Video games that bear the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ (TMNT for short) name have quite a legacy to live up to, both inside and out of the arcade. It is a tough legacy to properly honor however due to both the popularity and sheer quality that titles from this franchise used to have. With the turn of the century, we’ve seen a few new games starring those lovable “heroes in a half-shell”, mostly for consoles and/or PC. Unfortunately, these games were somewhat mediocre and unpolished, compared to the best games of the past like Turtles in Time, or even the first TMNT for arcades. Even Platinum Games, a modern developer famous for instant hits like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and NieR: Automata, couldn’t live up to the legacy. In a turn of events that they would probably like to forget, their take on TMNT, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, was pulled from the digital shelves after less than a year of release.
Nevertheless, the continued failure of games about our favorite crime-fighting turtles hasn’t deterred certain companies from taking another crack at it. Back in October 2017, arcade developer Raw Thrills was discovered to be diligently working on a new beat ‘em up game based on the TMNT. The game, which was simply called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is based on the latest cartoon series that aired on Nickelodeon from 2012 to 2017. This offered a slightly different take on the famous reptiles, at least in terms of aesthetics.
The cartoon was somewhat popular, spanning 5 seasons and 124 episodes, which followed the Turtles’ misadventures as they battle against the foot clan as well as Shredder and Krang’s interdimensional forces. The series even spawned an upcoming sequel, named Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is scheduled to air later this year. If you haven’t heard of either of these and were a fan of the Ninja Turtles during your childhood, the only thing you need to know is that, in terms of quality, these have been the best Turtles cartoons since the ones that aired through the late 80’s/early 90’s. In this sense, it’s obvious that some would try to capitalize on this popularity in the video game industry. However, as of yet, none (not even Platinum Games) have managed to recreate the quality offered by the ‘89 beat ‘em up game or even Turtles in Time.
The new game, however, seems to be on par with the previous ones, at least in terms of gameplay. Aesthetically, it could be either hit or miss, depending on if you enjoy the new art style and design of the characters. The action is smooth and flows properly. The animations have just the right amount of flashiness to keep the player engaged at all times. But, most importantly, the game seems actually fun to play and is a nod at the popular titles of the past.
But don’t take our word for it, in less than 6 months than its initial development reveal at the hands of Raw Thrills, the game is already shipping and available for play at several locations across the country. According to an article featured on Arcade Heroes, the game was already made available at Round1USA for a weekend back in April. The article also mentioned some feedback from an arcade operator based in South Carolina, who received the game late last month. The operator stated that “people seem to be enjoying it so far”, but he was still running some tests in both arcade and redemption mode to compare earnings. In this same article, you can also view some high-quality pictures straight from the arcade floor, which shows off the graphics and design of the cabinet which, in our opinion, looks simply amazing.
A week ago, the game began formally shipping in full to all locations. Alongside this release, the developer, Raw Thrills, also published a sales trailer directed at arcade operators on their YouTube channel. The video was then taken by other distributors and added to their channels as well. Sadly, as soon as the trailer was published by Raw Thrills, it was taken down, with most of the versions published in distributor channels following in turn. It featured mostly a 3D-model of the game’s cabinet, with floating text flying across the screen that explained some of the cabinet’s best features, including the awesome sound system, as well as the 3-year warranty on the PC. There is also some gameplay footage, but it runs at a much slower 30FPS than the 60FPS it usually runs at during gameplay. In short, the trailer focused on features meant to increased sales for arcade operators, and less about showing the actual game off to the players.
Regardless, it seems like the new TMNT game definitely deserves the hype it’s getting. With luck, it might even live up to the legacy of the popular games of the 80’s and 90’s.
Here at PrimeTime Amusements, we like to keep ahead of the curve in arcade game rental and sales and pride ourselves in providing the best service in the country. If you’re looking for a game in particular, or have a few questions about the industry, feel free to give us a call at 1.800.550.0090 or to swing by at 5300 Powerline Rd. Suite 210, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33309.