Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows


Red Fly Studios and Activision have teamed up to bring the closing title to Microsoft’s 2013 summer of arcade. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows offers a new vision of the green team of heroes, but it’s not quite the vision we wanted to play. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows


 For such a linear title, it’s actually quite surprising how often I found myself standing on a rooftop and wondering where I should go from there. The level design isn’t exactly straightforward although sometimes you’ll see a glimmering light above a door which, without actually teaching you this earlier, indicates that it’s the point you should reach. As you hop across rooftops you’ll find yourself playing trial and error on whether you can move past certain invisible barriers and/or thresholds… eventually making your way to a point where you’ll be confronted by a group of thugs.

Rooftops aren’t the only area where you’ll find yourself lost though. Even when you’re on the ground and fighting in the dark alleyways of the Big Apple, you’ll find random dead ends that offer nothing in return for your wasted time, and when all routes seem inaccessible you’ll suddenly discover you can jump over top of that van or seemingly decorative garbage dumpster.


Maybe I’m biased towards the old turtle designs, but these guys look ridiculous in the games’ graphic novel art style. I realize they wanted to go with a more realistic look, but quite frankly how real can you make a giant mutated turtle who practices the art of the ninja? These four bodacious dudes are nothing short of ridiculous looking

The rest of game offers mixed visuals. At times it can look somewhat decent, though the lack of detail leaves the majority of its environments looking rather bland, and there’s quality cityscape views which is disappointing since you spend so much time on those skyscrapers. When you’re in the alleys battling baddies, the game features pretty muddy looking graphics with bright red/green/yellow lighting which can be almost blinding at times, and it’s just makes the game look really unappealing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows


Some reviews mention, and I even noted this personally when I first played the game – the combat is similar to the Arkham series featuring Batman. Those games have great combat and Red Fly appears to have taken notes from the Batman team. Apparently those notes got wet or something though, since there’s something missing in TMNT: OOTS. You get the cool slow motion kills, and there’s a whole bunch of combos to unlock via skill trees, but the combos are either too cumbersome to learn, or in some cases they just don’t work smoothly and you’ll find yourself not being able to counter or block even though you’ve done the required action within the given time.

I loved TMNT II: The Arcade Game and sadly I’d even beg to play the original NES version of TMNT (You know, the one with the horrid underwater level where your turtles need oxygen tanks to survive…Huh?!) before I’d want to revisit this game.


I understand that the main focus of the game is for the player to progress the story, but when you have three teammates working with you for the whole game it’s assumed that they will actually contribute, right? Wrong. The AI in OOTS basically puts these turtles in a class of their own. They’ll spend more time down on the ground waiting on you to deliver a healthy boost of pizza to them before they can get up and fight again. Your compadres will never lead the way, and they’ll always rely on you to do the majority of the dirty work.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows


TMNT: Out of the Shadows is simply not worth your time. If you consider yourself a big Turtle fan – go back to Turtles in Time on SNES or TMNT II: The Arcade game. They were prettier games that offer great gameplay and amazing characterization when it comes to all parties involved. Better music that you can actually remember, and best of all they were both fun and challenging.

Broken battle system, confusing and invisible barriers, and it lacks being fun to play.
Muddy and grainy textures, horrible lighting, but occasionally cool views from the rooftops.
Truthfully I don't remember any of the music or anything else I may have heard while playing.
6.0Final Score

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