You know, it's amazing no one's thought of this until now. When you really think about it, it's such a natural fit. I'm speaking, of course, of putting Super Smash Bros. style gameplay in the world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
As part of the turtles 25th anniversary (a revelation that made me want to cry, as it would any student of the after school cartoons), Ubisoft will be releasing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash Up, a new fighting game that places several characters from the TMNT universe against one another in a series of goofy stages with loads of obstacles.
At first glance, some may simply dismiss the game as just another Smash Bros. clone, but that would be doing this title a disservice. With our hands on time with the game, we found it to be easy to jump in, smooth to control, and certainly fun to play.
On the E3 show floor, seven characters were selectable, with room for at least three others. Ubisoft wouldn't confirm anything as far as number of characters went, but we were able to play as the four turtles, Splinter, April O'neill, and the venerable Shredder.
Three of our staff members and one Ubisoft employee hit the Wii-motes against each other in a free for all that took place over top of a collapsing forest that eventually culminated in a battle over a river with chomping crocodiles that could take out an unlucky player in a single chomp. There was five levels available at press time, with more likely on the way before the game goes gold.
The most satisfying element of Smash Up were the controls, which were simple yet effective. The game is played by holding the Wii-mote sideways like an NES controller. The B trigger handles blocks, and the 1 and 2 buttons handled various levels of attack. Press the 1 and 2 buttons together at the same time to grab your opponent. Escaping grabs is as simple as following an on screen prompt such as shaking the remote or wiggling the D-pad back and forth. A press of the A button will also allow you to use up a power metre to make your character temporarily extra powerful.
The game was colourful and well animated at the demo station, and utilized the same art style as the recent CGI movie.
Ubisoft is promising several different modes, including a story based arcade mode, and a slew of multiplayer options. The game will fully support online play, and there are many modifiers for different game experiences. For example, players will be able to select if they want the wins to be determined by time limits, health bars, or damage dealt.
Even after spending my childhood watching the turtles battle the forces of evil so many years ago, it's refreshing to see that the Turtles still have the power to put a smile on my face and millions of other children and children at heart. Do the turtles still hold that power over you? Find out this September when Ubisoft releases Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash Up exclusively on the Nintendo Wii.