TMNT 3: Mutant Nightmare


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


While it will always be a mystery as to why Konami doesn't take Turtles in Time and replace some sprites to make it part of the Ninja Turtles revival, there is some mild potential in new concepts. Unfortunately, that's not what they've done. They've slapped the TMNT into a generic platform beat-em-up with simplistic puzzle elements that hardly brings back fond memories.

ninjaturtles31ds.jpg (48804 bytes)The glaring problem with Mutant Nightmare is the lazy design. Each turtle will play through their own individual quest. Unfortunately, these quests take them through the same stages, branching off at times to somewhat differentiate them. Enemy patterns, boss battles, and stories all repeat. Given the unbearably short length of each quest, this is the cheapest way to force the player into believing the game has some sort of value.

At the least, Michelangelo is different than Donatello. The green heroes share no moves, and their fighting styles are enough to separate them, multi-colored bandannas or not. Raphael is especially fun, adding in a great air combo and throws to take out multiple enemies.

Outside of the move sets, combat is simplistic. Two attack buttons will deal out the damage, and sometimes a combination with a d-pad direction will add to the button mashing attacks. There's also a charged move that can do some extra damage, but it's far more dangerous to try and pull this off than it would be to run in and wail away on the main attack button.

Animation adds to the fighting, though it's not even close to being on par with other Konami DS titles like Castlevania. The 2-D sprites seem like they'd be right at home on the Game Boy Advance, while the grainy, pixelated 3-D backgrounds fail to add depth. It seems to be on the DS for no other reason than to make it the first Turtles title on the console.

Mutant Melee also falls victim to Nintendo DS syndrome, using the touch screen for no real gameplay benefits. At certain points during the level, you'll be required to tap one of the turtles on the bottom screen to call for their aid. Most of the time it's for a push to a higher level that couldn't be reached by jumping. There are also joint attacks that can be used three times per level to clear a screen or add an extra layer of damage to all foes on a screen.

None of this is particularly exciting, innovative, or worth playing. It's a licensed title generic enough that the characters could be replaced by walking Frisbees and no one would know the difference. Beat-em-up fans will enjoy the repetitive action as always, and everyone else will wonder why Konami even bothers.


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Last updated: Monday, June 19, 2006 10:51 PM