The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have kept busy over the years. Since their initial introduction in comics in 1984, the quartet has grown in popularity, appearing in TV shows, movies and video games. Their thriving success continues today with a new live-action movie in the works for 2014 and an animated series currently airing on Nickelodeon.

As far as video games go, the team couldn't be more popular. Along with a self-titled retail game slated for release on Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS and Wii later this year, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows will make its debut later this month on Xbox Live Arcade, and next month on PlayStation Network.

Out of the Shadows takes a more realistic approach than the TV show, featuring character models similar to the live-action films, but also blending stylish combat that fits each of the Turtles’ personalities.

This guide will give you a better idea how each turtle works. Each character has a unique advantage, so you won't be left with a bad case of shell shock.

Leonardo

The leader of the group – as appointed by the team's sensei, Splinter – Leonardo keeps his cool. He devoted his life to training, making sure he gets the most from his twin katana blades. His moves are not only precise, but also powerful when chained together, which is effective against stronger opponents and multiple enemies. From what we've seen, he has no problem leading the Ninja Turtles with authority.

Michelangelo

With his wild party style and surfer-speak, Michelangelo appears unreliable. However, he’s all business in combat, able to take down multiple enemies with spin moves. He also brandishes a pair of nunchucks that provide a good sense of range and flexibility over a bo staff or katana sword.  

Donatello

Considered the "brain" of the group, Donatello is quite handy when it comes to building things and making them work around the dojo. Although he carries one weapon, the bo staff provides superior range, which is ideal for enemies that come charging towards the group. Use Donatello if you prefer to hit enemies a good distance away.

Raphael

Where Leonardo is cool under pressure, Raphael is the polar opposite. His mean temper serves him well in combat.  He carries a pair of sharpened sais. While short, he can deal huge amounts of damage up close. His physicality is off the charts, as he chains spin kicks and finishing moves that put adversaries in their place.  

Team Tactics

Although each Turtle is different, they mesh well as a group.  You'll see this with the various team attacks you can execute.  For instance, Mikey and Raph team up to form a Turtle bowling ball, similar to a maneuver introduced in the first live-action movie in 1990.  Another has Don teaming with Leo, spinning him around to hit several thugs at once. Multiple attacks are available, so experiment with your fighting crew and see what you can pull off.

Everyone's a Throwing Master

Finally, when it comes to hitting enemies from a distance with shurikens, no Turtle is better than the others. All four have great throwing range, hitting enemies with enough force to temporarily disorient them, so you can run in and finish the job.

No matter which Turtle you prefer, all four bring something special to Out of the Shadows. Feel free to experiment, and look forward to more features leading up to the game’s debut.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows releases on Xbox Live August 28th, and PlayStation Network September 24th.