Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review

Every now and then, a video game can catch you off guard with unexpected surprises: a shocking plot twist, a unique game mechanic, or an innovative idea that sets it apart from others. However, sometimes a game is exactly what it appears to be at face value, for better or for worse. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants falls into the latter category. This enhanced port of the 2017 arcade game by developer Raw Thrills is a solid beat ’em up experience that is unfortunately let down by a lack of content and features. It’s like a delicious slice of New York pizza for fans of beat ’em ups, but it may leave you craving more after a short play session.

First and foremost, it’s worth noting that Wrath of the Mutants borrows heavily from the visual style, story, and character designs of the 2012 Nickelodeon TV series. While this period in Turtles history is visually distinct and interesting, the game is primarily inspired by the classic 1991 arcade title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. If you’re familiar with Turtles in Time, you’ll find it easy to pick up and play Wrath of the Mutants, as the gameplay mechanics are quite similar. From standard attacks to special moves, both games share a common foundation. The only notable difference is that in Wrath of the Mutants, certain moves do not consume health, making them more accessible for players.

TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Screenshots

Turtles in Time is considered one of the best beat ’em ups of all time. While replicating its systems isn’t a negative aspect, it does make Wrath of the Mutants feel somewhat basic when compared to more modern beat ’em ups like Streets of Rage 4 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. These newer titles have built upon the foundation laid by games like Turtles in Time, offering deeper gameplay mechanics, more complexity, and additional features that enhance replayability. While Wrath of the Mutants is a nostalgic throwback, it may feel less innovative when compared to contemporary beat ’em ups on current consoles.

Since Wrath of the Mutants is a seven-year-old arcade game, it’s no surprise that it may seem simpler in comparison to newer titles. Designed for easy pick-up-and-play sessions to attract players and keep them engaged, the game may feel less nuanced to those accustomed to more modern beat ’em ups. While simplicity can be enjoyable, those seeking a deeper and more intricate gameplay experience may find Wrath of the Mutants lacking in complexity.

Special Turtle Powers do a good job showcasing their personalities.

One of the highlights of Wrath of the Mutants is the unique Turtle Powers that each character possesses. These powerful special attacks not only add variety to the combat but also reflect the distinct personalities of the Turtles. Whether it’s Michelangelo’s playful pizza-themed antics or Donatello’s electrifying staff attacks, each character’s special move adds a fun and engaging element to the gameplay.

In addition to special moves, players can utilize various item pick-ups throughout the game. From filling up the Turtle Power meter to restoring health with pizza slices, these items provide strategic options for players to enhance their brawling abilities. Shurikens, power-ups, and quirky assist characters like Metalhead and Leatherhead further diversify gameplay, offering unique ways to tackle enemies and bosses.

Combat in Wrath of the Mutants is challenging, as the game throws a multitude of enemies at players without the option to dodge or block. With a diverse cast of foes, including Foot Clan ninjas, mousers, and other adversaries, players must adapt their tactics and approach each encounter differently. Managing resources, making split-second decisions, and mastering combat mechanics are key to success in the game.

Boss fights are less interesting as a lot of them are too mechanically similar.

While the core combat mechanics are engaging, some of the boss fights in Wrath of the Mutants may feel repetitive due to similarities in their mechanics. Despite this, certain bosses stand out with unique abilities and challenges, adding depth and variety to the overall experience. Timing Turtle Power attacks and mastering evasion techniques are crucial for overcoming these formidable foes.

One of the most appealing aspects of Wrath of the Mutants is the significant amount of new content added for this home release. With three new levels, six additional bosses, and the return of the original voice cast from the TV series, the game offers an expanded and enriched gameplay experience. New levels like the Amusement Park and Shredder’s Lair introduce fresh environments and challenges, while the new bosses bring diverse encounters and memorable moments to the game.

Despite the wealth of new content, Wrath of the Mutants falls short in terms of length, even by beat ’em up standards. With a relatively short story campaign that can be completed in about an hour, the game may leave players craving more substantial gameplay experiences. However, the addition of multiple difficulty modes and varied challenges can provide some longevity and replay value for those seeking a greater challenge.

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One notable drawback of Wrath of the Mutants is the lack of online co-op functionality. While the local co-op mode for up to four players is well-implemented, the absence of online play limits the game’s accessibility for those wanting to play with friends remotely. Additionally, some players may encounter bugs or technical issues during co-op play, affecting the overall experience.

Despite its flaws, Wrath of the Mutants remains an enjoyable beat ’em up experience, whether played solo or with friends. The game successfully captures the essence of the TV show with its humor and character interactions, offering a lighthearted and entertaining gameplay experience. While it may lack depth compared to more modern titles, Wrath of the Mutants delivers a nostalgic and fun-filled adventure for fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.