Platform: Wii (PS2)
ESRB Rating: E
Developer: Game Arts
Review by: Dan Braun
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up is a perfect example of cashing in on a popular franchise without having to do anything creative or fun. The game unabashedly flaunts itself as a game in the same fighting vein as the Smash Bros. series, but it is clearly an inferior title, due to lame voice acting, muddled animation and just a poorly-executed fighting system.
The game offers an array of modes, ranging from arcade beat-em-up to a convoluted story. Unfortunately, it all plays relatively the same, save for the addition of some terrible cutscenes that provide an abhorrent plot and an earful of some of the crappiest dialogue performances one would ever want to sit through.
Players can enter a battle tournament to decide who’s the strongest, only to have it interrupted by their nemesis, Shredder, whose team of baddies makes up the rest of the fights in the game. When players win, they can choose treasures, which are basically unlockable characters and costumes with which to endure the same garbage over and over again, but with new outfits.
The combat, which should be the core appeal of the game, is sloppy and repetitive, and never feels as clean or defined as Brawl. The handful of available moves for each character leaves much to be desired. Movement and jumping is erratic and unpredictable, leaving players to occasionally commit suicide by jumping off of levels unintentionally. Additionally, each character feels as if it plays the same as any other, offering little diversity. The character roster is also embarrassingly slim, leaving out many popular characters that could have been added at least for good will toward fans of the series.
Backgrounds for fights look decent, but the actual characters are unimpressive and look a bit hazy during some attack moves. The inclusion of mini-games in between fights is a cute touch, a la the Street Fighter series, but these games highlight the same unresponsive controls as the fighting component, and will often make players fail intentionally, just to get them over with. Honestly, this game has a very limited audience, and it’s definitely a step backwards for people looking for a successor to the Smash Bros. franchise.
For more info, http://tmntgame.us.ubi.com
Pads & Panels received a copy of the game courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.