Review: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return—should you care?

I am the target audience of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Reshelled (Ubisoft, $10.00), an Xbox Arcade game available for download and play on the Xbox 360.

I bought the first issue of the comic when it came out in 1984. Not a first printing, but still. And I immediately subscribed to it at my local comic shop.

I bought all of the comics until Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird finally abandoned the book to devote themselves full-time to the media and marketing phenomenon the characters became.

I saw the first movie on its opening weekend, and most important, I put actual quarters into an actual machine in a video arcade along with three other friends to play the original version of this game.

Even at the time, Turtles in Time was not a work of video-game art. It was, and this remake remains, a classic beat-em-up, a game whose object was to pull quarters from the pockets of four players at a time. This 360 version of the game gets the quarters all at once when the player pays $10 up front for the download, but because the game is a pretty direct port, the mechanics that served to get me to put in another quarter to get a continue (the attacks that come from offscreen, the bosses who heal themselves, the traps littering the levels) in the arcade are still there.

Fortunately, the game has local multiplayer (as well as multiplayer over Xbox Live), so you can still have the fun of cursing your friends when they fail to knock a Foot ninja off your turtle's back.

If you are the target audience for this game, and particularly if you can still find the three friends who were in the actual arcade with you in those days, then Turtles in Time is certainly worth the money to download. Do not, however, expect the game to hold up to the passage of time as well as that first issue of the comic does.

The comic was made by people who loved the tropes of comics and martial arts so much that they could make dead-on fun of them. The game was made to take quarters.

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