Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus - PC - Review
Last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game did a good job of capturing the look and feel of the hit television show, but couldn’t deliver the goods when it came to compelling gameplay. The sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus, adds a few new gameplay elements and features, making it somewhat of an improvement when compared to its predecessor. However, the game still falls prey to the same problems as last year’s game, namely lousy AI, bland levels and repetitive action. While the game does make some subtle improvements over last year’s version, anyone expecting the first great turtle game in a decade will be disappointed yet again.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus has you once again playing as the famous foursome (Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo) as they battle a new alien threat that has them stranded on a strange planet with no means of going home. This time, instead of only playing as one turtle, you have access to all four at once, allowing you to switch them on the fly (nostalgics, think of the very first TMNT game on the NES and you’ll know what I’m talking about). Switching between characters is an important part of the gameplay, as each turtle has specific skills that serve a purpose in different sections. For example, Donatello is computer savvy, which comes in handy in certain parts involving computers, or sometimes you must use Leonardo’s katanas to cut through an object blocking your path and so on.
The game also allows for up to four players to sit down together (assuming you have the proper set up with four gamepads hooked up to your PC) and play through the game with each player as a different turtle. This adds an interesting dynamic, as each character needs to pull their own weight to get the group to progress through the game.
The game also has some notable extras, the coolest of which being the unlockable full version of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game. This should undoubtedly appeal to old-school gamers who fell in love with the original TV series.
However, the game falls short in a few key places. For starters, the level design is pretty bland. Most missions are set up very simplistically; run here, beat up these guys, and move on. The enemies are all very similar and make a lot of the same moves, meaning that they can all be defeated in the same ways. The game deviates very little from this formula, and feels extremely repetitive.
The AI is also disappointing. As I said before, the enemies all act similarly, meaning that they all make the same stupid mistakes, as well. Enemies follow the same patterns, walking up to your character and stopping, leaving themselves out there for an easy hit. The unresponsive controls cause an undue amount of frustration, leaving your character open almost as much as the AI leaves itself open.
The graphics are pretty nice, somewhat of an improvement over those of last year’s game. The character models have a bit more of a defined cel-shaded look, giving them a stylized look. The environments also have a real cartoony feel to them, although they lack much detail.
The sound effects are pretty much the same as last year’s game. The music is good, adding to the atmosphere, and the voice effects are well acted, albeit a bit redundant.
TMNT 2: Battle Nexus does succeed in making a few improvements over last year’s game and has some great unlockable features like the complete original arcade game. However, the game still succumbs to the same problems as the original, making it hard to recommend if you are searching for a vast improvement over the first TMNT.
Review Scoring Details for TMNT 2: Battle Nexus
TMNT 2: Battle Nexus adds some cool new gameplay features, like the ability to hot-swap between the four turtles. However, the biggest glaring problems in the first game (weak AI, bland levels and repetitive gameplay) rear their ugly heads this time around, as well.
The cel-shading method has been improved, giving the characters a more stylized aesthetic. The environments also have a nice and simple cartoony look, even though they lack a lot of detail.
The music does a good job of setting a mood, but the voice acting can get very repetitive.
TMNT 2 has some great new features, and nostalgia buffs will love the old arcade game.
Up to four players can team up and play co-operatively through the game, assuming you have the necessary gamepads to do so.
TMNT 2 is an improvement over the first game, but still falls prey to the same problems as its predecessor.