Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A shell of it's former self...

Just played Turtles in time ReShelled on PS3. Um... yeah we need to talk about this.

ReShelled is a remake of TMNT IV: Turtles in Time, and Turtles in Time is one of those landmark games that is beloved by all who have played it, so it's only natural that In this day of remakes and rehashes it get's it's fair shake this gen. However, Konami isn't behind the remake, instead it's being handled by the current license holders at Ubisoft.

There have been a number of "improvements" that have been added to this new version of TMNT IV, that don't really come off as improvements. Mainly, the visuals are kind of drab compared to the vibrant colors of the arcade and SNES versions. It's something that becomes a bigger problem when the Foot Soldiers get completely lost in the background in certain stages. I kind of relate this to the blandness of the 3d shaders. I feel like they should of just shot for cell shading to bring out those vibrant colors that were there before.

Controls...well...seem a little broken. Multidirectional controls don't really seem like an improvement especially in side scrolling beat-em-ups. The jump kicks feel kind of messy especially in the first bossfight with Baxter Stockman. Is it just me, or did it feel like there were none of the turtle specific attacks in this game?, Furthermore, why is more difficult to do a screen toss now? I feel like Ubisoft kind of took Konami's already perfect recipe for soup and decided to throw more seasoning in to make it more unique, but instead kind of ruined the flavor.

I'm not writing this to sound like a jaded old schooler. I actually had pretty decent hopes for ReShelled, but it kind of fell short of my expectations. Maybe it's my fault for thinking I was going to get an graphical update to the SNES game. Actually, this remake is centered around the the arcade version, which for the few of us who expected the SNES game is kinda disappointing. We don't even get the sweet Shredder tank fight that leads into the time travelling misadventure, Nor do we get the Rat King fight in the sewers, Leatherface has no hat and is running alongside a train Slash Beast style. The voiceover work is reflective of the newer TMNT series (based on the comic) which seem to clash with backdrops and characters from the 80's Fred Wolf series.

There are a few good things, mainly the high framerate, decent animations, and some of the stages look better than the originals (the 2020 stage looks nice, but still could benefit from a more vibrant color pallete.) If you're looking for a challenge the enemy AI is way faster, and tend to crowd you out. The Bosses even regenerate health when left undamaged for a set period of time. Unfortunately, these changes made me feel like ubisoft spent way too much time tinkering with an already solid gaming mechanic, instead of just graphically updating a already decent game.


The Spiracy Scale

Graphics - Good. Not great, not fantastic just good. The animations that are there are decent however, these sprites pale in comparison to the vibrant colors, and quirks of the originals.

Controls - Meh. You remember that conversation in Spiderman 1 where Aunt May says "you do too much, you're not superman, you know?" yeah I feel like Ubisoft tried to make this game do way too much control wise. So much in fact that it takes away from the solid controls Konami already established.

Sound - um... It's kind of odd. The PS3 version music is different from the 360's music. Not only that, The PS3 music is entirely different altogether.

- er..Interesting. Ranges anywhere from easy. to hard to dragging your bare butcheeks across broken glass. Then again, these changes seem more like adjusting an older game to fit the tastes of a "hardcore" audience. However, the achievements are about as ordinary as it gets.

Replayability - Meh. you can pretty much get all the achievements in one go. The Online is interesting, but once you're done I can't say there's much to go back to.

The Verdict - If you're a fan of the arcade version, and you don't mind Ubisoft adding a couple new additions to Konami's already winning formula you may like this game, however if you're expecting an updated arcade port or updated version of the SNES game (some would say the definitive version of the game) you might be a little disappointed. To fans of the latter, you're better off going retro, and if this story has a moral it's definitely "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

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