TMNT Smash Upp

Micah Kolding

Platforms: Playstation 2, Wii

Developer: Game Arts


Has it really been twenty-five years? Indeed, the undisputed kings of mutated martial-artist reptiles are celebrating a full quarter century of teenagerhood. To that end, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up brings the Fab Four of the '80s into the Wii in the form of a one to four-player fighter worthy of everyone's campy favorite.

Fans of Super Smash Bros will definitely find Smash-Up to be a very familiar game. The gameplay and controls are nearly identical for the most part. There are, however, enough new or different features to make the game unique and keep your well-honed Smash Bros training frustrated. Most notably, the object of the game is no longer to hurl your opponents off the stage; characters now sport the more traditional health bar that gradually shrinks as you pummel them with your ninja awesomeness. Secondly, while the turtles and their fellows may not feature the most interesting moves individually, Smash-Up offers an overall fighting dynamic that very nearly compensates. Every character can cling to walls and perform flying attacks off of such perches. Every character can perform multiple successive attacks in midair. If the thought of high-speed, Crouching Tiger style aerial battles appeals to you, this may be a game worth trying.


Aside from the multiplayer mode, there is an arcade mode, a survival mode, and a long list of challenges and well-conceived mini-games that really round off the title nicely. And since no respectable fighter can be without unlockables, everything from bonus characters to 25th Anniversary artwork is available to be won.

In the end, though this may be a game that will lie in the shadow of its grander predecessor, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up does indeed bring something to the table that even the dedicated Smash Bros warrior shouldn't mind trying. And indeed, many of us have a special, kitchy place in our special, kitchy hearts for the franchise that could very well serve to bridge the gap. So if you're a fan of Master Splinter's band of heros in a half shell, then by all means, buy, enjoy, and keep those nunchaku spinning.

Turtle power.


About the author:

Micah Kolding is a teacher, writer, and cartoonist from Davis, California. His sharp and satiric edge has appeared in the likes of The California Aggie and The Sacramento Book Review, as well as on stage


copyright 2006