As I stated earlier, I ran into a hiccup loading up the first video of the Let’s Play due to copyrights on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles via Viacom. It was most likely due to the entirety of the Turtles theme song and the entirety of the show opening plays starting up the first stage. It’s possible to just edit the theme and opening out, but I preferred avoid another possible mark by not uploading it at all.
It’s at this point the curtain was being pulled back just a little bit for me. I understood that these companies were out to make money, but I never really imagined what Activision and Nickelodeon/Viacom’s true intentions with this game ended up being, however.
Please note that I am not accusing Activision, Viacom, or anyone associated with these companies of any wrongdoing, the following is the opinion of Nyuuron, which could be entirely wrong.
If Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows had only one flaw, it was simply over ambitious. It was so crammed full of game variety that it simply didn’t have the resources to fully flesh out anything perfectly. Meanwhile, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Video Game is the exact opposite. The later feels cheap, comes with more advertisements for other products, and can easily be beaten in a weekend, if not a single night. These two games were released within two months of each other, so as to be easily compared.
This was intentional.
The game with better game-feel, an actual art style of it’s own, and a developer with more pedigree was released as a download-only title. The cheap license cash-grab was given a retail release with a price more twice that of the downloadable title.
But , why?
The answer is money.
Activision sees more per dollar spent on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows than it does on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Video Game, due to the difference in overhead expenses (i.e. Out of the Shadows having very few or almost none). Activision prices the retail game, not at a full $60, but significantly higher price than it’s downloadable cousin, because it knows the smart shopper will choose the cheaper product.
In the meantime, Activision also plants the seeds of doubt into the retail release system gamers supported this summer. The dichotomy of these two games leads consumers to ask, “If the downloadable title is really better than the retail release, maybe downloadable games aren’t so bad? Maybe if all games were downloadable, we’d get more good games like this and less of that other, terrible game.”
In addition to that, it’s clear Nickelodeon and Viacom were not really looking for a big project based on their license anyway. The prevalence of the advertisements in the box, the proliferation of the latest toys in the game, and the lack of passion behind the feel of this game is all evidence to that. This was another product to geared to sell more toys and advertise their TV show in another venue.
This is further evidenced by the marketing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Video Game, or should I say ‘the lack thereof’. The game has seen two trailers now, one of which was released far from the actual release date. The other released the day after the game launched for some unknown reason. The title of the game is vague and unspecific, so that finding information on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Video Game is almost impossible given all the other Ninja Turtles material available. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Video Game (what Amazon and the trailers refer to it as) tends to bring up other older titles in searches. Some sources call it Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2013), which tends to bring up information on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows instead.
Everything about the game’s release, marketing, and production reeks of corporate scheming.
I’ll admit, I was duped to thinking that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Video Game was an actual product meant for my amusement, or the amusement of any gamer. This was a passion project for no one involved; it was just a product to cash-in on the Turtles resurgence of popularity.
And so, speaking to anyone who happens upon this game in a bargain bin, or on a store shelf somewhere, don’t buy it. Don’t give the publishers your money. Even if you’re the most hardcore of hardcore Turtles fans, don’t get it because there’s nothing for you here. If you have to buy a new Turtles’ game, buy Out of the Shadows; given my revelation on these corporate conspiracies, I feel reluctant even recommending that now.
The Ninja Turtles are a great franchise, but they deserve more than to be used in this manner.
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.