Published on April 23rd, 2024 | by Paul Stuart

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review (PS5)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review (PS5) Paul Stuart

Summary: A kid-friendly but uninspired take on the 2017 arcade game, better retro options exist for the TMNT crew.


Stale Pizza

If you’re a 1990’s Nickelodeon kid with fond memories of the arcade version of this title, you’re potentially in for a treat. Updated graphics, new bosses, additional levels, and four turtle couch co-op. For those not in this category…to include anyone but those with kids…recommending a pass, my friends.

To begin, Shredder’s Revenge this is most certainly not. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is a very simple game, a literal two button masher with no branching paths and featuring over-simplistic control schemes. To explain and beyond visuals, there is no discrepancy between any of the four individual turtles in gameplay execution, likewise Turtle Power (a special move bar unlocked by defeating a defined number of enemies).

On PS5, Wrath of the Mutant visuals are nicely presented, but definitely show their age (even with the refresh). Voice-overs are instead where this title truly shines, with excellent quips and captures of the original voice actors. Music and sound effects are also miles behind Shredder’s Revenge, pretty much what one may expect back in 2017.

While Cradle Games is a somewhat odd choice for development (mainly known for decent Hellpoint titles), I’m not sure any other developer would’ve fared much better based on source material. This is a very short playthrough, maybe 45min maximum upon estimate. Also and other than incentive to unlock the last level and finish the game, there’s no connective tissue across any of the levels. Individually, Wrath of the Mutants levels exist as separate entities featuring two halves, with boss fights (e.g. Beebop, Rockstead, Krang, Baxter, Karai) at midway then end of each. Defeating all five unlocks the Shredder one (no spoilers being given on game conclusion). Post original playthrough, replayability lies solely in surpassing high scores, nothing less, nothing more.

For those unfamiliar with the arcade original, famous buddies (Leatherhead, Metalhead) are scattered throughout for additional help, and can clear a screen by activating them via an on-screen token. Similarly, environments feature some interactive/explosive elements, spin attacks, and ninja star pickups, useful for thinning the herd (of which there are masses). Previously mentioned Turtle Power will clear out an entire screen except for bosses, where activation will reduce said boss health by about 15-20% [depending on each]. Of course, there’s pizza for health restore.

Expect cheap hits galore, as the shortage of move options means enemies will swarm without a proper counterattack. Bosses also execute unblockable moves/hits, exacerbated by their cheap shots going right through other bad guys on the screen. As an example, one boss’ tornado attack will pull you in…but not foot clan soldiers cheap shot-ting all the while. Certainly not helping this dynamic was an odd choice to map double jump to a standard downward attack move, thus getting out of the way of anything can be challenging (as limited to singular jump or run away only).

Due to lots of continues, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants can be defeated by most upon first play. Only the last level offers any true challenge, mainly the mid-boss and final boss/es who don’t play very fair.

For family peeps, my 6-year-old best buddy (who has played the heck of Shredder’s Revenge, also The Cowabunga Collection) had fun with this one. He recalled it at a Chuck E. Cheese, which he insisted this new release pretty faithful. The art is also very family friendly, with no depictions of violence, no bad language, and everything bright and easily seen. The neighbors won’t hate you if you let other kids play together.

Perhaps my biggest criticism is the price point which is arguably high at $30US. In comparison to other recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles releases, Wrath of the Mutants is a very distant third in bang for the buck. There is no depth here, it can border on monotonous with such little gameplay options, and replayability almost non-existent for adults.

Final Thoughts

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is a solid enhancement of the 2017 arcade, an already limited offering inspired by Nickelodeon and designed for kids. Unless you’re a true fan of the original and/or have little buddies to play locally with, not a strong recommendation here.

About the Author'

A gamer for over 30 years, Paul Stuart has an unhealthy obsession with Assassins Creed, God of War, also sport and virtual reality titles. In his spare time, he teaches Muay Thai kickboxing, runs, and drives his toddler crazy.

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