Saturday, August 1, 2009

Review Round-Up - July

Wii Sports Resort received a solid 8.5 this month.

July was a really busy month when it came to new reviews. We started off strong with The Conduit, set a stride with Ghost Squad, Overlord: Dark Legend, PANGYA: Fantasy Golf, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, and Dead Space, and finished the month off strong with Star Ocean: Second Evolution, Wii Sports Resort, and Little King's Story. I have plans to review Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and InFAMOUS for August, and who knows what else! As usual, italicized reviews are classic reviews.

All scores are out of 10.
5 = Average

Sonic Rivals 2 (PSP) - 5.5
The Conduit (Wii) - 7.5
Ghost Squad (Wii) - 7.5
Overlord: Dark Legend (Wii) - 7.5
PANGYA: Fantasy Golf (PSP) - 8.5
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (360) - 8.75
Dead Space (PS3, 360, PC) - 9.25
TMNT (GBA) - 7.0
Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP) - 8.75
Wii Sports Resort (Wii) - 8.5
Little King's Story (Wii) - 9.25

Sonic Rivals (PSP) - 5.0
No More Heroes (Wii) - 8.0
TMNT (Wii, 360, PS2, PSP, GCN, PC) - 5.25

What reviews did you enjoy this month?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Little King's Story (Wii) Review

This is the final review for the month of July. Tomorrow I'll post the Review Round-Up with all reviews posted this month in case you missed one or two. For now, check out Little King's Story for Wii.

Long Live the King


Who hasn’t ever dreamed about being king? Well, probably women who’d want to be queen, but just roll with this for a second anyway. The ability to rule a land, shape it how you want, boss everyone around, etc. It’s a very intriguing prospect. If you aren’t born into a monarchy though, the next best thing may just be the new Nintendo Wii game from Xseed and Marvelous, Little King’s Story. Is this a game that makes it good to be king, or is it one that will be crowned a disappointment?

Little King's Story puts you in the role of the little king, a shy boy who one day uncovers a golden crown. With this, he suddenly becomes the king of Alpoko. You start with a small, rundown, isolated kingdom, but by the conclusion of the game, Alpoko will expand its boundaries beyond the starting lands with dozens of denizens, a bounty of buildings, and more money than God. Of course, you can't do this alone. Your advisers, Howser, Liam, and Verde are there to support you with news, advice, and the ever-important ability to save.

A leisurely jaunt through the melon patch.

There are seven kingdoms surrounding Alpoko ruled by seven quirky kings, and it's the little king's job to take these lands by any means necessary. This is in order to dominate the wor-- I mean, unite the lands. As lands are taken by the little king's army, new areas open up, new jobs for citizens open up, and new quests are unlocked. Completing simple quests such as "beat enemy located here" reward players with bonus items that are converted to cold hard cash when the little king returns to his throne. Quests, which are accepted via Howser's suggestion box, are rated in difficulty by stars. Five out of five stars is the hardest while one star is the easiest. Certain quests have you taking on colossal bosses, but the reward for besting the big baddy is the expansion of your kingdom. A simple hit and run pattern of striking an enemy and then calling them off when you see the enemy about to attack works wonders here.

A good king never gets his hands dirty. No, that's a job for the common folk. Alpoko's citizens are ready and willing to do the work for their king. Every citizen starts out as carefree with no special abilities, but as new lands are acquired, new buildings can be built either to house more citizens or to create new jobs for said citizens. This isn’t like Dark Cloud where you select where you want the buildings to be erected, however. Regardless, there are over a dozen jobs that are unlocked by the end of the game, and they all serve a purpose. Soldiers are the main line of offense. The deal the most damage, and they're deadly in sheer numbers. Meanwhile, carpenters build bridges and stairways at designated areas for your troops to cross rivers and scale plateaus. Then there's miners who destroy large boulders, lumberjacks who remove huge tree stumps, and hunters who can attack enemies from afar. The more advanced jobs cost money to train, so it's a constant struggle having enough money to build, train, and buy.

Carpenters can build steps as well as bridges.

Little King's Story plays a lot like Pikmin. However, since each citizen has a name and identity, it's much more damning to have a troop die on you since it's not as easy as bringing a Pikmin pellet to a flying saucer to create another citizen. Sure, there's a chance that a dead denizen will wash up on the nearby beach the next day, but it's still a good idea to show carefulness in your orders. Instead, some citizens will fall in love with one another. They can then get married at the church, have babies, and your town will blossom with new life (i.e. warriors to send to battle).

The little king can do some fighting with his scepter, but he's no match for a stronger enemy. That's where your royal guard comes in. They'll follow you around the various areas of the world in one of three beginning formations. They can line up behind you in rows, follow you in a snake-like pattern for evasion, or guard you in a protective ring. Like Pikmin, you call your forces to attack enemies, build bridges, or whatever by facing the enemy or item you want to be utilized and mash the A button for how many people you want to work on your task. It's odd that the pointer wasn't used for this game. In fact, there's no Wii remote functionality at all to speak of. Instead, a yellow line to designate the little king's line of sight is used. This works well most of the time, but it can be nigh frustrating trying to send your troops to attack one enemy yet they keep attacking another. A choice for pointer functionality would have been welcome.

Jump cannons allow you to blast yourself across the land.

If you want to send out a specific type of troop, you can cycle between job classes with the down button on the directional pad to make planning all the more easy. Each of your townspeople have health bars in the form of hits. They can only take so many hits until they perish, but they're fully healed once the little king goes to bed. Additionally, each guard can be equipped with a treasure, awarded by completing quests or hidden around the world. These can raise their attack power, immunity to poison, being frozen, or burnt, or boost their life energy. Conversely, enemy health is symbolized with a circle that depletes clockwise. Once the circle is completely gray, the enemy is eliminated.

Each area is cohesive without apparent load times.

Those seven kingdoms you must take over are ruled by seven boss kings. These aren't your typical boss fights either. One will have you playing pinball with the boss as the ball, another will have you answering brain teasers, while another will have you trekking up a mountain while avoiding bombs, boulders, and other baddies. These boss battles are highly creative and quite challenging. Thankfully, there's three difficulties to choose while playing Little King's Story. Besting a boss will open up their land under the name of Alpoko and giving you the chance to rescue a princess.Besides boss battles and expanding your kingdom, there's plenty of side quests, grinding for cash, and other things to do.

This boss breathes fire and ice from his stoop.

Little King's Story is visually impressive. The art style is quaint and cute, the colors are very virbant, and everything runs and at a smooth, steady clip. The music is all public domain with tunes like Frere Jacques and the William Tell Overture arranged and performed in clever ways. The writing is pretty out there in some parts as many of the bosses will just weird you out. There's plenty of humor all around, regardless.

Little King's Story is a highly charming real-time strategy game that is incredibly difficult to ignore. The gameplay is so intriguing that two hours can easily pass without you noticing. The polish and care given to this game is one that we don't see not just on Wii but on any console. With the rewarding and challenging gameplay, 20-30 hours of story to play through, and oodles of secrets to explore and uncover, Little King's Story gets a high recommendation as one of the best games of the year.

[SuperPhillip Says: 9.25/10]

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wii Sports Resort (Wii) Review

Hope your summer is going well. Now for a game perfect for summertime, Wii Sports Resort. How does it shape up with MotionPlus? Let's find out.

Life's A Beach at This Resort


The original Wii Sports was a phenomena, a financial juggernaut, and the best-selling game of all time. It's easy to think that the Wii would not be as successful as it is now without it. Regardless, now Nintendo is putting out a new installment to the mega-seller. The original Wii Sports hinted at some of the capabilities of the Wii remote. Now Wii Sports Resort is here to show of the capabilities of Wii MotionPlus. Is Wii Sports Resort a place you'll want to book a trip for?

There are twelve sports in the total Wii Sports Resort package. Some sports features two or more modes such as basketball. Each mode has a set of stamps, achievement-like goals that reward the player with stamps. Some are easy to obtain, but some are just devilish in difficulty needing the player to bowl a perfect game in bowling, complete the last level of swordplay's showdown unscathed. In this aspect, the single-player longevity is quite high. Of course, the real fun comes when playing with two or more people in the room, laughing, taunting, and having a blast, something online play can't support. Though that isn't to say that online play or even online leaderboards for that matter wouldn't have hurt.

Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus peripheral was introduced early last month to a trio of sports titles: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, Grand Slam Tennis, and Virtua Tennis 2009. Rather than just focus on one sport, Nintendo is basically sending out a tech demo to all developers of ideas to use MotionPlus with a dozen sports to play.

Swordplay

Swordplay has three modes: duel, speed slice, and showdown. Duel pits two players against one another on an elevated platform surrounded by water. The aim of the game is to knock your opponent off the platform before time runs out. You do this by holding the Wii remote in two hands and making slicing motions. If a character's sword is horizontal, you'll want to make a horizontal slash and vice versa for vertical slashes. Speed slice drops items in front of your Mii to slice. However, you can't just slice it randomly. You have to slice the dropped object in the direction indicated. The first player to ten points wins. It feels very rewarding slicing through each item no matter if it's eggs, logs, timers, or whatever the game throws your way. Finally, showdown places you against an army of Miis with three hearts as your health bar. Get hit three times, and it's game over. There's ten different levels to plow through, and each one gets more challenging than the next. With swordplay, a player can slice and slash madly as if they were having a seizure, but players won't get far against a skilled opponent with that strategy.


Wakeboarding

The goal of wakeboarding is to hold the Wii remote in a sideways fashion while carving through waves, performing tricks. The more tricks you pull off in succession without bailing, the more points your tricks are worth. I had a hard time consistently landing straight even when holding the Wii remote correctly. With more practice, I was able to carve like a Jack-O-Lantern with ease. For many sports like wakeboarding, there's a very helpful practice mode introducing you to the controls and techniques to use.


Frisbee

There are two modes of frisbee. The first introduces you to a cute Mii dog. The angle of the Wii remote when you "throw" the frisbee affects the way the disc flies. The idea of frisbee is to toss the frisbee towards a target on the ground. Your dog will catch the frisbee if it's in range, and where the dog catches the disc will be where your points are rewarded. Get the closest inside the target for 100 points and 50 for the second ring. Throwing the frisbee feels just like it does in real life-- hence why I suck at frisbee in virtual form. The other mode is frisbee golf. Those who have played Tiger Woods will be familiar with this mode. The holes used are the same as those in golf.


Golf

Speaking of which, golf has nine new holes accompanied by nine new holes made exclusively for Wii Sports Resort. MotionPlus makes a world of difference here. You hold the Wii remote just like a golf club and swing while hoping to keep your wrists straight, otherwise you'll draw or fade your shot. I found Wii Sports Resort golf much harder than Tiger Woods because there's no numbers telling you how strong you've hit the ball unlike PGA Tour 10. This makes golf like the real thing and not for people accustomed to assistance. Putting is all about touch. Hit the ball too hard, and it'll go flying past the hole. This mode probably took the longest for me to get the hang of.


Bowling

Another returning sport from the original Wii Sports is bowling. The big difference is the ability to more easily put spin on the ball unlike Wii Sports. You can play a ten round game without those damned blisters on your fingers afterward! Plus there's no need to rent shoes. A new mode added to bowling this time around is 100 pin bowling where the top score one can reach is 3,000. The game is the same as traditional bowling, there's just a whole heck of a lot more pins to knock down plus bumpers on the side of the lane. This remains one of my favorites in Wii Sports Resort.


Table Tennis

Another favorite of mine is table tennis which is a one-on-one duel with either an AI opponent or human character. It's all about the timing of your swing here which affects where the ball goes. Movement is automatic, so the only thing you need to worry about is either performing a backhand or forehand shot. Twisting the Wii remote will allow the ball to spin to easily throw off your opponent (or yourself). The second mode is the return challenge where the goal is return the ball as many times as possible. This high score challenge is goof for 1-4 players.


Archery

Archery is quite cool, and like swordplay, it offers almost a sneak preview of how an upcoming Zelda game could control. Despite that, archery has you playing 12 shots on four different targets. Once you shoot three times on one target, you move to the next, more challenging target. To play, you hold the Wii remote vertically, hold A, pull back the nunchuk as if it were the line, and release Z to fire. There's three different difficulties to play where the wind conditions are more hazardous, and the targets are much further out.


Basketball

Shut up and jam with basketball. You press the B button to grab a ball, and you essentially flick your wrist up into the air to take a shot. It works just like in real life. That is, you can almost feel if you're going to make the shot which is a very cool feeling. There's your 3-point contest where your Mii runs around the court shooting off five balls at each station. The last ball at each station is worth double the points. The other mode is riminiscent of Mario Hoops 3-on-3 except your teammates actual do something. It's a 3-on-3 match where each team takes turns on offense and defense. You can pass the ball to another teammate as well as steal the ball from offense. Both modes are fantastic when you're in a rhythm.


Power Cruising

In power cruising, you hold the Wii remote and nunchuk like handlebars on a jet ski. Twisting the Wii remote gives you a short-sized boost for an extra burst of speed. Tilting both controllers causes you to turn. The point of this sport is to speed through slaloms. The faster you go through a gate, the more points you get. Some gates have bonus rings inside them which give double points. There's six courses in all, and my desire for a new Wave Race only gets stronger. Additionally, you can also cruise around Wuhu Island on your jet ski without any restraints.


Cycling

Some sports work really well, while others just do not. Cycling is one of those. The idea is intriguing: race against 29 other cyclists, trying to make it to number one. Unfortunately, the controls absolutely kill any enjoyment. You have to shake the Wii remote and nunchuk up and down to pedal while tilting both to steer. This is about as easy as juggling on a unicycle. It's very difficult and not much fun to do. I really don't see how MotionPlus is being utilized.


Canoeing

Paddle to the left and to the right to move your canoe downstream. This is an absolute blast to play with four players in the same canoe. You're having to work together to reach the goal in time. There's three licenses to earn, and each time to play the race the distance you need to travel gets farther. Even in single player the game is enjoyable, and you'll definitely get a workout on this one.


Air Sports

Skydiving is the very first game you play once you start up Wii Sports Resort for the first time. You tilt the Wii remote to move your on-screen Mii character through the clouds. You can form up with characters to score big points. One of my favorite modes in the game is the Island Flyover of Air Sports. You're given five minutes to fly around Wuhu Island, soaring past landmarks, as if you were playing a Wii version of Pilotwings. Speaking of planes, there's also a dogfight mode for two players where you try to shoot down the other opponent's balloon to win. The plane is controlled by holding the Wii remote and guiding it around like a paper airplane.


All in all, Wii Sports Resort is a perfect match for anyone who enjoyed the original best-seller. There's enough sports that there will be something for everyone. Those who are going it solo will have less longevity with the game, however, which may make the fifty dollar price point unappealing. As for everyone else, it's time to graduate from Wii Sports and take an extended vacation at Wii Sports Resort.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wii Sports Resort (Wii) Commercial

Tomorrow I plan on posting my review of Wii Sports Resort for the Wii. In the meantime, check out the North American commercial for the game.



Hiatuses and You: How Do I Indefinite Hiatus?

It's been a rough few months for my friends' sites. First in May, Kyle from World 1-1 announced he was making an indefinite hiatus after decreased activity on the site. More recently two blogs I follow have also announced they're going to be on break. SpinachPuffs is on, you guessed it, indefinite hiatus, while Psychoduck's (that's his name in real life) One Duck's Opinion is on an indefinite break.

Here's hoping all three sites come back soon! They will remain in my affiliates section regardless of any breaks. I'm looking forward to seeing new content from these talented lads.

Now I must announce I'll be going on hiatus, too. No, I'm kidding. Did I fool you for a split second? Regardless, as for now, stay tuned for a brand-new review tonight. It may come on Thursday and posted as Wednesday, but it'll get done!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP) Review

Happy Tuesday, everyone. We just finished watching those Shaq-a-licious Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time vids, so now let's shift gears to a new review. Star Ocean: The Second Story is a game I have fond memories of. Did this PSP remake rekindle some of them?

Another Dip Into the Star Ocean



In 1999, Star Ocean: The Second Story premiered on Sony's first Playstation. One of its selling points was the huge amount of different endings the game had. Of course, no one was going to play through the game from start to finish 30+ times to see them all. Who could have dreamt that we'd be able to play this same adventure in the palm of our hands a decade later? That's what we have with Star Ocean: Second Evolution, the PSP remake, and while it isn't as different of a leap than say First Departure was, Second Evolution is definitely a universe worth exploring.

Some special scenes get the animated treatment.

Star Ocean: Second Evolution immediately gives you a choice between two heroes to play as. You have a youth cast in his father's shadow, Claude C. Kenny, and Rena Lanford, a blue-haired girl who meets Claude in a forest. Which hero you choose will sometimes give you different story content as well as characters that can be recruited to your party. The talented swordsman, Dias Flac, for instance, can only be recruited when you play as Rena. Regardless, both Claude and Rena will be in each others' party despite which character you choose.

On a routine exploration trip on an underdeveloped planet, Claude C. Kenny approaches too close to a teleporter of sorts, sending him flying across the universe onto the planet of Expel. Not knowing where he is and after falling a monstrous beast in a venerable forest, Claude meets up with Rena Lanford. Rena notices that Claude used a "strange weapon" to defeat the beast. She then comes to the conclusion that Claude is the fabled hero of light. With the moniker to his name, Claude agrees to go with Rena to investigate the mysterious Sorcery Globe, an orb that when it crashed onto Expel, conveniently caused the planet's monsters to become violent. It's up to the two to follow every lead all the while visiting towns and castles, meeting new party members, and slaying vicious monsters.

The world map is fully 3-D.

The Private Action system from Star Ocean one is back. This system occurs when Claude or Rena enter a town by pressing the square button. Once inside a town, the party splits up and does their own thing. Depending on the point of the game you're at, many optional conversations will take place when you chat with one of your independent party members. Depending on your answers to any questions a member asks you, that party member's relationship to you or others will either strengthen or diminish. Private actions are key if you want to experiment with the 30+ endings Second Evolution offers. Additionally, something else that affects what ending you get is what members are in your party. You can have up to eight members in the party, and with more than eight characters able to be recruited, there's some difficult choices to make.

Private Actions from the first Star Ocean return.

Second Evolution is an RPG through and through following the traditional formula. You explore a verdant world map, gather information from NPCs to enhance the plot in towns, enter dungeons to gather treasures and maul monsters, and rinse and repeat. Sometimes you'll be enhancing the plot seemingly forever as dialogue tends to drag on a bit in many cases. The world map is 3-D allowing 360 degree movement of the camera whereas town and dungeon maps use 2-D prerendered graphics for an impressive effect. Dungeons feature every old school gamer's favorite, the random encounter.

Thankfully, battles take place in real time-- hence the action RPG aspect of Second Evolution. You control one of four battlers on screen while you select assignments to your AI teammates such as use as much MP as possible or stay away from the enemy. You can switch to any party member in battle as you please. Triangle brings up these options as well as items, symbology-- the magic of the Star Ocean series, as well as other tweaks. In combat you move along a 3-D plane, pressing X to select an enemy to run to and attack, as well as to use damaging special attacks with L and R shoulder buttons. Something annoying in battle is having a spell-caster. Since you can't skip spell animations, you'll constantly be seeing ten second start-ups for spells in battle. This is annoying after a short while.

Battles can get pretty hectic pretty fast.

When you're not bashing baddies to bits or scampering to and from nearby villages and spending your fol, Second Evolution features an incredibly deep skill system. This system allows any character to use skill points, earned by gaining an experience level, to learn new skills. These are helpful things like forging new weapons, armor, and items, battle skills, and other item creation benefits. The item creation system allows your characters to use raw materials found in shops and hidden in dungeon nooks and crannies in hopes of creating something good. The higher the character's skill level, the better of a chance that the end creation won't be crap.

Towns and dungeons have aged well.

On the presentation side of the galaxy, everything is adequate. Character portraits pop up for dialogue as well as voice acting. There's an incredible amount of scenes that feature voice work, and most of it isn't too shabby either. The music is still some of the best in the history of game music-- even if the PSP's speakers don't do it justice. It's just a fabulous soundtrack. Visually, the game is a bit dated now especially with the sprites and 3-D world map, but the 2-D elements like the dungeons and towns are still breathtaking.

Most dialogue in the game between characters is spoken.

Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a worthwhile remake of a Playstation One classic. There's so much to do in the forty hour campaign that you might get lost in it (including one impossibly hard optional dungeon and resulting final boss). If you're looking towards this adventure or First Departure, definitely look more towards this one. Star Ocean: Second Evolution features a well-varied cast, hours of content, a superb soundtrack, and some fantastic old-school action. If that seems like your bag, dig it, daddio.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.75/10]

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3) - New Videos

One of my most anticipated titles this year is the brand new Ratchet. After several yearly installments, it became apparent that the series needed something to make further entries feel just as fresh as their predecessors. Looking at the vids posted on the official Playstation blog, it appears we don't have to worry about nothing new being added!



Also, check out the brand-new Comic Con trailer for Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time! Insomniac Games hasn't done us wrong with a Ratchet game yet, and that streak may just be continuing this fall!

Monday, July 27, 2009

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Dog Days of Summer Edition

Welcome to the start of your week with SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs! What are my VGMs? Simply put, they are my favorite music tracks from various video games. Give 'em a whirl, you might be surprised! This week we look at LocoRoco, Nintendogs, and We Love Golf, for starters!

v361. LocoRoco - LocoRoco Green's Theme

Each of the multiple color varieties of LocoRoco have their own theme song dedicated to their personality. When entering a brief rhythm mini-game within a level, the LocoRoco you control perform an a capella version of their song.



v362. Nintendogs - Walking the Dog

I wanted to take my Nintendog and rub its face in its poop if he/she/he-she left a gift on the sidewalk. I didn't see a feature for that, so I was very upset. This is the jaunty theme played when you take your dog on a nice, leisurely walk. Perhaps you can pick up a present or two along the way!



v363. Super Mario All-Stars - Bonus Theme


In Super Mario Bros. or The Lost Levels, this quick and lively jingle would play when you were inside a secret bonus room. This may be the shortest VGM video yet, so pardon the short description!



v364. Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon - Treasure Hunter's Theme

This theme plays when you enter a trap room inside one of the many later dungeons of Final Fantasy Fables for the Wii. Those familiar will Final Fantasy IX will immediately recognize this melody from it. It's the perfect song to pump the player into slaying more monsters.



v365. We Love Golf! - Camelot Links Golf Course


Named after the development team behind this game, Golden Sun, and others, the Camelot Links Golf Course is the most challenging of the eight traditional-styled courses in We Love Golf! (Wii). Filled with medieval castles and fast-rolling greens, Camelot surely picked a course that truly represents their talent.



Sunday, July 26, 2009

TMNT (Wii, 360, PS2, PSP, GCN, PC) Review

Capping off this weekend of TMNT action in anticipation of TMNT: Re-Shelled, here's a classic review of the TMNT the movie the game the review. Hey, there's our old friend the recap section!

It's a shell of a time for a rental.


user posted image

With the movie already in theaters it was only a majesty for their to be a complimentary game for it. TMNT brings the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back into the spotlight with both the game and to a lesser extent, the game. Having not watched the motion picture, I cannot really tell you what the hell the story was about as the game really didn't have anything cohesive. Something about some rich guy who has apparently allied himself with the Foot Clan. It's a frivolity anyway. What is coherent of the story is told through comic book panels and the occasional CG cutscene most likely from the movie itself.

user posted image
I love being a turtle.

Gameplay is broken into two camps-- platforming and fighting. The platforming has your turtle hop, run across and up walls, trapeze flag poles, and various other acrobatic feats. These are all akin to Prince of Persia's aerial actions. No surprise there as the developer of TMNT is the same studio that did PoP. Leo or whichever turtle will leap across rooftops, climb scaffolding, shuffling along ledges, and navigating around dangers such as deadly smoke, fire, falling platforms, and other environmental hazards. The fighting portion is divided up within these platforming stages, so you will never be platforming and fighting at the same time. This portion of the game has you facing off against the Foot, street thugs, soldiers, and other henchmen. Most of this action is simple button-mashing. Sure each turtle has a different ability-- Leo can phase through certain objects, Raph can scale some walls with his sais, Don can pole vault over gaps with his bo, and Mike can hover by twirling his nunchuks around like a helicopter to cross gaps-- but there's really no strategy in normal fights.

user posted image
Mike can use his nunchuks to act as
a miniature helicopter to cross chasms.

One important thing to note is that this game is incredibly forgiving. There are generous amounts of continue points throughout the game's long levels, so when you die you just restart at one of the points with one of your infinite lives. In later levels you'll have all four turtles meaning a lot of health which regenerates over time. Even when you lose all your health you can jam on the A button to have your turtle rise to their feet. TMNT is short as well. I received all of the achievements in less than six hours. Why some of the achievements didn't include getting all A ranks in levels, beating all of the unlockable challenge maps, or buying everything in the "shop" is beyond me. It would have added longevity to an admittedly short game.

Graphically TMNT is beautiful on the 360. I really dug the art style on most levels save for the two monochrome levels that are annoying-- one of which has a shameless Rayman Raving Rabbids plug. Sound-wise the dialogue is mostly humorous and has all the turtle banter you'd expect. During the action though dialogue is repeated. Raph, I get it already. Johnny is here. Enough!

user posted image
Leonardo would like to see the famous
painter he's named after try that.

Ultimately TMNT has a lot going for it. The platforming is fluid and fun, I imagine it follows the movie well, and it looks gorgeous. Unfortunately all the fun and beauty lasted for me but six hours. Unacceptable for a sixty dollar game which honestly played great except for the button-mashing fighting parts. TMNT is a rental at the very least and a bargain-bin buy at most. Sorry, turtles, but the only green that matters besides you guys is money, and frankly, you aren't worth anyone's.

Story: Something about Turtles and a rich guy. I dunno. Watch the movie.

Graphics: Pretty, cartoony, and delightful to see. Not bad at all.

Sound: Mostly well-done. The music is orchestrated and epic.

Gameplay: Platforming is fun and very PoP-ish, but fighting is pretty boring and only fun for button-mashers.

Replay Value: Maybe if you wish to play through the game more than once, but there really is little incentive.

[SuperPhillip Says: 5.25/10]
- A rental for any turtle fan.

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