Game Review: TMNT Out Of The Shadows [PS3/Xbox360]
So what was the first thing I noticed when I started up Out Of The Shadows? The Turtles? The controls? The nostalgia…actually yes…but not in the way you all might be thinking. The main menu has the T.U.R.T.L.E Power theme song (or at least the intro) from the original live action Turtles film from 1990. All the memories from that film rushed back so I went to YouTube to find the full song and listen away. (Posted below for ease) After I had endured the classic tune I was ready to jump in and start playing away. Great start, does this mean it only gets better…or only gets worse.
Out Of The Shadows is much more graphic heavy game than the classic Arcade title that everyone loved. I’m not sure this is because they are getting ready for the live action / CGI film that is due out in 2014 by Michael Bay (Don’t want to talk about it), so they are trying to give them a more realistic look. Although the game does seem to follow the current Turtles cartoon series that’s on our TV screens at the moment. With the purple Dragon, Foot Clan and the Krang alien race all being present.
I have encountered a couple of graphical glitches during my arcade playthrough where I have disappeared through a wall and walked underneath the walkway. So the game is far from glitch free.
The controls can be rather fiddly at times as well. It starts off rather simple, X to punch, Y to kick and B to counter. Watching the demos, you may think that the combat system is similar to the way the recent Batman titles have worked. Well I can’t blame you, but it does feel different. Maybe it’s just not as smooth as Batman’s. Whilst countering, there are things you have to keep your eye out for on the enemy, a small circle that appears underneath the enemy means he is about to hit you. Depending on what colour this circle is depends on what counter you can do, if any. White circle means that you can just press counter and you should be OK. Yellow circles mean you have to hold counter. While the green circle means a jump attack that can’t be countered. Reading it it does seem rather simple and easy to carry out, but trying to spot these circles while you are swamped with enemies or trying to control the camera (see below) can be an utter nightmare.
The camera system for the single player side of things is, put bluntly, terrible. It seems over sensitive and extremely awkward. When the fights get rather heated with multiple enemies on the screen, you will be jumping and (hopefully) countering all over the place, which as you can imagine, leaves you sometimes losing who you are looking at or where your next target has gone. What this game lacks the most is a ‘lock-on’ function, as during battles you will just be pointing in the right direction while entering a combo and hoping that someone is there. During this time you find yourself constantly turning the right thumbstick to try and find out who your turtle will be in front of when he lands. There have been multiple times during certain battles that I have been trapped against a wall and an enemy, unable to see because of the camera trying to turn itself round to get a ‘better’ angle. This alone has made me lose my cool in battles, it’s not the losing, it’s the bad camera work.
After you have gotten the basics down for punch and kick, next comes the more advanced moves. These are where it can get annoying. Preforming normal moves builds up your special bar. You can have up to 3 bars at a time and you can use them by holding down the right trigger and moving the right thumbstick in a certain movement to perform a move. The movements are the same for each turtle, quarter rotate, 180 and 360 (you unlock them as you level up). The special move is guided by your combo meter. Once you reach a combo of 10, you are able to perform a TKO (Turtle Knock out) move which, as you can guess, knocks out the opponent. To do this you have to hold RB and press X/Y/B (Depending on what you’ve unlocked) to usually take down an enemy with one hit. But if you manage to miss, then your combo meter will reset and you will have to build it back up again to use this attack.
For some reason, the movies that split up the gameplay aren’t done in real time, instead they have decided to go with the comic-book style approach to tell the story of the game. Although every one does love a nice bit of comic style, I’m unsure about why they have gone from the realistic graphics to comic book movies. It’s like going from one side straight to the other. I feel that the game would’ve looked better if it was one complete style instead of a mix of the two.
Summing up, the arcade side of Out Of The Shadows is the best part of it. It’s a side scrolling beat ‘em up without having to mess around with the camera constantly to see where you are aiming. The downfall is that you have to unlock the levels by playing through the main campaign first. So either way, you are going to have to try and endure that horrible camera. Other than that it is a decent game, but is it worth the £10? It’s hard to say. I’m glad I’ve got it and glad that I’ve had the chance to play it, but does it beat the original side scroller? No chance. You can see the first level from the arcade side on the video that I have posted below:
Out Of The Shadows is out on the Xbox Live Store now for £9.99 and will be available on the PSN from the 25th September.