Note - I bought this at a discounted price on the Playstation Store (half its original price) and plus this game came out about a few months ago too.
The four player beat-em-up is as old-school as it gets when it comes to video games. They are simple to play, but hard as nails to the point you keep spending your quarters to continue. That was the case with Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat-em-up games. They were timeless arcade classics at the same time being true to the source material while being a blast with multiple people. These classics have that special edge or soul to them that makes them great in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The original was re-released on Xbox Live Arcade back in 2007 untouched being a true arcade port with online play, but it was inevitable that the sequel Turtles in Time would get the same treatment after the success it had on the Xbox 360. Instead of just porting the arcade version in its purest form, Ubisoft decided to go the extra mile and remake the graphics entirely to a completely different game, which adds in the Reshelled part of the title. While Turtles in Time is still a timeless classic, there is just something missing with this HD remake that makes it not as worthwhile as it was when it originally came out.
Turtles in Time Reshelled plays similarly to the original and it is as simple as it gets mashing the attack button against enemies and jumping at certain occasions. Just like any beat-em-up, the game does not take that long to beat which is good enough if you're feeling like playing something retro but with new graphics. The remake does add quickplay and survival modes along with the normal story mode at various difficulties, which bumps up the replay value a bit when playing locally. Playing at various difficulties does however make a difference in terms of enemy count, the amount of punishment enemies and bosses can take, how much punishment the turtles take, and the amount of lives you have. In single player, there is a continue option if you want to finish it at a later time and it is recommended you stay alive throughout the whole game to have a high score as continuing after losing all your lives resets your score. Also similar to the original, this game is not as easy as you think as pattern recognition and luck have to be your side to prevail. Even with this HD remake, the action feels a little claustrophobic than it used to take back in the day as the screen gets crowded with enemies at times which lead to chaos. The turtles do play noticeably different according to their stats when looking at the character select screen, but I'm pretty sure people still pick which turtle to play as just by their superstitions. Then there's the online play, which works fine from what I played, but it does suck when one person leaves a full room while playing, which totally can ruin the experience for some.
While Reshelled plays just like the original, the HD makeover ends up a disappointment. I mentioned earlier that this game felt like its missing something to be as special as it was back in the day and it is in the visual department. It feels like it is missing a soul of sorts to make it look worthwhile to fans of the old games. The makeover is based loosely off the CG movie with the turtles having their one-liners here and there when they speak. The backgrounds themselves feel bland as if they are just another lava level, sewer level, and so on with today's standards. As a whole, the graphics in Reshelled is a complete mess as well as the performance of how the game runs too. The framerate will slow down when there are too many things going on. At times, the turtles will glitch up at times randomly floating around, and other random stuff. The sound also feels bland as well as the developers did not use the original tunes as background music and they get placed by bland and generic tunes you expect out of a beat-em-up these days. In addition, the sound feels messed up when you are bumping it up as if the developers pumped the volume up way too much.
Turtles in Time Reshelled is a disappointing HD remake as whole to a timeless classic that certain gamers loved in the 1990s. While the gameplay is still on point, the visual makeover itself makes the game lose its charm and soul as if they should of kept the original graphics or have it as an option to appeal to the purists. Even the game itself feels like a boring mess from various glitches, generic tunes, and inconsistent framerate. At ten dollars, Reshelled is not worth your time and your money, but since I bought it at a discounted price on the Playstation Store, it is still a tolerable beat-em-up if you feel like playing something old-school with multiple friends together. It is probably best if you stick to the original game on Xbox Live Arcade for your times of kicking some shell or even you track down an arcade machine to play it the way it was intended to be as a good time with 16-bit graphics rather than this boring HD remake.
Score = 5/10
- Still as old-school as it gets when it comes down to gameplay
- Quickplay, survival, and online modes does add a little more replay value
- Better with four players both locally and online (assuming no one quits mid-game)
- The HD remade graphics are disappointing (makes the game look boring and bland)
- Frequent slowdown when too much is going on
- Bland and generic soundtrack replaces the original tunes
- Action feels claustrophobic at times
- As a whole, this remake is missing a soul that made the original the classic it was