Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Review

It’s certainly been a while since this film came out but it was finally time to give it a whirl. The first film definitely left quite a bit to be desired. I still believe that the designs for the Turtles were a big mistake and it’s a big part of why the films did not do so well. They just don’t look like the Ninja Turtles and that doesn’t change here. What does though is that we get better characters here. The inclusion of Casey was huge and definitely an excellent move if you ask me.

The movie starts with the Turtles sneaking in to watch a Knicks game. I can only assume that they were watching another team beat the brakes off of them the way every team seems to. It’s hard to remember the last time the Knicks were very good. Well, after blowing their cover they head home. The Turtles find out that Shredder has been busted out of jail and has some kind of big plan involving mutating people into powerful soldiers. You can also reverse the formula to turn the Turtles back into humans which has Donatello’s interest piqued. If such a thing is possible then the team may need to consider it. Meanwhile Casey needs to prove that he isn’t making the story about Shredder being broken out of jail up so he has to catch Bebop and Rocksteady. It won’t be easy though because those two are now a lot more powerful than they once were.

So I would say this film does enough where I would call it a pretty entertaining action film. I wouldn’t say it does anything amazing or stands out in particular but I just have to give it a certain amount of kudos. For example, as I mentioned Casey is an excellent character. The guy keeps everyone on notice all the time which is exactly what I want to see. He’s quite earnest even if he doesn’t realize when other characters are being sarcastic to him. He’s also surprisingly good at fighting. I think one of his standout scenes was when he took down a bunch of Foot Clan members. Not just anyone can do that or at least in theory people can’t just do that. So that was pretty neat. In fact, he was my favorite character in the film.

Falcon shows up as well and he’s quite famous now after the events of the first film. Thing is, I have to say that he earned it. By taking credit for what happened last time he is putting himself as a target for all the villains out there so you can’t say that the task came without risk. That’s pretty big and when the going gets tough he still does do his best and helps out the group despite it putting him at risk. I just don’t see how you can root against this guy. He’s dependable and has a lot of confidence but you absolutely need that confidence if you’re going to succeed in the dangerous world of TMNT.

The Turtles are still not great characters although I would say they’re a little better than in the first film aside from Leonardo. So in this film Leonardo is turning into one of those leaders who doesn’t care much for differing opinions. When he shuts down the idea of turning back into being a human he doesn’t give the other Turtles a chance to weigh in and even lies about it. He acts like he’s above the rest of the Turtles and this definitely isn’t earned. He gets them into a whole lot of trouble and I would say that everything after that scene was his fault in at least some way. If he had just been square with the others then none of this would have happened at all. It was an odd direction for his character to go.

At least he did something though. Splinter did nothing in the film and really had no point being here. I suppose the writer couldn’t think of anything for him to do? It’s just odd that he would only watch as the Turtles went out to fight each time and never tried to help. Maybe he’s just too old at this point or something like that. Not sure if I totally buy into that though. Then we’ve got April who’s the main heroine here. Her first scene definitely seems like it’s here for no reason other than fanservice but other than that she looks good and is a dependable ally. She digs up a lot of the initial information on the villains to keep things rolling and as a human she’s the only person who can handle some of the more direct missions. The Turtles can’t exactly go aboveground and be seen after all.

Rebecca is the Police Chief but she definitely didn’t look great. She’s just not a very reasonable character the whole time and is always getting in the way of the heroes. You’d think that she would at least have listened to the main characters a bit before just dismissing them all. It took Casey 5 seconds after reading the report on Bebop and Rocksteady to figure out where they were but she didn’t think to check it? Definitely a rookie mistake there that’s for sure.

As for the villains, fans of the Shredder will not be happy with his portrayal. He’s ultimately no more than a minion here and he never even gets a real fight scene. He’s just the side show here who follows orders. He also gets overwhelmed pretty quickly. Krang gets the true mastermind position here although he doesn’t appear a whole lot. He can definitely fight though which automatically helps make him seem pretty legit. Bebop and Rocksteady are mainly doing all the real work here. They have some crude humor moments that aren’t very good but also some solid humor scenes that actually can be effective. I think their best joke here was when one of them commented that he thought he was starting to put on weight so the other one started off pretty emotionally by saying it wasn’t true only to turn the tables and say that he was super fat.

The two of them have a really solid bond there which is always nice to see. It can be a bit rare among villains to have a pal after all. Another solid moment was when they said they were done being errand boys only for Shredder to show up and say that he specifically needed those. They were ready to graduate up to a different minion title but they were just too slow at the end which really cost them. I suppose at the end of the day it just wasn’t meant to be. One final villain is Baxter Stockman. He’s not nearly as fun as he was in the 2003 show but he does keep his intelligence here. He can be very excitable the whole time but also easily tricked as a result. The ending definitely doesn’t go the way he thought it would.

The effects are pretty solid aside from the Turtle designs. I still don’t know what they were thinking with those. The action scenes can be good as well although surprisingly there aren’t a whole lot of them. It feels like large chunks of the film go by without any. When we do get the action scenes though then the film does deliver. It’s definitely got that proper comedy/action blend going.

Overall, Out of the Shadows feels like a step up from the first film but it’s not quite at the level where it could be yet. For example there are many other films I would sooner check out over this one. This one definitely will have its time of course but after the initial watch there wouldn’t be much reason to check it out. If you’re a big TMNT fan then you should though. The scenes with Falcon and Casey would be the big reason to watch this film since they carry a lot of the scenes. Any scene with those two in it is bound to be a winner. I can’t exactly say the same for the Turtles though who don’t even come close to matching those two. Maybe they should rename it to Casey and the Turtles for next time. The humor can be hit or miss at times but at the end of the day this is a pretty lighthearted action film with quick pacing. At least you will not be bored while watching and I expect you will be reasonably entertained.

Overall 6/10

Mutant Turtles: Superman Legend Review

It’s time to look at an old TMNT OVA. This is the kind of OVA that is so obscure you could easily be a big fan of the franchise and not have heard of it. I certainly wouldn’t fault you for missing out on it, but once you know that it exists you have to change that. It’s a very different take on the series which throws in giant robots, cosmic fights, and stuff like that. The first episode even seems to be a sequel to the manga I read a long time ago which is definitely cool. It’s very comedic and all, but it’s a fun enough story.

The first episode involves Krang and Shredder working to revive the dark fairy of legend. When they wake her up she will destroy the world which will eliminate the turtles once and for all. Shredder isn’t too happy about losing the planet, but he knows better than to defy Krang so he goes along with the plan. The Turtles quickly find out about this and step in to stop him. The rest of the special is basically a series of big fights which concludes with a battle in space with planets hanging in the balance. That’s not something you’d ever expect to hear about TMNT.

This episode was pretty good thanks in large part to the nonstop action. It was cool to see the back and forth as both group started out in base form and then gradually transformed more and more. It was also a little nostalgic seeing their manga forms make a comeback. I also can’t stress enough how nice it was to have a villain who could actually shatter planets with a single energy blast. She really felt like she didn’t belong in a TMNT adventure in the best possible way. It was like throwing an evil Sailor Scout into the mix. The turtles are lucky that they had the Saint form and even then they would have lost. She still had the upper hand and that’s not even considering that they had a 60 second time limit. She is truly the strongest TMNT villain of them all.

Then you’ve got the second episode which is certainly weaker. The turtles head to Japan where it turns out that the Shredder and his lackeys are attacking Splinter’s men. There is a ghost haunting the castle and artifacts of immense power. These gems will allow the turtles to transform again or it may just give the villains the upper hand. Either way the turtles have to make sure that they stop Shredder and his cronies but it won’t be easy. The turtles are in unfamiliar territory after all and haven’t exactly looked all that impressive so far. Although the same can be said for the villains.

Compared to the first episode this one just felt pretty uneventful. I also think it’s because this one was more dialogue based than the first episode and since this series isn’t exactly known for its writing that didn’t work very well. The ninjas who were made up for this special also weren’t all that interesting. There’s nothing really wrong with this episode, but I missed the high stakes and the cool action scenes. This should have been episode 1 instead.

In terms of animation it’s got that old Transformers vibe. It holds up pretty well without looking all that special. I’d consider it to be fairly standard animation quality, but that’s more than good enough to give you some good action scenes. I really did enjoy the fight between the divine turtle and the dark fairy. It was the highlight of the whole special. The battle with Godzilla Shredder was also really good. The energy blasts are nice and you may even recognize some of the sound effects. Animation is probably the best part of this OVA. If it had a good script and was taken more seriously this could have even been great.

Alas, that wasn’t the case. This is still a comedy with a sub-par script. It is really being carried by the animation. It’s not boring or dull though which is important. You will ultimately have a good time with these 2 episodes and is that not the point of a good TMNT adventure? I think the short length also helps. This may not sound quite right but some series are better in small doses. If this had 30+ episodes it would probably end up hurting itself more because the gags would get old very quickly. As a two episode OVA it doesn’t really get hit by this. It’s different enough where the jokes don’t grate on you as much as they otherwise could have. It’s just entertaining in a corny kind of way.

There’s not much to say about the characters. All 4 of the turtles basically have the same personality with Michelangelo just being a little goofier than the other 3. Splinter looks and feels old here as he steps in to help once in a while but is basically a non factor. He can’t even transform so he is really left in the dust. Meanwhile Shredder feels like just another lackey. At least he talks back to Krang here and there, but ultimately it feels more like he is trying to hype himself up. He knows that he won’t actually stand up to Krang. At the end of the day Krang bullies him around whenever he feels like it. Krang definitely gets the most respect from the villains, but even he is comic relief for the most part. His plans aren’t always super well thought out and his robot body is super slow so the turtles just make fun of him and leave. They don’t even bother fighting him at times which is the ultimate disrespect. You might even feel bad for him at times.

Overall, Superman Legend has a cooler title than the OVA deserves, but it’s a quality watch. These may not be the turtles that I grew up with, but I’m glad that I got to see them at least once in a Transformers homage of sorts. I don’t really expect we’ll ever see that kind of thing nowadays so it was a good experiment. If you’re a really big TMNT fan then you owe it to yourself to watch this one. If you’re not then I suppose you’re not missing much by skipping out on it. There’s no real downside to at least checking it out though.

Overall 6/10

Mutant Turtles 3 Review

It’s time to take a quick look at another TMNT manga adventure. This one is a bit longer than the first title although it looks like all of the chapters were still compiled into one volume. This one is certainly not quite as impressive as the first manga though. It’s definitely got a much stronger comedy base and additionally the art isn’t as good. It’s a reasonable adventure of course, but there isn’t much replay value and it won’t leave much of an impression on you either.

The basic plot is that the turtles are relaxing at home when April storms in. She has found another trinket to give to the turtles even though they are tired of getting this stuff. Unfortunately this new item is a magical scepter and it transports her and the turtles far into ancient history. The turtles must now find the scepter and rescue April so they can return home. It’ll be difficult though as Nobunaga rules the country with an iron fist and there are villains at every turn. Still, the turtles have trained for this so they are ready to leap into action!

Being a comedy isn’t a bad thing per say especially as the turtles are known for this. At the same time, it’s just hard to go into this title after the first one because it is a definite downgrade. The turtles no longer strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. They’re just here to have a good time. The artwork even makes them seem a whole lot younger. That’s more style than anything else, but it’s still not that good. This artwork doesn’t work for fights or anything like that. It feels like the equivalent of a movie tie-in game. There just isn’t quite as much effort put in here as you would see in the average manga. It’s not as if you’d expect a lot for this title though.

One gag that was pretty reasonable is when Leonardo seemingly destroys Nobunaga. It definitely seemed too violent to be real and naturally there is a plot twist to it. It definitely made you rethink a lot of the earlier scenes featuring the legendary Nobunaga. Beyond that I can’t say that any of the gags particularly worked. This style of humor just doesn’t really cut it for me. In general I think it works better once the characters have been established a bit more. With these turtles they try too hard to be funny right from the start.

That is what dooms many comedy titles. When you’re a series with more than one genre you can usually throw comedy in while having some kind of story structure. If you’re just a comedy then you’re probably in trouble. You could make the case that this is a comedy/adventure so it does hit the two genres, but it’s clear that comedy is the most important genre for this one. Art also plays a huge factor in all manga titles, but it is especially key for comedy titles since a lot of gags tend to be visual as well. This one couldn’t get a laugh out of you for anything!

I suppose that having such a different setting is a reasonable gamble on the franchise’s part to spice things up. It’s just one of the worst locales they could have picked though. It would have been immensely more satisfying to see the turtles hang out in the city and fight the Shredder. The classic enemies are where it’s at, especially compared to fighting old guys from history who actually do exist. I would say that the manga should have showed off what was happening in the human world a little bit more, but at the same time the scenes we do get there are pretty painful so maybe this is actually for the best.

Nobunaga is a reasonable villain even if he is a bit generic. I’m not sure what the manga was going for in the end with how his character acts though. Was his fighting spirit completely broken or was he never all that brave to begin with? He’s basically begging for his life at the end and has no dignity left. Then we have a secret final boss of sorts as another villain decides to make his move, but he’s even less intimidating than Nobunaga. There’s definitely no reason why the turtles should bother worrying about him.

Overall, Mutant Turtles 3 is definitely a turtles manga that you’ll only want to check out if you are a really hardcore TMNT fan. There really isn’t any other reason to read it and you may as well just watch the movie if you’re curious about the plot. There are some decent ideas here like the mecha turtle and I also did enjoy Nobunaga’s top two lieutenants who were actually pretty tough. It just isn’t nearly as interesting and creative as it could have been because the art isn’t very good and the writing is definitely sub par. That’s a bad combination if I’ve ever seen one. I still wouldn’t call the manga bad, but it’s just not very interesting.

Overall 5/10

Mutant Turtles Gaiden Review

It’s time to look at a quick TMNT one shot that came out a while back. Unlike the last two titles I read this one is a full volume so there’s more of a story to tell. Each of the 4 stories are fairly stand alone but there is continuity here. It’s a fun enough TMNT story and one that fans should enjoy as it’ll definitely remind you of the 80s cartoon. The turtles are ready to fight, but they’re really just interested in the pizza. Meanwhile Shredder is up to his usual schemes.

The first story gives us the quick introduction of the turtles. April managed to find out about the Foot Clan, but naturally this means she is on Shredder’s hit list now. The Turtles save her from being kidnapped, but the Shredder hasn’t given up yet. At this point in the game the turtles are pretty confident about their skills and I suppose they should be since they handle the underlings with absolute ease. The Shredder still appears to be above them though.

The second story has the Turtles framed as a new group of turtles appear and are stealing gems. It turns out that Shredder built 4 turtles of his own that have copied the skills of the real turtles. This made them into perfectly deadly copies who seem to be stronger than the main ones. Fortunately Splinter shows up with a pep talk to whip the turtles into shape so they start to make a comeback. It’s definitely clear why Splinter is the leader of this group. Without him the turtles would be doomed.

Next up is probably the story with the highest stakes. Shredder is finally ready to unleash his doomsday weapon on the world. It turns out that this is in the form of a giant robot. The Turtles almost immediately give up once they see it so it’s lucky that Splinter was in the neighborhood. While the actual robot’s design may not have been amazing, it was nice to see Shredder come to close to world domination.

The final story is probably the oddest one of the bunch. That’s because it’s a total comedy while the others tried to be serious. It also decides to have Japan be a stereotype as everyone has buckteeth. It’s certainly out of left field and I don’t know what the author was going for here. Then we find out that Shredder’s big plan it to use the Muramasa sword to turn April evil, but by mistake he gives it to her best friend who decides to beat Shredder up. If you ever wanted to see him running for his life while asking for mercy this is the one for you.

So, that’s the TMNT collection. The art is pretty sound throughout so that’s good. It’s a pretty pleasant read as a result and it’s easy to go through the chapters. As far as the writing is concerned, I suppose it’s good. Ignoring the final story which was a full comedy, the others did a good job of capturing the 80’s turtle vibe. The action scenes are fun when they happen even if they tend to be short. Shredder and the Foot always have a presence here.

If anything, fans of the turtles may just not like how quick they are here to give up. Also, the turtles don’t really have much of their respective personalities as they all tend to act the same. Mikey’s probably still the turtle who is the most into pizza and stuff, but we don’t see Raph being rebellious or Leonardo doing anything particularly as a leader. He’s just along for the ride like everyone else. Meanwhile the villains are all pretty generic to bad. I guess the only solid one would be Shredder’s boss and the volume ended before he could actually appear. If only the series could have kept on going.

A risk of the anthology format is always that you’ll run into some weak stories in the mix. Fortunately TMNT manages to avoid that. While the final story is the weakest, it’d not like it impacted the score or anything. I still think having a full ongoing adventure is always your best bet, but when the title succeeds I suppose I can’t have any real complaints. Each story was fun and had a fight scene. At the end of the day you can’t ask for much more than that.

Overall, there may not be a whole lot of memorable moments here that you’ll look back to down the line, but it’s still a fun volume that I’d recommend checking out. I still have two more TMNT titles to check out so we’ll see how those do. I expect they should be pretty good. With the exception of the Michael Bay movies, TMNT is typically a consistent franchise. The best version of it was back in the 2003 show, but the rest are still pretty fun. As long as you are ready for this then there should be no problems.

Overall 7/10

Turtles Forever Review

I finally got to see this film again. The last time I saw Turtles Forever was way back in 2012 so it’s been quite a while. That was also before I had actually seen the show so this time I got to watch it with the proper context. It’s definitely a fun adventure and a good way to close out this chapter of the franchise. It could have stood to include a little more action if you ask me, but that’s really the 2003 version’s thing so since this is a crossover, I guess they wanted to limit that a bit.

The film starts off with the 80’s turtles infiltrating the 2003 world and getting kidnapped by the Purple Dragons. After the real turtles save them from imminent destruction, they learn that the old Shredder has built a machine that can travel through dimensions. This Shredder decides to revive the main Shredder who promptly betrays the old version. He decides to eradicate all of the dimensions to destroy all of the Turtles around the multiverse. The Turtles will have to band together if they want to stop him.

The 2003 characters definitely take the spotlight for most of the film, which makes sense since it’s their home turf. Not to mention that they are typically known as the strongest incarnation of the characters anyway. They handle the 80’s characters rather easily and do a good job of making short work out of the minions. Casey and April also get a quick cameo, but since Casey is basically retired from fighting now, the two of them can only watch and hope for the best. Hun and Shredder both have big roles. Hun’s glory days are long past, but he still has his main theme working and does manage to get in the way of the heroes quite a lot. For the Shredder, it’s a mixed bag with him. This was easily not his best portrayal as the film decided to add in extra humor for the 80s characters and the Shredder is defeated several times. Being knocked out by the sleeping gas was a little unfortunate and then we also panicked when the Turtles charged at him near the end. It further proves the fact that he’s an amazing villain when he has the armor on, but he loses a lot of cool points when he’s in his alien form. He was still the most appropriate choice for the main villain of the film, but I would have liked him to have done more.

One slight issue with the film is that there really aren’t any battles. There are some general action scenes as the heroes take on scores on minions who can’t fight back, but no real fights. The Shredder doesn’t get to fight. Hun doesn’t really get to fight. As a result, there is nobody for the Turtles to go up against. I think that a good sword fight with Leonardo would have been cool. Granted, it was already established that the 80s Turtles can’t really fight, but we could have had them fight the original ones.

The 80’s characters were fun to have for the most part. I like the main Turtles. They brought back the pizza gimmick and are so out of touch with reality that they just do whatever they feel like doing. They ignore the danger and it doesn’t even register for them since they don’t have experience with it. Their weapons are a lot smaller than the 2003 version and they all have Michelangelo’s personality. It’s certainly a contrast to the main group. Unfortunately, their villains are less interesting. The Shredder is about as comic relief as a villain can get and is mocked quite a lot by the main Shredder. Krang has an intriguing burping gimmick that gets old real fast.

Finally, the original Turtles are pretty great. They do come off as rather unreasonable and why would they pick a fight with the others instantly, but not try to stop the Shredder when he’s apparently been messing up their city all day? Ah well, it gave us an excuse for a quick fight scene. I also liked how they shoved Raphael away when he tried making fun of the 80s versions. Raphael was pretty out of line there. It’s always nice to see that the original version of a character is hardcore, that’s how it should be and the black and white Turtles got the job done.

Turtles Forever gives some closure to various 2003 characters. Karai finally makes the tough call and distances herself from the Shredder, Hun finally became a Turtle, and Splinter has finally realized that there were other Turtles in the multiverse. I do think that the characters were very slow to pick up on what was actually happening here, but not everyone is cut out for time travel right? It was so unnerving that the Turtles didn’t even take prisoners in this show. They blew up one of the humans who got infected by the ooze and was changed into a monster. I was not expecting that and you have to feel bad for the humans, the Turtles shot and ran over all of them. Even 80s April O Neal didn’t have a happy ending as the villains got to her in the end after the Turtles left. The film was certainly a little more intense than you’d expect in some cases while not as intense in other ways.

The film is decently long so there is time for a lot to happen throughout. We get a lot of reunions and the heroes try to make a bunch of plans. It’s where there are some missed opportunities though. The film is long enough where it could have included a lot of other fights or more plot, but it kind of got stuck for a little while as the plot stalled. I have to admit, the movie could have been ever so slightly better with time management. Still, it accomplished what it set out to do by having the Turtles meet, interact, and then team up to fight the big villain. It’s a formula that works.

The animation is solid as always. The 2003 style just works really well with everyone. Seeing the 80’s Turtles in this futuristic environment was certainly fun. It was also cool to see the Turtles warp to different areas and then the animation would adjust as needed. That’s always one of the best parts of a crossover, letting the heroes see the other worlds. Of course, the best part is seeing the characters fight each other and we did have a brief skirmish with the original Turtles. As always, the music for Turtles Forever is good. We get to hear all of the classic tunes from the 2003 shows like Hun’s theme and Shredder’s classic sound effect. The action themes also work well and it should feel nostalgic since it’s like watching the show again.

Overall, Turtles Forever is a fun action movie and a good crossover event. Naturally, your enjoyment of the film will range based on how big of a TMNT fan you are. I imagine that people who watched both shows will enjoy it even more than those who watched one. It has good animation and a nice soundtrack to go along with the plot. I would have liked there to have been some more action and maybe a little more danger as well, but Turtles Forever is pretty good at keeping the TMNT tone that you would expect. I’m not sure if I can give it the nod over the CGI TMNT film as the best one in the franchise, but it’s very close. I haven’t seen the other one in a long time so it’s hard to say for sure. Regardless, I look forward to the next big (Non Michael Bay) TMNT film and hopefully we get a big theatrical crossover event someday. Hey…you never know right?

Overall 7/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) Review

It took a long while to get to this review, but I’ve finally made it. TMNT was one of the only big 90’s action shows that I had never watched from start to finish. Well, that finally changed and it certainly lives up to the reputation that the 90’s have created. I can see why no other TMNT show can top this one since it would be extremely difficult. This show handled all of the characters and lore perfectly. With solid action scenes, animation, and a great soundtrack, there is a lot to like here and not much to dislike. It can attract any and all action fans.

The show follows 4 Turtle warriors who become humanoid hybrids once they are exposed to a mysterious ooze. They are trained by a rat named Splinter who teaches them how to master hand to hand combat. They live in the shadows since the general public isn’t quite ready to handle them yet. They work to oppose the various gangs that are around like the Purple Dragons and the Foot Clan. The Turtles also obtain several allies over the years and make a lot of enemies as well. With 5+ seasons and a bunch of episodes along the way, you can bet that numerous obstacles stand in the way of world peace.

Let’s talk about the cast. Leonardo is the leader of the group as always and commands the team well. He trains the hardest and takes everything more seriously than his brothers. He is always calm and collected when dealing with the villains. With all of this in mind, surely he is the strongest right? I’d say that he definitely is. Raphael has always been known as the tough turtle, but in this show, he lags behind the others. Leonardo puts up a great fight against the Elite foot ninjas and just has way better showings in general when compared to the others. Leonardo temporarily became very hot headed like Raphael when his power was not enough to save everyone. It was actually a pretty fun phase and one episode in particular showed how changed he was. When two random guys with wings started a brawl in the city, both Raphael and Leonardo wanted to take them both out instead of talking it through. Leonardo became a better Raphael than Raphael. While Raphael was my favorite as a kid, Leonardo is definitely the best turtle this time, at least in this show.

Raphael is still the second best though. He talks a real good game and while he may not be as skilled as Leonardo or Michelangelo, he is still a strong fighter It would have been cool to have seen him get more one on one fights like what Leonardo got so we could get a better picture of just how strong he really is. There’s not much reason to dislike Raph and the guy makes a lot of good points on how the heroes shouldn’t be hiding all the time. It may have gone the X-men route if they had shown themselves to the world since I’m sure that the humans would try to attack them, but it would be good to get out of the sewer more.

Michelangelo is the comical character of the group and proves that natural talent can go a long way in this group. The other turtles train constantly while Mikey sits back and watches comic books, yet he ends up being a better fighter than Raph and Don. One would think that this is just a fluke, but he outshines them consistently. Mikey’s definitely a likable guy and this is probably one of the only TMNT products that can do him justice. It is very easy to badly write this kind of character since the constant jokes can easily get annoying to see. Luckily the writing is on point. The running gag of Raphael hitting Mikey is also voice acted well on Mikey’s part as he always manages to sound shocked no matter how often it happens. You almost feel bad for Mikey since it isn’t always his fault, but the Turtles are always eager to get into a fight.

Finally we have Donatello. He was always my least favorite member of the group since I always have preferred the fighters. He is written well like the others though and the team definitely does need his expertise on many occasions. Also it is not as if he can’t fight either. He is roughly at the same level as the other Turtles, he just prefers the gadgets angle to being in the fray. His staff is definitely a better weapon than the nun-chucks if you ask me, but it does lose to the twin sai and the sword. His weaponized truck was definitely Donnie’s best idea. Having that thing around was always super handy.

April and Casey are main supporting characters. Their romance could be a little dragged out and unnecessary, but I guess it was handled better than most. Casey makes for a good rival to Raphael, even if he is left in the dust by the end of the series. His beef with the Purple Dragons helped the threat to really hit home. His personality makes Casey a good rival to have around, but a power boost would have helped as well. April is like Lois Lane. She doesn’t have quite as much spunk, but isn’t afraid to get in on the action. She never got to really fight though which is too bad since she does know some mild hand to hand skills. Having a cool crime fighting outfit like in the CGI film would have been cool. She certainly helped the turtles out a lot by giving them a place to stay and providing pizza. The gang would have been sunk without her.

Time to talk about Bishop. It’s a bold move talking about him before most of the characters, but he was a highlight in the show and easily the best character. I can’t say that I had been expecting him to be so awesome so it was a very pleasant surprise. As you may know, I love seeing the government play a role in any action show where they have to deal with supernatural foes or meta humans. I also like it when they look good and Bishop certainly served the country well. He was actually overpowering the turtles when they fought despite being outnumbered 4-1. I dare say that he is the strongest character with no super powers in the show. He may barely count since he may have a super soldier serum or something like that, but I don’t think it was ever stated officially. Capturing Splinter, Karai, and besting the Turtles is really all the evidence you need. Not to take away from his hand to hand skills though, Bishop was just an exceptional character and it’s hard to do him complete justice on that regard. You really have to see the episodes to really appreciate how awesome he is.

Another character who was a surprise hit was none other than Baxter Stockman. I figured that he would be your average mad scientist. He would talk a good game, but would not be able to back it up in the slightest. Stockman may not have turned out to be some kind of intense hand to hand fighter, but he was a lot more confident than I could have expected. He keeps on talking back to Shredder and showing no respect even after getting his arms and legs ripped off. Even losing his whole body aside from his brain didn’t deter him. It’s pretty crazy that none of this caused him to lose his bark. In the end Shredder could not break him so that was pretty good bragging rights for Stockman.

Hun was essentially Stockman’s main rival so they were polar opposites. Hun was very strong, but not particularly smart. He wasn’t nearly as fun as Stockman though and could never hold his own episode in the same way. He made up for it by having some good fights though. He started out at a level where he could take on multiple turtles at once, but by the end they can all handle him rather easily. Another big villain was Karai. She was a little more noble than the Shredder. She was still a villain of course, but she preferred to take the turtles on in fair hand to hand battles. She was definitely quite skilled and proved to be stronger than the turtles one on one except for Leonardo. He would always have the slight edge over her although it was close.

We can’t go on in the review without talking about the Splinter right? As the sensei to the four turtles, he was definitely a force to be reckoned with. I’d say that Leonardo definitely surpassed him by the end, but Splinter never got too weak. He could hold his own and his age never really got to him. His cane could even be used as a weapon even if it was nowhere near as good as a sword. I still disagree with most of his fist decisions about not going to the human world though. It never made much sense and it still doesn’t. If they are going to be heroes, then they will have to confront the villains at some point won’t they? They gradually begin to make their own decisions though and this is especially the case when Splinter is written out of the show for dozens of episodes at a time. I can’t say that I really missed him to be honest.

Another major character in the mythos is the Shredder. He plays a major role in the series like you’d expect. The show took a big gamble as it decided to make Shredder an alien. The show pulled it off quite well so I had no qualms with it. I don’t care for the design, but at least we never get to see it all that much. When he is in the suit, this version of the Shredder still has the absolute best design. He even gets a robotic voice that makes him even more menacing. Shredder proves to be too powerful for the Turtles most of the time as you’d expect, but he never really got any power ups. As a result, I do think that Leonardo ended up surpassing him. Shredder is my third favorite villain in the series behind Bishop and Tengu Shredder. It should come as no surprise then that most of the episodes with the Shredder as the main villain are highlights. He always has a pretty good plan at the ready and action is constant throughout.

Tengu Shredder was another surprise hit although we should say that the surprise was very mild. I was expecting him to be pretty good the whole time, but he went above and beyond my expectations. He was essentially the Shredder, but even more intimidating and imposing. If you’re familiar with the show, then you’ll know that this is a pretty difficult feat to accomplish. His power level was also off the charts and if not for the Turtles getting serious upgrades as well, it would have all been over. To put this into perspective, you can’t even compare Tengu Shredder to the rest of the heroes and villains. Even powerful foes like the Shredder and Bishop are still meta humans. Tengu was above that and his physical stats were something out of an anime. It was a treat to watch.

The show did enjoy its array of Shredders so we got another one in the form of Cyber Shredder. He may have had less personality than the other two, but there’s not much to dislike with this guy. Since he is essentially a data clone of the Shredder, he retains the personality and fighting skills of the original with some data enhancements. He was another fine addition to the cast. Going back to more minor villains, I enjoyed the Evil Turtle Bot. His role in the show is tiny and I probably wouldn’t have thought much him if not for playing the video game. The game certainly made me see him in a new light since he was awesome there. He’s a pretty decent minion and actually gave the Turtles some trouble.

Another good minion was the Foot Tech Ninja. They may have been handled rather easily after their initial appearances, but they looked really good during the beginning. You can’t count these warriors out and they made good use of their tech. Even the normal Foot Soldiers are actually pretty cool minions. I could certainly get behind these guys at any rate. It’s important for a show to have good minions since you’ll be seeing them quite often. The best minions were certainly the Foot Elite though. They were able to hold their own against the Turtles and aside from Leonardo, I dare say that they were winning. They certainly didn’t earn the title lightly and since there are four of them, it makes for a fun fight against the four turtles.

Another faction was the Foot Mystics. They were pretty interesting since I remembered their original forms quite well, but wasn’t aware that they had a true form. I couldn’t take them very seriously as villains to be honest and they weren’t as impressive as the rest of the Foot. Their elemental abilities are handy to have though. Leatherhead is another supporting character that I wasn’t fond of. He became a good guy for a good portion of the series, but he always struggled with the dark side. He rarely got around to actually helping the heroes and while he is strong, his lack of hand to hand skills would have likely been exposed if he appeared more often.

The Ninja Tribunal was a powerful group of warriors who were so powerful that it was easy to assume they had entered the wrong show. These guys didn’t fit in with the others as with the whole season, but that didn’t take away from how awesome they were as characters. The group was pretty mean and I certainly wouldn’t trust them, but they were an imposing group. Were they over hyped? Yeah, they didn’t perform quite as well as one would have expected but at least they still did try to put up a fight. Their character designs and special abilities were pretty fun.

Another super group that may have been a bit out of place here was the Justice Force. They are a not very subtle homage of the Justice League and they tackle the threats that no one else would dare oppose. Unfortunately, we never really got to see how they would fare against the Shredder and the gang. Again, it’s almost as if it was a completely different show when these guys would show up. At most they may have met the Shredder very briefly in one of those alternate future kind of episodes, but I can’t really recall that with any certainty. Their version of Superman and Batman were definitely the highlights here. They acted the part well and did a good job when it came time to fight. Batman’s character didn’t actually join the group for a while, but he took the plunge in the end.

One character that I didn’t care for much was Renet. It’s not to much that she was a bad character, but that she always brought along bad episodes. Each episode she appeared in was a very painfully drawn out filler episode where you would just want the plot to return. She didn’t really add anything to the series and you would constantly just wonder what she was even doing in the show. It felt like some kind of crossover for the fans, but I don’t believe she was ever a big character so that didn’t work well. (At least for me)

Cody was a main character in the infamous Fast Forward season. He’s a nice enough kid and you could make a lot of comparisons between him and Chris from Sonic X. It does feel like he was forced into the series to make the Turtles a little more sympathetic since you could now put yourself in the kid’s shoes. It was a nice wrinkle that Cody was rich though. His uncle may have been crooked, but that didn’t stop Cody from trying to save the day. He’s all right, but the character is so generic that it is hard to dislike him. By the same token, you could dislike him because he is so generic. Serling was a much more charismatic supporting character that was introduced in the season. He got a lot of witty dialogue throughout and had some of the best facial expressions. He actually could fight when necessary and even became a suit of armor for Cody towards the end of the show. His attempts at humor usually worked quite well and fleshed out his character.

The Ancient One is the kind of character that you would expect big things from right? He taught Splinter’s master so he must be super strong? Well, the guy let himself go so now he’s very overweight and prefers to be the crude humor specialist of the show. It’s always sad whenever the guy is on screen and he never fights so that leads me to believe that he is actually not all that tough. It’s a shame, but I guess that’s what happens when you buy into the hype. He was a wasted character and one who luckily didn’t get to appear much.

Viral was a fairly intense villain who appeared in Fast Forward. She had some really potent abilities and it was hard to permanently destroy her since the data could keep on coming back over and over again. She certainly didn’t mess around and while her role was ultimately pretty minor, Viral left a good mark on the show. Another decent group of minor villains were the Dark Turtles. Leonardo’s certainly got the most personality and he came close to turning good even if he ultimately couldn’t make the switch. The other three were comic relief for the most part, but it was still nice to see a team of counterparts to take on the real Turtles.

Khan is one of those characters that will make you take a step back and wonder where the writers were going with him. When he first appeared, Khan got a lot of hype since he murdered the Turtles in the future. Well, after his initial appearance, Khan was treated as a lightweight. The heroes didn’t have to pay any special attention to him and just wrecked him as they would any other villain. I feel like the writers maybe forgot that plot or had to shelve it due to backstage drama and as a result, we skipped Khan’s entire character arc. It’s too bad since the character had a lot of potential and could have been one of the best if handled right.

Usagi was treated as a hype character and you could also say that he was a guest star since he has his own comic series to think about. Unfortunately, I definitely didn’t care much for his character. I’d say that his skills were drastically overplayed to make him appear to be an even match for Leonardo. His advice was never all that good and once Leonardo went into his toughness phase after not being strong enough to save the day, Usagi didn’t do much to help. He was called in to try and calm Leonardo down, but it didn’t work at all and Usagi was always more about talking than acting. The character was just irritating whenever he’d appear.

That was a lot of characters eh? Well, now lets look at the show as a whole. The first season really started the show off on a strong note and you could make a strong case for it being the best season. Shredder Strikes Back, Return to New York, and The Shredder Strikes were all fantastic multi part events. I dare say that Shredder Strikes Back Part 1 is the definitive episode from the entire series. It’s my personal favorite because just about the whole episode is one large fight and it shows why Leonardo is the leader of the gang. I don’t believe that any of the other 3 Turtles would have been able to last very long here.

The next season started off with the weakest big event of the series. The intergalactic space war just wasn’t very interesting and since it was 5 whole episodes…it dragged on a great deal. Luckily, the season picked up again once they made it back home since we got to see more of Bishop and the Shredder. This season spent a lot of time with the Tournament at the end and had a good amount of stand alone episodes as well. It had less stand out episodes than season 1, but when you consider the consistent quality of the show, it’s not as if it was much of a change. Season 1 was more epic, but you could really appreciate season 2 because of how the tight continuity kept expanding the show.

Season 3 is probably the weakest season. Granted, you can have a very different experience when actually watching the episodes as opposed to remembering them from afar. That being said, the only 5-6 episodes were about the Space Invaders once again and that had to be the worst plot. Let me explain why this plot just didn’t work. I didn’t really care about the Dinosaurs or the resistance organization that they were fighting. I just wanted the Turtles to head back to Earth so they could have some good hand to hand fights with the villains. That’s really all that I wanted and this space business just didn’t do it for me. The villains simply weren’t as interesting as the Foot or even dare I say, the Purple Dragons. We did get a pretty nice climax where Shredder, Bishop, and the Aliens all got to play their final gambit. Bishop once again got the last laugh I’d say, but all of the characters got a good amount of hype there. Usagi got to appear here so that was too bad though.

Season 4 was pretty exciting. For starters, this season changed the status quo much more than any other previous season. Leonardo blamed himself for what happened on the fated missile and became a hot head like Raphael. He was more dark and brooding and stopped being the calm and collected leader that he used to be. This made for a lot of great dialogue and it also helped Leonardo keep his place at the top of the food chain. While later seasons started to mess up the power levels a bit, this one could not since it was a part of the plot. The final episode of the season was especially exciting as it directly led into the next big adventure with Tengu Shredder. It was a really bold and epic way to close out the season. This saga also had Leonardo infiltrate the Foot headquarters and basically beat up every single person there. These were the kind of highlights that were lacking in season 3.

Season 5 took a very different approach to the show and it worked well. While the first four seasons were your standard action adventure, I dare say that season 5 was more like an anime. The Turtles had to come together to stop an evil menace and to do this, they would have to learn how to wield super powers. Michelangelo got some great speed and really won out here since his ability was the only one that was lethally dangerous from the get go. The others also got some useful abilities and from there they worked to stop Tengu Shredder. They may not have had a lot of luck in the end since the Tribunal was overwhelmed, but the whole season had a feeling of danger and unease. Something was always happening here and it certainly had the fastest pacing out of all the seasons. Of course, at 12 episodes that was probably a given. Even the 12 episodes part seems like a homage to anime in general. Everyone suddenly got so crazy powerful and the fights were so good that this season really could have been a contender for the best in another title. As it stands, the short length does keep it back ever so gently.

Season 6 brought another twist to the show. It was the Fast Forward season and took a more toyetic approach to the show. It suddenly felt more like a Saturday Morning Cartoon and as such, every character suddenly had futuristic equipment at their disposal. It was a radical switch as the entire cast was switched out for a new one with the exclusion of the main 4 turtles. I thought it was fun enough. On its own, it was still good enough to get a 7, but you couldn’t really compare it to the older seasons. It was fun, but not as epic or action packed as what had come before. The Bounty Hunter Zixx was a decent addition to the cast though. He always had the upper hand on the turtles and was good at getting people to lower their guards.

Finally, we have the Back to the Sewers season. The appeal of this last installment was obvious as the Turtles finally got to go home and relax. Unfortunately, duty called as Splinter was split across the Digital World and Cyber Shredder wanted to break out of there and head to the real world. The Turtles had to move fast and activate all of their Tron gear in order to escape. Because of this, it still had some Fast Forward elements while bringing back the old cast. It was like a fusion of the two and it was a fun enough season. The new designs may have taken a bit of getting used too, but they were still pretty solid. I definitely preferred the old ones as they made for far better fights, but this will still beat most of the modern animated titles.

At 7 seasons long, the show had a lot of time to introduce characters and get you used to the lore. This is part of what made the series so successful. There were a lot of hypothetical match ups that you could spend time thinking about since they hadn’t happened in the show yet. I really wanted to see Shredder fight Bishop or to have any of those two go up against the Justice Force. The two aspects of the show rarely ever met up which is a shame, but I like to think that the series was saving that just in case it ever wanted to do a really big crossover episode. To an extent, the rocket finale was the closest that we got, but I wanted more.

TMNT lasted long enough where the show got to try out a bunch of different genres and we had a lot of action scenes. IT’s worth mentioning that even episodes without a big villain or a lot of fights could still be good because of the solid writing. It was just a well written show and the characters were portrayed in an accurate fashion. My only gripe was the noticeable lack of pizza in the show. TMNT goes hand in hand with pizza. That’s how it is and that’s how it’s always been. I’m sure that the show could have included pizza in more scenes if they wanted to do so. It just makes sense to add that into a Ninja Turtles show. Still, it’s a relatively minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.

One of the best parts of TMNT was definitely the soundtrack. It had a lot of really great tunes and these were themes that you could only hear in the 90’s. As one of the only 90’s shows that I had barely watched from the action genre, this show brought about a lot of nostalgia. I really do miss this style and just watching one episode will remind you of what you are missing. Naturally, the animation is also very sharp. The designs are very wholesome and you can feel every blow during the fights. The impacts had power. The animation style switched a bit towards and the end and it was definitely a step down. It still looked better than the current ninja turtles show, but the glory days were long gone by then. Luckily, that was at the very end so pretty much all of the really epic Shredder episodes had already aired. The show has a similar feel to other big cartoons like Justice League and not only does it age well, but it clobbers a lot of the currently airing shows.

I’m not even typically a huge TMNT fan, but the show was just really solid. Even if you may not have thought the characters were great before, they are solid in this show. A good show can do wonders for a franchise and this show is evidence of that. The recent movies certainly haven’t helped and the current TMNT show looks rather choppy. I’d definitely take another season or this title over that. After all, an element that this show has over those is its tight continuity. You could actually compare it to something like Young Justice as it keeps building and building off of its plot lines. Everything is connected and the more episodes you watch, the more all of the plots start to intertwine. It makes everything feel that much more important. For example, the illuminati guys started showing up very early on in the series and the show kept you guessing as to their true identities for a very long time. While the twist on who they actually were was a little underwhelming, it was always awesome to see those guys apear. They were strong, mysterious, and had everything that you could want in a shadow group who operates behind the scenes.

Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a great show. It’s one of the lost gems of a legendary era for television and I finally got to check it out from start to finish. It had quite a lot of episodes and a high amount of replay value so it’s the kind of show where you can easily re-watch some episodes of at any point. I’d highly recommend this to any blog reader who hasn’t checked it out yet. I don’t expect any of the other Ninja Turtle shows to match this one. From what I’ve seen of the only others, it’s not even a close fight. This one simply can’t be topped and that means that the 90’s (Well, technically early 2000s, but it feels like the 90s so I may as well stick with that) has scored another big win! If I ever do watch another TMNT show to completion, I’ll try not to constantly compare it to this one every episode, but it’ll be tough.

Overall 8/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan Review

It’s been a while since I played a Ninja Turtles game. Platinum has been doing a good job with their titles and they are well known for their combat mechanics so this definitely looked like a fun adventure. Reviews have not been kind to it, but this is definitely a solid game. It may not be quite as polished as their Transformers title or Bayonetta, but it’s definitely still a solid game. Platinum leaves their signature combat mechanics and level of difficulty on this title so don’t expect it to be a walk in the park.

The Turtles are called back into action when their old villains start to make some moves. Alien Invasions, Bank Robberies, and more things occur as the villains continue their onslaught of attacks. What is their goal and are these just distractions? The turtles will have to stay on their toes if they don’t want to be caught off guard, but can they really hope to defeat the Shredder? The plot is fairly standard for the TMNT and it doesn’t go for anything grand, but it’s possible that it’s meant to feel like a normal episode. To an extent, that’s what Platinum seems to do for their retro games.

While the gameplay is fairly intricate, I don’t think it’s all that good. The way that the buttons are configured does take quite a bit of time to get used to. You may have beaten the game by then so I suppose it could be useful for the second run through. R2 is to block and evade while attacking is with the SQ button. You can also throw shruiken with L1 although that is really never necessary. It is good for getting some trophies like blowing up cameras though. It’s just very difficult to utilize the blocking button on instinct with how quick the villains strike and how odd of a button it is. I’d prefer for blocking to be R1, but you can possibly switch that somewhere.

You do have quite a few options for attacking though and a lot of ninjutsu can be purchased. I personally liked Stealth Mode, Combo Attack, Super Shruiken, and Healing Circle for my set. You can have 4 at a time. Charms can also be equipped, but they didn’t make much of a noticeable difference. I may just need to buy better ones. You can switch between turtles at any time and you only lose a level if all 4 of them are defeated at once. In that case, you are taken back to the lair to eat some pizza and recharge your strength before going back to the level. For most levels, you are taken back to the exact point of time in which you died, but some bosses regain their full health. It seems to depend on the level.

There are a lot of collectibles and trophies so obtain so there is a solid amount of replay value here. That’s definitely a good thing because the campaign isn’t all that long. It’s around 4 hours, which is quickly becoming the average for games nowadays. That, or maybe games were always that short and I never noticed. Maybe that’s why people love RPGs so much. If nothing else, they’re always long, but I gotta admit that turn based gameplay can also be a real blast as well. Seriously, I love grinding those level ups. There are over 50 trophies so it should take you a while to collect them all. I only got 11 of them while beating the game. Most of them aren’t hard though, but simply rely on repetition. Play the levels again and again enough times and you’ll earn most of them. For example, one of them is saving 10 pizza trucks. I maybe saved one during the whole game. It’s partially chance that you end up getting that mission which is what makes it a little tricky. I’m not a huge fan of that and some trophies are tricky and may require online help from other players. It’s a doable Platinum, but not an easy one by any means.

As per usual, Platinum hits us with a great soundtrack. The rock themes are always a blast to have even if it seemed like the game started to reuse them a little after a while. It’s fine, I’ll still take this over 70% of boss fights in the average games. A good theme can go a long way. That being said, the actual boss fights could be a little annoying at times. I feel like the bosses had too much health and our attacks didn’t deal enough damage. It could take quite a while to take some bosses down and I can only imagine what it’s like on Hard Mode since they gain even more health on that difficulty. Each level isn’t all that long with the boss taking the most time, but it does hurt the replay value of the level a little. Especially with the annoying bosses like Wingnut.

Graphically the game looks good. There is only 1-2 day-time levels though so the graphics usually have it a little easy in the dark. It’s not as impressive as Transformers Devastation by any means, but it certainly doesn’t look bad. The graphics will suffice. Whether it was a glitch or not, a funny thing occurred during the final level though. The game actually replayed an old cutscene in its entirety. For a second there I thought I had clicked on the wrong level, but nope, it still ended up being in the right place. So…what’s up with that? It wasn’t a particularly good cutscene either which was unfortunate.

They reuse a lot of gags in the story mode even though it’s fairly short. For example, Michelangelo always wanting pizza. The turtles should be used to it, but they still act a little surprised and reprimand him each time. I mean, the Turtles are known for this and it’s supposed to be nostalgic I suppose, but this definitely wasn’t my favorite portrayal of them. Leonardo definitely looked the best as he was down to business and had a plan each time. Splinter isn’t quite as good as he seems rather nervous the whole time and subtly recommends retreating for a little while. Seeing Shredder actually be a lackey for once was also rather interesting. Krang’s the boss this time eh? He’s certainly moving up the ranks and if he also calls the shots in the new live action film, maybe he will eventually replace Shredder in that role completely.

I tried going to the online mode, but nobody was online. That’s not a good sign considering how new the game is, but I may have just missed everyone. The online mode is basically a way to play the game co-op, so I imagine there is not a whole lot of incentive for people to do that besides the trophies. Local Co-Op should have been a thing. This isn’t bad if you have a friend who is far away, but it’s definitely not optimal. I suppose TMNT fans will still be thrilled that the series finally has a new game. Granted, it wasn’t amazing, but this game is still a big improvement from games like De Blob and maybe it’ll get a sequel at some point. Platinum doesn’t really do sequels very often, but you never know.

Honestly, I’d probably say that this game does lose to the rest of the TMNT games that I’ve played except for the PSP title. They’re all fairly close, but the Gamecube game was just a little more fun and the plot was certainly a lot more intense. Being related to the 2003 show helped quite a bit as well. It just shows that the series sets the bar rather high though. Transformers is also held at a high level, but each game tends to be roughly equivalent to the rest. Likewise with TMNT, but in the end its weak plot and less likable characters hurt it a bit.

Overall, This is a solid TMNT game, but not one that I’d really recommend for 60 dollars. There’s not enough content here to justify the price, but once it goes down then I’d definitely recommend snagging it. It’s essentially a beat em up with today’s graphics and that’s always fun. In the end, the plot may not have been great, but the most important part is still the gameplay and that’s solid. There are a lot of attacks to mess around with and for those who like difficult games, you’ll get a kick out of this. I lost quite a few times, but luckily the other turtles would revive me. I only had my full team lose twice, but if you don’t adapt and block a lot, prepare for that total to go up quite a bit.

Overall 7/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan Stats and Records

Stats time!

16/99 Charms
Level 15
11/51 PS3 Trophies

Stage Stats

Level 1 A Rank 3503
Level 2 S Rank 7130
Level 3 S Rank 6624
Level 4 S Rank 4969
Level 5 S Rank 5569
Level 6 S Rank 2520
Level 7 A Rank 4276
Level 8 S Rank 17834
Level 9 A Rank 4265

Attack Stats

Stealth Mode Level 3
Combo Attack Level 3
Warp Dash Level 2
Shell Crusher Level 1
Super Shruiken Level max
Spin Attack Level 1
Shruiken Rain Level 1
Super Sumo Slap Level 1
Ninja Drop Kick Level 1
Spin Slash Level 1
Flying Piledriver Level 1
Healing Circle Level 3
Turbo Mode Level 2
Decoy Level 1
High Jump Level 1
Barrier Level 1
Invincibility Level 1
Rain of Fire Level 1
Homerun Swing Level 1
Slash Roll Level 1
Teleport Attack Level 1
Shark Attack Level 1
UFO Attack Level 1
Beam Cannon Level 1
Giant Hologram Level 1
Ground Pound Level 1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

We’ve seen that Transformers was a success so can the ninja turtles really keep up? It’s certainly not quite as exciting as the Transformers comic, but we get to see a lot of the villains who currently plague the heroes. Things have never been more dire for them and the heroes may need a power up of sorts if they are to stay in the game.

The comic takes place after Donatello’s close encounter with death. The turtle now inhabits a machine while his body is still taken out of action. Getting him restored to full health will take a while and the villains are not waiting. The Shredder is still out there and various other groups of villains are also making their move. Right now, the turtles can barely take on the Hun, let alone the mutants. This is truly their darkest hour and they know it!

Power levels is something that has always given the TMNT a tough time and the comics are really showing us this. For all of their martial arts, they are still relatively weak compared to some of the outlandish threats that they face. Donatello has some new abilities thanks to his robot body, but what about the rest of the turtles? I really don’t think they have a chance without some kind of new ability so hopefully they will get new weapons. Maybe a thunder staff for Donatello and some kind of extendable sword for Leonardo. These are just ideas, but the writer will need to think of something unless he wants to run the risk of plot hax.

The turtles have an interesting origin in this series. This time, they were the songs of Splinter and they were all humans, but they got reincarnated after the Shredder destroyed them. A rather dark change to their original origin and I wouldn’t call it a positive one, but either way it leads up to the same place. Splinter is indisposed as he is watching over Donatello, but I’m sure that he’ll be able to fight when the time comes. Let’s hope that he does not wait too long.

As for the Shredder taking out Donatello through his two minions, he likely would have done it no matter what. Still, you have to wonder about the turtles making the first move over there. They are the ones who effectively tried to betray him by tricking him into a war with another villain. They should have expected the Shredder to retaliate so I don’t see how they could have left Donatello on his own. With no friends to help and outnumbered 2-1, there was really no way that Donatello could win. Even 1 on 1 it likely would have been a very difficult right.

TMNT’s art is good here. It is a little subdued and not quite as bright as most of the other titles, but the fight scenes still look solid. I think a more colorful style would suit the series even more, but as long as the art is good, that’s what matters. The author is clearly going for a more serious style for this series so we’ll see how it plays out. If the Turtles don’t get new abilities, they’ll likely just need to rely on their allies, which should prove interesting. Apparently, they have friends who are rock giants and April has some kind of super ability. I still want the Turtles to be able to fight as well though so maybe it’s time to awaken the dragon!

Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is certainly building up to some kind of big climax. The heroes are going to have to be ready to end everything once and for all. The cliffhanger ending shows that a new army of villains is about to approach the streets and that could actually help the Turtles chances of winning or hurt them even further. Only time will tell and they’ll need to plan this one out carefully. This story felt like a complete one and it was long considering that it was free. There’s definitely a lot of ways that the comic can continue and it’ll be interesting to see how it ultimately ends.

Overall 7/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

The Summer is basically over, but we’re still ready for one more big action film right? This film has some pretty steep competition since we’ve already witnessed some all stars in Captain America and Spiderman. Godzilla provided us with an unforgettable cinematic experience and Guardians of The Galaxy continued the MCU’s streak of victories. This means that the Ninja Turtles must try to defeat Robocop, X Men Days of Future Past and Transformers. Can it do this or is it already doomed to lose? The film was essentially about as good as I thought it would be and it didn’t drag on quite as much as I had feared.

The film gives us a quick intro to the turtles as we see them train and get a feel for the surroundings. (This is what the remake film for Batman and the upcoming Dr. Strange film should definitely do) We learn that the Foot Clan was a pretty powerful organization, but the cops eventually forced them to go underground. Now, the Foot Clan is prepared to rise up once again with the mighty Shredder as their leader! Splinter commands the Turtles to refrain from visiting the outside world because they are not yet ready. The Turtles don’t really care though because they have lives to save! April O Neal gets involved after she witnesses a battle between the two sides. She wants to expose the Turtles for the heroes(?) that they are, but they don’t want this. Will the Turtles be able to take down the Shredder and will April get her scoop!? The stakes have never been higher….

First off, I have to give the film some credit for the fight scenes. The battles against the Shredder were pretty intense. I dare say that they were more fun than Wolverine’s battle against the Silver Samurai. It may not be quite up to snuff with something like Cap vs Winter Soldier, but it was still very good. I dare say that the action scenes were better than I had anticipated. The iconic battle between the Shredder and the 4 Turtles atop the tower is easily the best fight, but Splinter’s battle is pretty emotional as well.

Of course, it may not be as enjoyable if you don’t like blowouts. The four turtles are literally unable to damage Shredder in their fights until the very end where the plot demands that the film must have a happy ending. It’s 4 to 1 and Shredder is basically toying with the turtles. There were several times where he could have finished them off and he just didn’t bother. The film also makes sure to show us that Splinter could also take on the 4 turtles at once since he gave the Shredder a better fight. I really feel bad for the Turtles sometimes.

The normal action scenes against the Foot Clan is a little less entertaining. The camera angles weren’t very good so it was hard to get an accurate picture of the action. It was still pretty suspenseful and epic to see the Turtles doing so well in the shadows, but we all knew who would win. I found myself missing the pizza boy from the original films a few different times.

The soundtrack is pretty generic. Nothing that you haven’t heard before. Unfortunately, it ends up being pretty negative thanks to the rap song during the credits. Easily the worst song that I’ve heard in such a mainstream film in a long time. I really don’t like rapping and it tends to make any scene a little less enjoyable. In moderation, it is possible to have a good rap song in the background, but it’s extremely rare. Mostly because I just don’t care for the beat and the lyrics are usually pretty cringe worthy. This is one film where you should make sure to dash out as soon as the credits start. Nobody’s got time for that song!

One issue with the film is naturally the romance. This is a work that is associated with Michael Bay so I’m sure that we all expected the worst. It never gets as drastic as the early Transformer films, but it can still be very annoying and grating on the ears. Michelangelo is constantly flirting, which isn’t cool. He never stops going after April and you really want the other turtles to make him back off. Unfortunately, they tend to ignore him. April’s partner also flirts a lot, although at least he does it in a classier way. If not for one scene where he shows that he doesn’t mind stooping to low levels, he would have actually been a good character. Unfortunately, it’s hard to save such a character. At least there really isn’t much here in terms of fan service, but unnecessary flirting is still pretty bad.

One big complaint that I had with the film was the lack of pizza scenes. If you’re a TMNT fan, then you’ll know that pizza is always very involved in the franchise. It only gets one or two scenes during the flashbacks and a single appearance in the modern times. They claim that it’s a Pizza Hut slice, but it bears to resemblance to any Pizza Hut slice that I’ve ever had! Even if it did have 99 cheeses on it, the actual slice should look similar. The film really dropped the ball there and the tension in the theater was pretty ominous. I think we were all tempted to leave and go to Pizza Hut for a true slice to compare it to the film’s.

Raphael is probably the best turtle from the group, although Leonardo is close. Raphael is basically the tough member of the group, while still being very nice and gentle on the inside. It’s an “epic” plot development where he confesses what he has been holding inside all these years. Everyone else ignores him and you’re supposed to feel bad for the guy. I was just waiting for the plot to continue. Raphael is pretty confident and he may be the strongest turtle, but he’s still no match for the Shredder. Raphael is decently likable, but he’s ultimately generic and he’s essentially the winner by default.

Leonardo is close, but it’s mostly because of the fact that he’s pretty silent compared to the others. He’s the fearless leader, but he spends all of his time trying to prove his superiority to Raphael. He gets one scene where he goes up against the Shredder in a one on one fight. All I will say is that the fight scene lasts for about 2 seconds and it’s very embarrassing. We don’t see anything that proves he has what it takes to be the leader. It’s one thing to be outclassed by the villain, but Leonardo never gets any big moments. He’s just there to fill in the fourth spot. Of course, that’s better than being the flirt of the group, but we’re coming to that.

Donatello wasn’t very likable and that’s because he’s the smart guy of the group. Now, why is that a bad thing? It doesn’t have to be since we have had many cool smart characters in the past. Light Yagami, Bruce Banner, Batman, etc. The problem is that Donatello wants to be “the cool guy” and he has one scene where he proves this to the others. He should just be happy to be the smart guy, but why would he be when Foot soldiers can just hack into his systems? In that case, there’s just no winning for the guy. He definitely seems to be the weakest fighter and he actually doesn’t seem to be very smart….he just uses big words to get that vibe. Nah, he didn’t work for me in this one.

Michelangelo was easily the worst turtle. His fans may be pleased at his contribution to the big fight in the film, but it’s not nearly enough to save him. He flirts with April nonstop throughout the film. It’s pretty sad and his taste in music also isn’t that good. His mind is never on the mission and he’s not very good at hand to hand combat. He actually forgets about Raphael (along with the other turtles) after the turtle had come to save him. Michelangelo isn’t exactly a team player and he never will be at this rate. Without Michelangelo, this film actually had a pretty strong chance of cracking a 7. He just brings the whole thing down since you basically have to tune him out.

April is the main heroine of the film and it’s a little scary to think that she’s more likable than the turtles. Unfortunately, she humors Michelangelo most of the time as she never tells him to give it a rest. There’s also one scene (Most of the trailers showed this) where she faints after talking to the turtles, which was rather unrealistic. She’s a tough reporter and she had already been talking to them. Why would she faint after seeing a turtle without his headband? It seemed to have been included just to be included. I guess it would help us to remember that the turtles are supposed to be scary, but it doesn’t work. Naturally, April gets her big moments where she helps the turtles take out the Shredder.

April also may not be that smart, but it could be another script issue. Her boss doesn’t believe that the turtles are real so April gathers a lot of “evidence” to prove it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t show her boss the pictures of the turtles that she got on her phone. It could be attributed to the fact that maybe she didn’t want to show this to the boss, but why wouldn’t she? She had every reason to show it to the boss since it definitely would have exposed the turtles. As long as April steers clear of the romantic advanced from her partner and Michelangelo, she should continue to be a pretty good character. She just needs to learn to do a better job of remembering what information she has at her disposal.

Sacks is one of the big players in the film. I can’t say that he’s very likable. One could say that his public role in the film is sort of like Harvey Dent’s. He’s shaking his fist at crime and he’s ready to stop the FOOT clan once and for all. Unfortunately, he’s not quite as convincing as Harvey and he is used for a lot of exposition. The exposition was definitely one of the boring moments of the film and we didn’t need another long origin story for the olden days.

Vernon is April’s partner and he wishes that she wouldn’t mind staying on the small jobs. He actually has a fair point since she’s still getting worthwhile things to report and I think April was a little too critical. The exercise convention was actually pretty good and jumping on a trampoline with other adults is hardly as embarrassing as she made it sound. If it was only her with a lot of little toddlers then maybe it would be tricky…maybe. A lot of people really wouldn’t mind considering that it will let them bring home their check. Back to Vernon, unfortunately, he isn’t quite as tough as he likes to think he is. He gets one attack at the very end of the film, but it’s not much. He does have one scene, which basically wrecks his character so you can’t really root for him by the end.

The Shredder is a pretty great villain. It’s interesting how he only talks in japanese when he doesn’t have the armor on, but becomes fluent in English with it. I’m guessing that the armor has an auto translator or something, but it’s definitely possible that the Shredder knows both languages. Nevertheless, he performs well in combat and that’s what counts. His goal is definitely a little dubious though and he better have the antidote at the ready. His fighting skills are so good that it will be tough for a sequel to top him as a villain. Although with the cliffhanger…I may not need to worry about this too much. The Shredder is definitely one of the highlights of the film.

Splinter is pretty powerful and he’s a likable fighter when he’s in on the action. That being said, I definitely disagree with some of his decisions. There’s no good reason to keep the turtles from patrolling the streets at night. The cops already took out most of the FOOT and when does he think the turtles will ever be ready? They’re already pretty tough and there’s a limit to how strong you will end up becoming. He was definitely too strict at that point, but I’m sure that he’ll lighten up from now on….although it may be too late for that.

Did I mention that the script for the film is pretty….retro? Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to have been planned, but a lot of the lines are rather dated and they’re pretty cheesy as well. “Use an innocent as bait!” or something along those lines is uttered by the big bad Shredder! He acts as if no villain has ever done this before and his right hand woman even seems pretty shocked at the prospect. The music also quickly goes into its dramatic phase to highlight the scene as an important gamechanger. If these guys are villains, they shouldn’t have a problem with using civilians as bait. There were quite a few other lines that I could mention since they’re scattered throughout the film. I like a little cheesy dialogue in the films, but then it should be consistent and make the rest of the film cheesy as well.

I would definitely say that TMNT is a better adaption of the franchise than the Transformer films. Of course, there is less to wreck in a TMNT film, but they still covered most of the bases without depowering the turtles too much. One could argue that they’re slightly more impressive here than in their own series. I wouldn’t go that far, but they are pretty tough. The designs still look pretty terrible to me though. I seriously hope that they change the designs for the sequel and return them to how they looked in the old films or a model that looks a little bit more like the cartoons. I’m definitely all right with the Shredder’s design though since it’s pretty intense.

Overall, This film is kind of like Robocop. It’s just a fun film without anything to help it stand above the crowd. The main drawback is the excessive flirting from both Michelangelo and Vernon. Without that, the film didn’t really have any big flaws. Of course, that’s enough to hurt it a lot and the end credits scene was pretty bad as well. (The rap song hurts your ears as well) The cliffhanger may be intriguing to some and generic to others. Either way, I can safely say that I am looking forward to the next TMNT film. It should be a good one, although it won’t be great. I recommend this film if you survived through the first Transformers film to see how you compare the two. Both of them take a few shots at the original sources so that should be interesting. (Karai’s role is very disappointing for her fans and the “Cowabunga” term is used, but the Turtles look very bad in that scene…it’s one of those things) If you don’t like to see the main heroine get harassed by everyone for the entire film…this won’t be the title for you.

Overall 6/10