Review: Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled

If you grew up with an SNES, you likely remember the stellar beat-em-up Turtles in Time. Featuring all four of our beloved turtles Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo along with some engaging multiplayer action and storyling following Shredder who’s made off with the Statue of Liberty, it’s a staple in many gamers’ repertoires as a superb timesuck. If you didn’t enjoy it on the SNES you probably tossed quarter after quarter into the machine at your local arcade while rotating out partners to finally finish the game. Now Ubisoft has taken it upon themselves to reissue this classic in 3D with updated graphics, sound, and gameplay. Unfortunately, I can’t exactly say you’d be better off playing this version. See why in this review of Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled.

The Turtles are searching all throughout the annals of time in order to tackle Shredder and to recover the Statue of Liberty, hence the title of the game. This of course hasn’t changed with the re-skinning of the arcade original, as you once again jump straight into the action beating up guys left and right. That’s one thing this remake gets absolutely right. You can fly solo through eight different stages or team up with four friends via Xbox Live through sewers, abandoned warehouses, and various other locales in order to thwart Shredder’s plans. You’re able to use several special attacks, collect powerups such as pizza in order to regain lost health, and toss foes to and fro in the environments. Not much has changed by way of gameplay, though one glaring omission is the ability to jump in and out of the game via online play. For a multiplayer-centric arcade title such as this, you’d think that would be a requirement. There are no major augmentations here to be honest, except the minor upgrade of attacking upward, downward, to the left, and to the right, which you may not even notice to begin with.
time2What has changed significantly are the graphics. That should be obvious, but in case you’ve been hiding away and eating too much pizza to notice, Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled looks gorgeous. The original graphics have been given an eyecatching sheen and the backdrops as well as environments are particularly aesthetically pleasing. Though it is newly pretty, though, you might occasionally lose track of the turtle you’re playing as amongst various traps scattered throughout the levels or the nameless baddies out for blood. It’s a minor annoyance, but a drawback nonetheless.
You can choose different difficulty levels as you power through eight stages of turtle power, and the game is admittedly very short. If you were a fan of the classic original title you’ll likely be satisfied, but considering your skill level you can very well complete the majority of the game in under a half hour or quicker depending on how much of a Turtles in Time veteran that you are. You’ll also note that the original bonus stages included on the SNES version of the game have been omitted for some strange reason. Sorry, to those of you who were looking forward to Bebop and Rocksteady! For 800 points, you don’t even receive a copy of the original title to complement your purchase. Considering that the original TMNT arcade title is only a very affordable 400 Microsoft points, Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled’s price point is already going to cripple its success. Ubisoft was originally asking 1200 points for this reiteration, and I do have to say that at that price, this game would absolutely be a pass. While 800 points is more fair, I can’t say it’s exactly justified considering the game’s length and lack of overall updates.


If you’re looking for a solid multiplayer beat-em-up on Xbox Live, this isn’t the worst choice you can make, as it is a remake of an awesome title, though you could save points and some annoyance by buying the original Turtles arcade title instead. Still, this is an impressive-looking remake of a great game. I just wish they could have added a bit more for the inflated price. Bummer, dude.

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