by Nick Reay

As a young child I wished my parents had spent more time over in Russia, namely Chernobyl. I would have done anything to mutate into a pizza loving, ass-kicking turtle with a penchant for kicking the robotic RAM out of Shredder’s minions. Instead I had to make do with the NES version, a game that taught through bruised body parts to leave the use of nunchucks to Bruce Lee, and tested my patience at not murdering my brother in his sleep for always dying.

Firstly this is a third person beat-em-up which is a big move from the 1989 platform and while Activision and Red-Fly have obviously put some effort into creating a fan experience there are many things wrong with it. 


As with the original you can choose to be one of the fab four but adding to this choice is the ability to switch in-game. This creates some interesting combinations; hit a guy with Rafael then jump to Donatello and whack him with your bo, home run! Of course each of our ninjas has different fighting styles. Michelangelo is fast as hell, and about as annoying with some of his comments (he will constantly repeat a long list of toppings for pizza which is funny at first and as infuriating as a dripping tap at 100). Purple Don has some serious range with his bo while Raphael plays on his anger issues for strength leaving ol’ Leo as the most balanced of the group, making him the easiest to play with. Each character has similar skills you need to unlock (like a group attack, group defence, main attack increase) and each has specialist abilities too. All these can be unlocked by gaining experience though kills. Using stealth will bring you in more EXP and using chained combs more still. It is this combination that makes combat in this game addictive.

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I think the best way to describe the action is by comparing it to Batman Arkham Asylum and Devil May Cry. It moves from the slowmo pounding A’s head in, jumping to B and then to C in one fluid movement like Batman to button mashing (in my case) combo treatment like DmC, which is a really great fusion. The interaction between the four brothers as they fight is also worth noting. From rolling over the back/shell of a brother, you can smash an enemy in the face quicker than running around him, to using your ‘group attack’ you all play an important role in each other’s success.

Out of the Shadows also allows for limited scenery interaction, like back-flipping off a wall to land behind you enemy or swinging horizontally around a pole to fly into the face of evil. With different achievements stemming from the huge range of moves, including a 99-hit-combo award (read ‘bleeding thumbs’) you won’t get bored with the combat; just make sure you spend time in the dojo. Lots of time…


Much like the cartoon series the turtles are based in a sewer, one that contains arcade games, a dojo and weapon/tool upgrade centre (love you Leo!) In-between missions you can use your acquired experience points to improve on your wide range of weapons, practice moves you have unlocked (you will need to) or play video games (Gameception!) You can also play an arcade version of the actual game, no cut scenes, just old school Double Dragon side-scroller.

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Of course no game is without its problems. In this case, it’s full of them. On my first evening of playing I got to a level where you had to hand out some beatdown on a bunch of enemies in order to progress. However, the game did a Ghost on me and decided that even though all the enemies were cleared, one was still hanging about, I just couldn’t see him. So I had to restart the level, but only after pissing about for 15 minutes thinking I’d done something wrong. Issues with the camera are also there. Although nowhere near as bad as Resident Evil 6 it can be rather sticky, especially when you are going underground. This coupled with some collision detection problems, tearing and pop-ins take away from a lot of the potential charm of the game.  Often you will find the action takes on a frenzied blur of green confusion and you are left staring at the wrong turtle while the one you are playing is receiving lessons in brutal origami somewhere off screen.


It’s not often I play arcade games on my Xbox, I usually go for the more heavy titles, but this had me grinning like a stoned Cheshire Cat. It tickled my turtle bone the same way it did back in the early 90’s and anyone who happens to love the amphibian quartet will thoroughly love this…right up until the pervasive problems ruin the entire experience.  With a fun story, Splinter’s wise words and the banter between the ninjas, Red Fly Studios and Activision have succeeded in delivering a fun, but inconsistent and often broken game 

Last Updated: September 2, 2013

TMNT: Out of Shadows
Intrinsic problems with some of the basics; collision detection, dodgy camera, and sloppy graphics ruin what could have been a far more polished experience.
TMNT: Out of Shadows was reviewed on Xbox 360
38 / 100
  • Squirrely

    Always new something was up with that guy

    • Vampyre Squirrel


      • Squirrely

        *drinks cure* Back to normal Squirrely again

  • OVG


    • Vampyre Squirrel


    • RinceThisNintypoo

      Bring that back anyday!

    • Rock789

      Hell yeah! A true classic.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)


    • RinceThisNintypoo

      Thanks bro!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    “and tested my patience at not murdering my brother in his sleep for always dying.” lol

  • Hammersteyn

    Disappointing, but depending on the price I might still buy this.

    • RinceThisNintypoo

      I would recommend. It’s been ripped to ‘SHREDS’ (get it!) by many people. It is a buggy bastard, but it is actually a lot of fun (if you don’t go in with high expectations). The levelling up is better then some RPGs I’ve played!

      • Hammersteyn

        Sweet! Nice work BTW!

    • OVG

      Yip, for the price it is great and the leveling up could take quite a while and is rather addictive as you start kicking ass with one turtle and then upgrade the others.

      But I have to say, Konami still did the best job and I wished it was in the Arcade in game mini games.

      But different developers and publishers now 🙁

      • Hammersteyn

        This arcade machine almost bankrupt my parents

        • Vampyre Squirrel

          Same here lol

      • Brian Hooper

        Ubisoft did a conversion of Turtles in time called TMNT re-shelled but it was only available for a very short time and I missed it 🙁

  • Vampyre Squirrel

    Nice review Rince!

    Hopefully they patch it (yeah, Arcade games get patches sometimes) and sort out those issues.

    • RinceThisNintypoo

      Do they? To be honest I’ve only played a few arcade games on my Xbox, and I actually did get a lot of enjoyment out of this. For R129 it’s worth it. Just don’t expect Last of Us 😉

      • Vampyre Squirrel

        R129 isn’t bad really… some of the other games (like Castle Crashers) has been updated multiple times… and it’s freaking crazy fun.

  • Admiral Chief Assassin o’Kings


  • Jonah Cash

    Well done rince my boy!!! I found this….. Don’t know why but this is for you!!

    • RinceThisandCochon!

      Hahahahha! So I’m a beer drinking pig?! Sounds about right…

      • TiMsTeR1033

        and you forgot about your school

        • RinceThisandCochon!

          HAHAHA You shut up you!

          • TiMsTeR1033

            and see people at Rince Na Tiarna you get told the truth! if you suck we tell you to SHUT UP! Doctors confirm it improves your dancing!! call us now on 0800 you can dance like rince

  • hairyknees

    Epic review 🙂 I can’t remember which TMNT game I had when I was a kid, but I know I played the crap out of it! Haven’t played one since then 😡

  • Skyblue

    How does this one compare to the TMNT movie tie-in game from Ubi a few years back? Asking because it also got shitty reviews but my youngest son still loves it.

    • RinceThisandCochon!

      I actually haven’t played that. Can anyone here comment? I’m probably mentally challenged, but I did have fun with this game, but I’m quite a forgiving person when it comes to movies games etc. I think your son would love it.

      • Skyblue

        Thanks, good enough answer for me.


    But where is the dogs and guns?

    • RinceThisandCochon!

      You unlock them on your second playthough…

    • TiMsTeR1033

      at your mamas house hehehe just kiddin

    • Brenz

      You have to pay extra for them

  • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

    These new TMNT look eeewww.

    • RinceThisandCochon!

      They do have a rather weird look about them hey…

      • TiMsTeR1033

        the things nightmares are made of!!!

  • TiMsTeR1033

    In 2015 Activision will be making a New TNMT GAME!!! Called TMNT “REAL AS IT GETS!” and sources found 1 leaked in game image! its amazing!!! take a look for yourself!!

  • Gareth L

    I stopped reading at the misspelling of Raphael…

    Shallow, yes I agree. 😛

    • RinceThisandCochon!

      Geoff! Sort that out! Good spot, second use of his name is correct, you just needed to hand in there for one more sentence man, damn! 😉

  • Yarik11

    Chernobyl is in Ukraine, not Russia

    • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

      Indeed, you are correct!

  • Brian Hooper

    Hoping PSN will fix these issues in time for it’s playstation release.

    • Brian Murphy

      Wouldn’t it be up to Activision/Red-Fly to fix these issues? From what I read, they’re issues with the game itself, not with the network? Sony didn’t make the game.

      • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

        This is correct. They are issues with the actual game .But perhaps Red-Fly and Activision will sort their shit out.

      • Brian Hooper

        You’re right, but Sony should look at it from a financial stand point and get the developer to sort it out because it’s Sony as well that will lose money if this game isn’t fixed in time for release on PSN.

        • Brian Murphy

          There isn’t exactly a huge amount Sony can do to ‘force’ Activision to do anything with it’s developers (other than say, threaten to pull the game from the store), that having been said, most dev teams take it upon themselves to implement these fixes since…well, their financial future depends on it.

  • PsychoSpazz

    wasnt there supposed to be a new live action movie in the works aswell?

  • Michael Beale

    Turtles are actually reptiles

  • kit

    So found an infinite xp glitch whil playing tonight. Wastn sure where to post it but here goes. While pkaying with mikey i was doing some wall flips when i noticex if i wall flip and hit triangle he does this jump kick that gives me 10 xp evertime i doit with no enemy necisary. Can yall replicate this? I just did it tonight

  • kit

    Sorry hit triangle twice

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