Activision's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has been released for Xbox Live Arcade, and for 1200 Microsoft points ($15), you can shell out a lot of damage with Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael, either alone or with friends.
The game does take some getting used to at the beginning, thanks to some new play techniques implemented by the development team at Redfly Studios. However, we've got a few tips that will make it simple to dispense justice on Shredder and his fellow Foot Clan members.
As you get started in the single player version of the game, you'll learn about certain moves from April, who kick-starts the plot by getting kidnapped by the Foot Clan. You then take control of Leonardo and his katana blades, learning techniques like sneaking up on enemies – by clicking in the left analog stick to activate stealth mode – and putting together combos with punches and kicks.
While you progress further into the game, you open up the other Turtles – Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael – to play. You can switch between them at any time using the D-pad, which is useful when it comes to moving over to a Turtle that's having trouble in combat, or if you want to fight someone who is closer to another Turtle.
The switch technique works quite effectively, though obviously it's not available if you're in the middle of a four player co-op game. Starting out with single player is the best way to go, as you'll get to learn each Turtle's specialty moves and techniques. Who knows, you just might adapt to a favorite.
Special Moves Galore
Along with your routine punches and kicks, which are assigned right next to each other on buttons on the control pad, you'll eventually open up special moves by performing well in combat.
Once they open up, you'll have two options. The first is a basic special attack, which you execute by holding the right trigger and performing a rotating action on your right analog stick. Doing this, you'll unleash a devastating attack that will leave most enemies hurting.
An even more powerful attack opens up if you fill all three "turtle meters" at the top corner of the screen. Once you do this, you'll hit the right trigger and punch button, which fires off a powerful multi-hit combo at whoever you're facing. This is useful during boss encounters or stronger enemies, like ones carrying wrenches.
If you're playing with friends, you can save these moves and unleash special team moves, which make you even stronger in combat, including swinging kicks and the "roll ball" technique, where you bowl over enemies with your shells. The moves really depend on the Turtles, so be sure to practice in the Dojo if you need to.
Go on the Defensive
When it comes to defense, you'll want to make sure you learn counters. Once an enemy flashes white, you'll want to hit the block/counter button to keep them from hitting you. It gets a little hectic when you're fighting multiple guys, but the more you practice, the better you become.
When an enemy flashes yellow, they're about to unleash an unblockable attack. To avoid getting hit and losing a good chunk of energy, you'll need to evade, which is either with the A button or X button, depending on what version you're playing. You'll either roll over them or get out of the way, setting yourself up for an ideal counterattack. Learn to use this move often, because, otherwise, you'll get whipped into shape by the end of the first stage.
Save Your Brothers
It's important to work as a unit, whether you're on your own or playing with friends. If one of your fellow Turtles is down for the count, you'll want to revive them immediately. Simply find them in the area – they'll be passed out on the ground with stars over their heads – and stand over them, pressing the right trigger and left shoulder buttons together. Hold them long enough until they can get back up. Reviving doesn't cost you anything, but it'll be game over if you lose all four team members. Remember, stay strong as a unit.
Stars and Sprints
Other moves available to you are throwing shurikens and sprinting. Shurikens are great, not only for stunning nearby enemies, but also temporarily stopping gunners, like the Kra'ang, from afar. Once they're stunned, you can use the sprint button – reserved for the right shoulder button – to run over and land a running attack.
Running attacks are very good for jumping into fights, especially kicks. By landing a kick, you can knock most foes on their butts, allowing you and your Turtles to re-gather before they get back up. Punching moves work great as well, and you can combine a sprint with an evade if someone's a little too close to your range.
Practice running, because it'll make all the difference in keeping your shells safe.
Play With Frienda
When it comes to playing Out of the Shadows, single player is a pretty good experience, though there are times your characters will stand around doing very little. Don't be afraid to try out multiplayer, whether you're playing locally with a friend on split-screen or logging into Xbox Live or PlayStation Network for four-player sessions.
Multiplayer matches aren't nearly as chaotic as single player ones, as each combatant – depending on their skills, of course – contributes to the battle. You can even team up and unleash those special moves if you've got enough energy, and to watch them come off and clean up a horde of thugs is good stuff.
Try to find friends if you can, but random players should do the trick as well. You'll be shelling out justice in no time.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is available for Xbox Live Arcade, and coming next month to PlayStation Network.