I am a fan of Ninja Turtles. I am not a fan of remakes. There are some exceptions to each of those rules, but typically they hold true. Turtles in Time for the SNES is one of my favorite Super Nintendo games and for good reason beyond just having Ninja Turtles in it. Turtles in Time Re-Shelled is an Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network remake from the 2D sprite beat ’em up to a 3D rendered cash-in. So let’s get this gravy train rolling!
When I heard that Turtles in Time would be remade for the Turtles’ 25th anniversary I was extremely skeptical. Mainly I wanted to know why they felt they needed to remake an already fantastic game. What’s the point? The game was great, so what needed to be changed? From the standpoint of both a gamer and a Turtles fan, I only had one suggestion: Something new. We don’t get that here. We get some shag carpet tacked over hardwood floors.
Turtles in Time was a perfect combination of all its elements into something greater as a whole. The levels were fun and vibrant, the animations were cartoony and exactly what we’d expect from Ninja Turtles, hit detection was perfect and hitting things FELT good, the game wasn’t overly long or overly short, and the music was slap-your-fanny amazing. I still listen to the soundtrack to both the SNES and the arcade versions every so often because the music gets me that jazzed.
Re-Shelled doesn’t keep anything from the original save for locations and enemies. Graphically it gets bumped up to include 3D models of everything but in the process all the life is sucked out of the Turtles. Now they look bland and “cool.” When I say “cool,” I’m talking the Poochie-style “Hey kids, this is cool and edgy and you’ll love it” brand of cool that fails to understand the point. Graphics look good but don’t do the material any sort of justice.
The music is gone. It’s been replaced with edgier riffs and mood music. It’s totally forgettable. If they would have just remixed all the tracks ala Street Fighter II HD Remix then I would have downloaded 7 copies of Re-Shelled, even though that wouldn’t have made any sense.
Also gone is the sense of good contact when hitting enemies. The original gave up solid contact noises but Re-Shelled has everything sounding like a wet sponge. Not my idea of fun when robots don’t make significant noise when I hit them with a nunchuck.
Re-Shelled is cheap. You can download it for $10, but don’t. Yes, there is 4-player online play, but that’s about the entirety of the good features for the remake. Save your money and go track down the original. It’s not that hard to find and it won’t cost that much, either.