TMNT Arcade: Game Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) franchise has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, with a string of successful games and media adaptations capturing the hearts of fans old and new. One such addition to the TMNT gaming lineup is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants, a title that promises to bring the classic arcade experience to home consoles. As a longtime fan of the TMNT universe, I was eager to dive into this latest adventure and relive the nostalgia of arcade-style beat ’em up action.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants game screenshot
Image Credit: TheXboxHub

Overview of TMNT’s Recent Success:

Before delving into the specifics of Wrath of the Mutants, it’s worth acknowledging the recent successes of the TMNT franchise. In 2022, fans were treated to The Cowabunga Collection, a compilation of classic TMNT games that brought back cherished memories of arcade gaming. This was followed by the highly acclaimed Shredder’s Revenge, a modern take on the classic TMNT beat ’em up formula that received widespread praise for its faithful adaptation and addictive gameplay. Additionally, the Dimension Shellshock DLC for Shredder’s Revenge further expanded the game’s universe and added new dimensions to the gameplay experience.

Beyond the gaming realm, TMNT fans were treated to Mutant Mayhem, a blockbuster movie that brought the iconic ninja teens to the big screen in a fun and entertaining way. The success of Mutant Mayhem signaled a renewed interest in the TMNT franchise, paving the way for exciting new projects, including a game and movie based on the critically acclaimed Last Ronin comic series.

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Enter Wrath of the Mutants:

Amidst this TMNT renaissance comes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants, a title that seeks to capture the essence of classic arcade gaming while delivering a fresh experience for modern audiences. Released in 2017 as an arcade-exclusive title, Wrath of the Mutants is now making its way to home consoles, allowing players to relive the arcade magic from the comfort of their living rooms.

The premise of Wrath of the Mutants is rooted in the 2012 CGI iteration of the TMNT franchise, known for its vibrant visuals and action-packed storytelling. As a fan of the franchise, I was intrigued by the prospect of stepping into the shoes of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, or Michelangelo and embarking on a co-op adventure filled with mutant mayhem and iconic villains.

Gameplay Experience:

Upon diving into Wrath of the Mutants, I was immediately struck by its nostalgic charm and arcade-style gameplay. The game follows the traditional TMNT format, with players engaging in side-scrolling beat ’em up action across various stages and levels. Controlling one of the four brothers, each with their unique abilities and playstyles, added a layer of depth to the gameplay experience.

One of the standout features of Wrath of the Mutants is its emphasis on co-op play, allowing up to four players to join forces and battle their way through hordes of enemies. The co-op mode captures the essence of arcade gaming, fostering teamwork and camaraderie as players work together to clean up the streets of New York City.

However, despite the enjoyable co-op experience, I found Wrath of the Mutants to be quite challenging, especially for younger players or those new to the TMNT franchise. The difficulty curve, even on the easiest setting, can be unforgiving, reminiscent of classic arcade cabinets designed to devour quarters as players face relentless challenges and adversaries.

One aspect that detracted from the overall experience was the absence of online co-op, limiting the multiplayer options to local couch play. In today’s gaming landscape, where online connectivity is prevalent, the lack of online co-op felt like a missed opportunity to expand the game’s accessibility and reach.

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Content and Level Design:

Wrath of the Mutants offers a selection of levels and stages inspired by iconic TMNT locations, including NYC, Sewer, TCRI, Amusement Park, Dimension X, and the showdown with Shredder. Each stage presents its unique challenges and enemies, keeping the gameplay experience varied and engaging.

While the addition of three further stages and six additional bosses adds variety to the gameplay, the overall content feels somewhat limited. Players may find themselves craving more levels and environments to explore, especially given the game’s nostalgic appeal and potential for creative level design.

Combat Mechanics and Progression:

In terms of combat mechanics, Wrath of the Mutants keeps things simple with one-button attacks, jump controls, and special “Turtle Power” moves that trigger flashy cutscenes and powerful attacks. While these mechanics are easy to grasp, they lack the depth and complexity found in modern beat ’em up titles, resulting in a somewhat repetitive combat experience.

One area where Wrath of the Mutants falls short is in its progression system. Unlike other TMNT games that offer character progression, unlockable abilities, or skill upgrades, Wrath of the Mutants lacks meaningful progression elements. This absence of progression can lead to a sense of stagnation and repetitive gameplay, as there are limited incentives for players to revisit levels or improve their skills over time.

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Visuals and Presentation:

From a visual standpoint, Wrath of the Mutants shines with its vibrant and colorful graphics, capturing the essence of the 2012 TMNT series. The character designs, environments, and enemy animations are well-crafted, immersing players in the TMNT universe.

Voice acting, performed by the cast of the show, adds authenticity to the game’s narrative and dialogue sequences. Environmental hazards, such as passing trains in the sewer or cars on the streets, add dynamic elements to the gameplay and enhance the immersion factor.

Despite these strengths, Wrath of the Mutants falls short in certain areas, particularly in its level of graphical detail and fluidity during combat sequences. While the visuals pay homage to the CGI series, the gameplay mechanics can feel clunky and basic, lacking the smoothness and responsiveness found in other TMNT titles.

Conclusion and Recommendation:

In conclusion, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants serves as a nostalgic trip down memory lane for TMNT fans, offering classic arcade-style gameplay and co-op action. However, its steep difficulty curve, limited content, and lack of meaningful progression may deter some players seeking a more robust gaming experience.

For hardcore TMNT enthusiasts looking to relive the arcade glory days and enjoy couch co-op with friends, Wrath of the Mutants has its moments of enjoyment. However, casual players or those seeking a deeper and more rewarding gameplay experience may find better alternatives in titles like Shredder’s Revenge or The Cowabunga Collection.

Ultimately, Wrath of the Mutants is a decent addition to the TMNT gaming catalog but falls short of reaching the heights set by its standout predecessors.

Q: What platforms is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants available on?

A: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is available on home consoles, including PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

Q: Is online co-op available in Wrath of the Mutants?

A: No, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants does not feature online co-op. The multiplayer mode is limited to local couch co-op.

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Q: How many levels and bosses are there in Wrath of the Mutants?

A: Wrath of the Mutants offers six stages based on iconic TMNT locations and features six additional bosses scattered throughout the levels.

Q: Are there any progression systems or unlockable content in Wrath of the Mutants?

A: No, Wrath of the Mutants lacks meaningful progression systems, character upgrades, or unlockable content. Players progress through the game without the ability to improve or customize their characters.

Q: What are the standout features of Wrath of the Mutants?

A: The standout features of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants include its nostalgic arcade-style gameplay, couch co-op mode for up to four players, vibrant visuals inspired by the 2012 TMNT series, and authentic voice acting by the show’s cast.

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