A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up is a frenzied beat-'em-up game where you can play as the good guy or the villain. Players select characters including turtles, humans and robots and battle each other in free-for-all style using swords, hockey sticks, bombs, and fists. The frenetic combat is depicted in "cartoony" fashion with flashes of light, sound, and explosions accompanying the blows. The action is fun and a wild, with no blood, guns, or serious injury inflicted on the characters. Still, it's important to observe the +10 ESRB rating as younger children may find the game disorienting or frightening and have some trouble distinguishing virtual from real violence.
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What's it about?
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SMASH-UP features the cast of character created 25 years ago by comic book artist, Peter Laird. The Turtles, trained in the art of ninja combat, dwell beneath the city in the sewers and - under the guidance of their mentor - the rat, Splinter, battle villains. In this game, the story takes a back seat to fighting as players pick from a host of characters, both heroes and villains, and engage in tournament-style combat. These battles occur in interactive environments such as a cruise ship, jungle, city sewer, and atop a moving train, all the while avoiding additional obstacles that include falling rocks, alligators, and blasting lasers.
Is it any good?
Smash-Up all about batting friends in high-speed, multiplayer contests, and it's lots of fun. Players familiar with Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl games will be right at home with Smash-Up. Novices, too, will have no problem with the simple controls, which allow for one-button primary and secondary attacks, with controller stick movement activating variations on these. Fans of the franchise will find lots to love as well, with bonus items like collectibles, comic book covers from the original series, and unlockable characters and mini games. The one big issue with Smash-Up, is the graphics. Because the screen is sometimes busy with action, the muddy and unpolished visuals can obscure what's happening and cause some frustration.
Online interaction: Players can battle others in online tournaments, though the gameplay doesn't vary from regular play as there's no voice or text chat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about franchise; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) began as a comic book before the characters appeared in cartoons, movies, games, and as colectible toys. Do toys make good game characters? Do comic characters make good movies? The concept of taking characters from one medium and putting them in another warrants some discussion. Sometimes, placiing these characters outside their original medium doesn't work well. Can you think of an example?
Why it is (or is not) more satisfying to battle a character controlled by a friend instead of an AI character. How is fighting in multiplayer, free-for-all style different from going on a specific mission and fighting bad guys?
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