I’m back b*^%#@$!!! The Great Tasty Nades! After a wild end of 2016 and an even wilder start to 2017, Tasty Nades has returned to BBR! And what better way to kick off my first review of 2017 than with a game about a comic and cartoon we all loved growing up – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I had high hopes for this game and even higher expectations. How did it hold up to its toughest critic yet? Did it quench the Nades’ thirst? Or did it leave me high and dry like a pair of nuts on a cold day?
Blue Ball Score: 11 out of 25 balls
Well, I fear that the review won’t get kicked off on a good note for this section. As you all already know, a good game has simple and easy-to-use controls, but still allows its users to have a wide range of abilities. If I had to compare this paradox to something, I would compare it to a nice recipe. You want a ton of flavors, but they all must blend together correctly. Anyway, back to the actual game (sorry, I haven’t eaten lunch yet). The controls were extremely complex. This realization came to light most frequently in the boss fights at the end of each stage (level). To beat each boss, you had to constantly switch from turtle to turtle, using their special attacks by clicking varying combinations of buttons (which had to be memorized almost) and keep each turtle alive by reviving them. It was madness – pure madness.
Besides the controls, “TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan” had a complex customization and upgrade system. It wasn’t nearly as complex as the controls, but it was still hard to quickly grasp. Each turtle could equip 4 ‘special attacks’ and each special attack could be upgraded. There were a ton of special attacks as well (once your turtle leveled up enough). There were also charms that could give you varying bonuses as well. If you were to spend enough time setting up each turtle with the appropriate special attacks to complement the other turtles, then you could develop an unbeatable team. But, this complexity made it hard to just enjoy the game for what it was supposed to be – a recreational game you could play with a group of your friends.
One thing that I did appreciate was the ‘feel’ of the game. Now, the ‘feel’ of a game is a common thing mentioned in a lot of reviews, but it is never really clear what this term means. So, allow me to define what I mean when I say ‘feel.’ This game was designed to be as if you were playing in a comic book. The graphics looked like a comic book, the way the characters talked, the plot, etc. And, from the first minute in the game, this feel was maintained very well. The characters were true to themselves (in how they acted and spoke) and the graphics were perfect for this ‘feel’ (to be discussed later).
So, all the necessary components were present in this game, but they weren’t assembled together very well. For these reasons, I give the gameplay part a 3/5 balls.
Well, even if the missions were random, I am sure they were all unique! Right? Wrong… The missions, overall, were redundant and boring. You did the same ol’ chaotic combat with the Foot, some random objective (defusing bombs, saving something from peril, etc.), and then a boss fight. There were some slight deviations in this theme, but overall it was the same thing every single mission. And, to add to the boredom and redundancy, the missions themselves were short and quick.
Finally, whether it was in the cartoons, movies, or comic books, we all came to love Master Splinter. I know the turtles are the main stars of the show, but every good star needs to have some good support behind them. Splinter was not featured as much in this game as I think he should have. Unless you were in a cut scene or accessing your inventory, the odds of seeing the Master himself, were slim to none. This saddened me to the point of near suicide.
So, for these reasons, I give the campaign a single ball. Uni-ballular if you will.
Haha! Nope! Tasty Nades couldn’t find a lobby to play it in. So, one can only deduce that nobody was playing the multiplayer because it stunk like a 10-pound bag of cow $hit!
1/5 balls. I only gave it 1 because of the possibility of hope…
The graphics were superb. With games like this that are not supposed to have 4K “Holy $hit! I can see the wrinkles in their balls!” graphics, one of two things happen. One – they underdo it and it looks like I am playing an arcade game in the 90’s. Or two, they overdo it and it looks like a 90’s arcade game took a $hit on a current “HD” game. In other words, it is like a typical woman and it sends mixed messages. But this game did none of that. The graphics clearly achieved the goal of looking like a comic book, but it still felt like a modern video game. The turtles looked absolutely amazing and the graphical effects were superb.
Audio? Sexy. The turtles were true to themselves in speech and character. The sound effects were good too. I wish there was a bit more emphasis on the explosions and big ‘boom booms,’ but overall, they were solid.
That leads this section to get a perfect 5/5 balls.
I want to begin by talking about the combat in general. The combat was extremely chaotic and unorganized. There is an option in the game to order the other 3 turtles and tell them what to do, but half the time they don’t listen and this ‘feature’ doesn’t even work. So, as most any gamer would, you just tell them to go ape sh$% banana balls and attack everything in sight. Enemies spawn in 24/7 around you no matter how many of them you kill. Best strategy? Run through the map until you get to the final boss…
Speaking of the boss! The boss fights on this game are awful!!! Besides the above-mentioned redundancy, the boss fights are even more chaotic. I found the best way to beat a boss is to constantly switch from one turtle to the next doing the special attacks. There isn’t really any strategy or clear organization to the combat or boss fights at all. It is a chaotic hack-and-slash, button smashing, no strategy havin’ combat style. Meh…
Finally, it seems like you spend more time reviving your fellow turtles, than fighting the actual boss. Or, on the other hand, you spend more time getting revived. In general, I have found there to be two things that happen. One – you just aimlessly attack the boss with no strategy hoping you don’t die. If you do, you hope to get revived. Two – you just let your turtles attack and you go around reviving them so they don’t die.
Either way, there is no clear strategy in this game’s combat mechanics. Even if the objective was to make a hack-and-slash style, it wasn’t done correctly. Either way, the combat quite frankly sucks more than a hungry baby on a teet. 1 out of 5 balls.
In conclusion, this game wasn’t good. It seemed like the idea and concepts were there, but they weren’t put together very well – at all. The controls were overly complex, the plot didn’t make any sense, the missions were random and redundant, and the combat was the worst I have played in a while. The only thing this game had going for it was the graphics, audio, and some of the customizations / upgrade systems. I was truly disappointed in this game. My childhood dreams are ruined. It did not quench the Nades’ thirst. And it DID leave me high and dry like a pair of nuts on a cold day. Final verdict? 11/25 balls. Shame on you Activision … shame … on … you …