Sometimes I think people don't 'get' Platinum Games' games.
The game is heavily inspired on the newest IDW comics, which I felt was a brilliant decision. While the designs aren't exactly the same, for example, in these comics the four turtles have different types of arm-guards, yet in the game only Leo has any sort of of arm-guards, however, they managed to give them different belts and their masks have different lengths and shapes, which are beautiful details that set them apart. April's take is different as well, she seems to be a young adult here, while in the comics she is portrayed as a teenager. Basically, this incarnation of the turtles most closely resemble the comics, but it's not set in that universe. The voice cast is entirely different from any other version of the turtles as well, and everyone did a fantastic job as their characters, this might probably be my favorite version of Leo, and I love how they brought back Mirage comics' Raphael's 'Crud!' exclamation. If I haven't made it clear yet, if you love the comic book versions of the characters, you will absolutely adore the presentation, I know I did. This is the version of the turtles I've been waiting for ever since I discovered the comics. These are the turtles we deserve in videogame form. As for the plot itself, it's a simple 'Krang and Shredder have teamed up and are up to no good', it's a very simple set up, that's far from engrossing, but it's all the story a game like this needs. There're cutscenes before and after each level, and I felt they were fantastic, while the story wasn't all that interesting, I loved seeing the turtles interact with the other characters, like Splinter, April, Slash, Bebop, etc.
After you finish 5 or 6 missions April will home-in on the boss' location, and you can finally go fight them. Boss fights were my favorite part of the game, they are tough, they are long and they are fun. On Normal they've 7 life bars each, but depending on the difficulty setting the number may increase or decrease. While you have the numerical advantage on these fights, bosses pack quite a punch and their attacks cover very wide areas, so you will have to make the most of the dodge/block/parry systems to pull through. The first 4 bosses are a bit easy, but after you get to Armaggon, they really pick up. I've heard a lot of people claiming that these are 'obscenely hard', but they really aren't. I gave Michelangelo and Donnie support movesets, while I gave a balanced amount of deffensive and ofensive moves on Leo and kept Raph with an exclusively offensive moveset. I played most of the time as Leo, and if you learn how to block, dodge and parry, the battles become exhilarating. The 'life' system works on the player's favor, every time a turtle loses all its health, he retrieves to his shell and has 9-4 seconds(Depending on how many times he reached this state already) for another turtle to revive him, if none makes it in time, they are sent to the lair to eat pizza and recover. As long as at least one turtle remains out of the lair, you don't lose. And assuming that you do lose, there's 3 continues per level, and while you have to start the boss from the start, it's not overly punishing. At least on the normal difficulty setting, the challenge is just right.
There's around 18-20 different special moves that can be equipped and upgraded. Defeating each boss will also unlock new moves for purchase. While special moves looked visually different I don't think there's much incentive for experimentation after you find moves that you like. The thing is, this is not a combo-based game, so it's not like you have juggling moves, or stunning moves, etc, all moves are simply different ways of dealing damage. The damage, area of effect and cooldown on each might be different, but the end result is somewhat the same. You can further customize each turtle by equipping charms on them, which can be enhanced by using different scavenge found after finishing a level. The amount of slots for equipping charms varied depending on the difficulty setting, the higher the difficulty, the more slots you get.
I liked Mutants in Manhattan a lot, it's not the best TMNT game out there, and it's far from Platinum Games' best efforts, but to call it mediocre is to do it a disservice, but I will agree that it's a game best enjoyed by fans of the franchise, particularly by fans of the comics, since the misguided fans from the terrible 1987 show won't give anything that isn't 'light-hearted' and 'funny' a chance. Reviewers saying stuff like 'go play the Konami arcade games instead' are delusional and misguided by nostalgia, since, if they found this game repetitive, they wouldn't last more than two minutes playing those beat'em ups. For shame, people, for shame.
7.0 out of 10