I was a big fan of the E&L TMNT comics back in the day. They were awesome, gritty, and had a great bit of world-building. I always felt like the Pizza-Hut turtles were an awful reflection of the "true" TMNT franchise - although obviously way more people think of Michelangelo as a surfer who wears orange than as a silent killer in red...
I never saw the TMNT film that came out a few years back, but I did manage to pick up the game for $5, and finally played it to completion (and with 1000 Achievement points) as of yesterday.
No spoiler alert: the game is terrible.
The game is clearly developed with the Jade Engine - so named for the main character (Jade) of Beyond Good & Evil - but made popular by the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. A version of the Jade engine powers the Assassin's Creed franchise, and I believe the LEGO franchise as well.
Off hand, some wall-running and ledge-grabbing sounds like a decent fit for a TMNT game. But the production of this game is simply awful. There are some good bits - the camera design is quite masterful in the face of terrible level design, and the comic cutscenes are very well presented if you overlook the horrible "words" that make up the other half of their content.
The Story. Oh, God - The Story!
The storytelling in this game is incredibly bad. Clearly the story was written in outline form before production, and then "told" via slapped-together pieces of cutscenes between levels. The guys say things like "we were surprised at what we found that night" - or "that was the least of the lessons we were about to learn!" - as if they are setting up some piece of action or gameplay that is going to finish that thought. But the thoughts are not finished - ever. It's as if the writers assumed that the heavy lifting of the story was going to be told through the game - which I assume was exactly the case.
Raphael has a secret identity - which everyone says was really important, but clearly isn't. The Foot Clan show up sometimes - but have no connection to anything. After the last level the game reveals that you are now going to fight an immortal conquistador and his transformed-to-stone buddies, because they once did something bad, and there is a celestial alignment tonight that focuses planet energy on the office tower he owns in his day job as a business owner. All of this is revealed, you then fight and defeat the five of them, and then the game is won.
Huh? This all happens after 15 levels of "we went on patrol, and guess what we saw!" - which always ends with "we didn't see anything. But the NEXT night..." it's the worst story I've ever played - because it's so clearly trying to do something - but instead does nothing. And wastes a ton of time in the process.
C Team Level Design
Back when I was working on the Prince of Persia games, I worked reasonably closely with some of the Ubisoft Montreal management. They had arranged two teams of level-designers in Jade - the A team and the B team. They staggered PoP games, which is why every-other-one was such a mess! TMNT was clearly made by some new "C" team, because it has absolutely no consistency or clarity. The movement controls, though ripped right from PoP, are somehow clunky and hard to use. There are lots of depth-blind jumping sequences that I had to fail 2-20 times to get right. Some levels took only 8 minutes to play, and others took upwards of 40.
Playing through the game was a chore - no doubt about it. At least I have 1000 Achievement points to sooth my wounds.