I was finally able to get my hands on this game via Steam after months of anticipation. Did it live up to my expectations? For the most part, yes. Is the game everything it can be? No. There's some good and some bad.
Right when you start the game, we're greeted with the awesome soundtrack "TURTLE POWER" by Partners in Kryme. For anyone who is familiar with the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will know it well. This gives us an idea of how far back the developers go with this franchise. It's evident that they grew up with TMNT like the rest of us.
Visually, the turtles looks have changed and it can get a love/hate response. They look like actual turtles in design, with nostrils and turtle-like skin. Which makes sense because they are turtles, but is off-putting for some who grew to know the turtles without nostrils. All the turtles personalities remain intact, which may alleviate any visual aspects of the turtles some may disagree with.
Graphically, the game isn't that impressive, but it gets the job done. There's texture pop-in that are very noticeable when starting the level. Many enemies look horrible compared to the turtles. You can tell the developers put more time into the turtles, compared to the rest of the characters in the game. The flashing effects used when fighting enemies can be too distracting to see what's happening. Overall, the game looks like it was released in 2008.
Gameplay, has a learning curve that may take some time adjusting to. If you were expecting TMNT: Out of the Shadows to play like the Batman Arkham games, you would right. The gameplay style is very similar. It's not as refined as Batman's gameplay, but with practice and upgrades, it might be even more technical. You can get really complex with the combat variety and that's what makes this game shine. If you can think of an attack to do with a chosen turtle, chances are you can probably do it. You can switch between turtles with a press of the directional pad during gameplay. All the turtles are at your command, each with their own unique styles to mix and match.
The Story, while it's like the new Ninja Turtles animated series, is different. For one, April isn't a teenager, she looks 10 years older, and was already trained by Splinter in this storyline. The game is like a combination of the turtles we knew and the turtles we have now. It's a level balance between them. Enemies such as The Shredder, Baxter Stockman, The Kraang (The alien race now), the foot and other enemies make their in the game to battle the turtles. Pretty much everyone you would expect the turtles to fight.
For $15 dollars, I'd say the game worth the price. I would be WAY more critical if it released as a $60 dollar game. I think the big critic's distaste for this game is overblow. Overall the game is okay. It has a good idea about how a Ninja Turtles game should be like unlike the Ps2 Ninja Turtles games. Does it match the Arcade Ninja Turtles or the original Turtles in Time experience? Not quite...but it's still worth a look.