So I grabbed and played Turtles in Time. It was fun… for a little while. For the first few stages I was totally wrapped up in memories of playing it in the arcade as a kid, and it was fantastic. But as that nostalgia wore off, I began to notice that I was playing a pretty boring video game.
Prettier graphics, sure, but at the core it was still a button masher designed to eat my quarters. Except now I had infinite continues, and all the cheap mechanics the game had to make sure I lost had just become tedious as opposed to challenging.
As much as I’ve been anticipating this game all summer, I have to be honest here… Turtles in Time did not age well. It was an great game when I was younger, but let’s face it, video games have come a long way in twenty years, and I guess now I find myself expecting Castle Crashers and Shadow Complex. The nostalgia was just not enough to carry the title for me.
I don’t regret buying it. It was a nice little $10 trip down memory lane. But it doesn’t offer a lot to keep me coming back. As much as I would have griped about Ubisoft “messing with a classic”… perhaps they should have amped it up a bit.
I enjoyed the graphics, and I’d still purchase a new TMNT sidescroller if they used the same engine, and added a bit more depth to the gameplay. More combos/attacks and individuality to the turtles. Bring it on, Ubisoft.
Now to talk about a game that is living up to every ounce of hype and expectation that I have heaped upon its broad, cowled shoulders. Batman: Arkham Asylum. I played the snot out of the demo today (out today for the PS3, tomorrow for 360), and I had goosebumps the entire time.
Since I was a little kid I would read Batman comics, watch Batman movies and television shows and think to myself “I want to be Batman. Why won’t someone create a video game that lets me be Batman?” Batman has everything a video game needs, and yet, no developer could seem to figure out how to make a good Batman game.
Well you know what? Rocksteady Studios figured it out.
What the demo shows me is that they get Batman. They understand what Batman is supposed to be doing. They give us all the Batman we want, and none of it we don’t. I hope that the entire game delivers on the awesomeness that the demo promises, and I hope the game is a smashing financial success. I hope that, like Spider-man, Batman Begins and Iron Man have become the benchmarks for super hero movies, Batman: Arkham Asylum becomes the benchmark for super hero video games.
I want the studios working on the Iron Man 2 and, inevitably, Green Lantern games to look at Batman and say “yes we can”.
Now fuck you August 25th, hurry up and get here.