the bucketload. After all, last year's Wii game based on the TMNT animated movie was about as fun as having a radiator dropped on your ribs and yet it still shifted in huge numbers. That's why we're happy to see that the forthcoming Smash-Up promises to actually be an enjoyable game.
Worth Shelling Out For?
You see, the game's being developed by Game Arts, a Japanese developer most famous for the fantastic Grandia and Lunar series of RPGs. Most importantly though in the case of Smash Up, a number of members of the Game Arts team helped out with the initial development of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and some of them also used to be members of Team Ninja, the famed developers behind the Ninja Gaiden and Dead Or Alive games on the Xbox. When you put that information together then look at the screens it should be pretty clear why Smash-Up is an exciting prospect - it essentially looks like Smash Bros. with the Turtles.
Indeed, the game is set up in a way that's extremely similar to Nintendo's hit game. It's a fighting game which takes place on multi-level stages and allows combat for up to four characters at once. There are items you can collect and taunts you can execute, and you're free to run and jump around the stage at will while fighting. So far, so Smash Bros.
There's also a Story Mode due to be included in the game but Game Arts has made it clear that this mode isn't going to be a side-scrolling adventure in the style of the Subspace Emissary mode in Brawl. One thing the developer has promised however is that these Turtles will be mean and moody types, similar to the way they appear in their cult comic book. This means, according to Game Arts, that there'll be no annoying wisecracks or quips all the way throughout the game. This means that everyone craving any "cowabunga dudes" or that "my sweet lord, I do believe this is both radical and tubular" nonsense (yes, both of you) may
have to do without while the rest of us can concentrate on some top notch chop-socky ninja action.
One of the biggest selling points for Super Smash Bros. Brawl was its online multiplayer
but some complained that it was slightly laggy and was hindered by a few connection issues. Game Arts promises that Smash-Up will also have four-player online multiplayer modes but it's determined to deliver a much smoother experience than Brawl did.
There's one thing Brawl had that will be
hard to match in Smash-Up however, and
that's a huge character roster. But Turtles fans will be happy to know that the game will
have a large roster of characters going back throughout the entire Turtles' history.
Although nobody other than the four Turtles and their rat-faced master Splinter have been confirmed yet, Mirage Studios (the company who owns the Turtles licence) has been heavily involved with the character selection process. We hope that as well as the more obvious possibilities like Shredder, April O'Neil and Casey Jones, we'll be treated to some classic
old-school Turtles characters like Krang,
Bebop, Rocksteady, the Rat King, Baxter Stockman and maybe even samurai rabbit
Usagi Yojimbo, who made a few appearances
in the cartoon. The possibilities are huge.
We've always been secret Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles fans here at ONM and
if this manages to somehow scale the same heights that Super Smash Bros. Brawl did