My original intent was to do an impressions article on the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game by Activision; however, I had to change that when I realized I had a few too many projects going on. Since I’ve found Let’s Plays require a little less work on the back-end than other videos I’ve produced so far, I decided we’d just do a blind Let’s Play of it instead. Between then and now, I’ve been reduced to talking about it in written form.
What happened? Prepare yourself for the strange and unusual journey that Katsa and myself embarked on during the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Video Game.
To begin, I will admit that I should have known better when I saw the trailer for this game. It’s almost as though someone saw my 4 issues with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadow‘s first trailer and answered some of those concerns with the new game’s trailer. They were obviously using the Nickelodeon license and art style. They also showed gameplay. Of course, the gameplay didn’t look terribly great, but that could be just an early build. It did not answer the other two problems I had with Out of the Shadow‘s first trailer though — time table for release and developer choice — and in fact, I didn’t see the developer listed on the trailer initially.
I found only after receiving the game that the French developer Magic Pockets was behind this one. After some brief research, I found that Magic Pockets were best known for mobile/portable games. The only big series that they continuously produced was the My Petz series for the Nintendo DS — which I’ve never played because it looks like a Nintendogs rip-off. I would know them for only one of their products, Harry Potter’s Quidditch World Cup for the Playstation 2.
Quidditch World Cup, as the name implies, tried to recreate the sporting event in the popular Harry Potter book and movie series. For the uninitiated, it’s like lacrosse or rugby on broomsticks. I remember liking the game at first, but as it drug on, it became more of a chore than an exhilarating experience. The fact that so much of the game was just recycled didn’t help either. This was a game I completely forgot I even played until I saw it on Magic Pockets’ wikipedia page. I apparently didn’t think twice about trading that game out either, as it’s nowhere to be found in my collection now.
I had complaints at first about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows‘s pedigree also, but looking back, I realize those were mostly unfounded. If ‘A’ string developers are teams like Blizzard, Bioware, Infinity Ward, or Valve, RedFly Studios sits comfortably on the ‘B’ string. They have a few hits and misses, but aren’t a terrible developer choice overall. Magic Pockets is not known for good games; they’re not known for laughably terrible games. They’re not really known at all. If they’re on a string at all, we’re talking the ‘D’ or ‘E’ at best.
I learned all this before even opening the box; my concern only mounted upon prying open the shell case. I opened it up before we were fully setup to peek at the instruction booklet, just to see if there was any indication of what we were getting into. Inside was a small insert advertising the IDW comics on one side, and the DVDs of the TV show on the other. In addition, there was a small fold out, which was essentially a checklist of the various Ninja Turtles products you could buy. In other words, besides the disc, there was nothing but advertisements inside. No sign of an instruction manual at all. On the inside of the box cover insert, it said you could download the instructions off of Activision’s manuals webpage — which turned out to be a lie, as there were no Ninja Turtles games listed. So, it looked like our blind let’s play was going to be very blind indeed.
I had no idea what we were in for.
Stay tuned, as our adventure continues when we actually start playing the game.
I do not own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Activision, or any property mentioned in this article. I only own the opinions formed here, and the learning experience this product has granted me through this ordeal. Opinions were formulated from the XBox360 version of this game.