At the beginning of this blog, I tried to do a series of posts centered around comparing 2 games of similar content or genre. Like a versus series of sorts. I think the last one I made was Rayman Origins vs DKCR. Then I got bored of doing those because its… not at all that easy to find unique games to compare. Plus I didn’t want the victors of those comparisons to be too obvious. I had the idea of pitting Vanquish against Binary Domain, but you’d need a brain tumor to even entertain the thought of choosing the latter.

So I left ye old vs posts to rot away and never be remembered. That is… until P* (Platinum Games) decided to cash in on childhood dreams. 

Ok they were commissioned by Activision but who really cares at this point? Since Transformers and Ninja Turtles experienced a revival of sorts (unfortunately at the hands of a Pervy pyromaniac) Activision saw fit to profit off of a new generation’s new found interest in old brands. As an added plus, they decided to entice older fans of both franchises by adding in a touch of nostalgia by bringing back classic designs (at least for Hasbro’s shit). 

Even more, they hired Platinum Studios to make the games. And who better!? These guys made Anarchy Reigns and Metal Gear Rising!

Unfortunately, along with their talent,  they brought their curse as well, both games were bombs with fans and critics alike, and were quickly forgotten before it released.

That said, if you were to buy just one, which would be the better title? Its the battle of the childhoods! IMPACT! …Yeah that’s what I usually say at the end of.. ah fuck I dont remember. 

I dont remember how I usually rated them, process or nothin, so I’ll just give a summary of both games separately without rating them until I get to the comparisons.

So lets start off with my childhood heroes, The Teenage mutant ninja turtles: Mutants in Manhattan

MiM has a very basic premise. Shredder and Krang are up to no good and its up to the Ninja Turtles to stop him. So they do

The game has 10 stages, with the second half of stages reusing the first 5 layouts. The goal of each level is to score enough points to reach the end boss. So for many, the game will remind P* fans of Madworld, right down to the frame rate. You of course fight classic Tmnt villains Rocksteady, Bebop and Karai,  along with 3 I’ve never heard of (Wingnut? ).

That said, all that can be discussed is its gameplay. You take control of w/e turtle you choose,  not that it matters as you can switch between characters mid-stage. The controls are what you expect from a modern day beat em up. Light and heavy attacks with the occasional jumping. Each turtle has their own unique attacks and combos owing to their signature weapons. Leonardo has twin katanas,  Raphael has twin sais, Donatello has a bostaff, and my man Michaellangello has nun-chucks. I cant believe Bay turned Mikey into a pussy for out of the shadows. You can also dodge and block moves, but its confusing to explain. I’ll talk about why when we get to the comparisons.

 You can command the other 3 turtles but it doesn’t do much. You can also use special attacks which can be equipped before a stage. Up to four can be used, many of which have to be unlocked first, and each turtle has 1 unique special. Leo has chaos control, Raph becomes invisible to enemies,  Donnie heals, and Mikey… uses pom poms to reset everyone’s cool down. Personally I never saw him as that much of a dork, but I’ll roll with it. Also when 2 turtles use their combo attack special, they pull off additional moves! If Leo leads (IE he did his combo move before another turtle) you do a rapid spin attack. Raph lead causes an explosion,  Donnie some… ninja illusion slash (?), and Mikey pulls a moonwalker and forces enemies to dance! Goddamn Mikey is awesome! Special attacks can be improved by paying some gems (it can be pricey!)

You can also equip charms which give you bonus abilities like more attack power, auto healing,  faster special cooldown. The amount of charms you can equip is dependent on the difficulty mode you choose.  You’ll be able to improve certain charm bonuses by finding materials from enemies and bosses. Or you can dismantle them and randomly get a new charm.

In each stage, like I said, you need to score enough points to reach the boss. This is harder said than done. Each stage has randomly generated missions that give you a huge score boost. So doing these missions are crucial to reaching a boss.

So thats the run-down for Mutants in Manhattan. Lets check out Transformers Devastation. That actually sounds like a movie title.

I wasn’t a Transformers fan, but I could understand the appeal. Boys liked cars and robots, so they put a car in a robot so it could change from a car to a robot! …I shouldve commissioned for an Xzibit meme

Anywho, the game’s premise is… also pretty simple. Megatron and… is it Shockwave? These robot names are hard to remember,  they all look the same… anyhow,  they plan to use a starship called the Proudstar to terraform the Earth into another Cybertron,  so the Autobots try to stop them. But then they find that the Proudstar holds the history of Cybertron within its database and have a dilemma about whether or not to destroy or preserve the ship.

This game will remind P* fans of Bayonneta because that cunt ass dodging system is back. You know, dodge at the last minute to slow down time. The game’s battle system is pretty simple, you’ve got the same beat em up controls as everything else. You have access to a plethora of weapons ranging from sabers, claws, hammers,  dual sabers, etc. But you can also use firearms ala Deadpool style (if you played that game, you’ll know). Its kinda like LBX or Custom Robo, this game.  As expected, you have the ability to find better weapons in higher difficulties. 

You’ve got 5 autobots to choose from. The overrated Optimus prime,  Bumblebee (praise Amma he’s not voiced by that goddamn Johnny Young Bosh anymore), someone called Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and a “Dinobot” called Grimlock. There’s very little difference between the five aside from stats, what weapons they can use, and special attacks.

Also, you have the ability to equip certain chips to provide bonuses. The amount you can equip depends on the character’s level (yeah you have to level up in this game) and you can either buy them or create them for a cheap price.

There aren’t any stages but “chapters”. The game is kinda open-world with only 2 environments (city, spaceship). As expected from open-world games, you have missions to complete which requires a lot of backtracking. All the missions boil down to destroying bosses anyway. There’s also a challenge mode where… well what else? Play challenges! It’s an easy way to earn experience and money as well as gain better weapons. 

So thats the gist of Transformers Devastation. Now that we have that out the way,  its time to DDDDDDUEL!!! …I think I said some shit like that…

I thought it would be appropriate somehow. .. fuck it.

I’ve always been a Turtles fan. The movies, the cartoon. Everything. I’m one of the retards who liked the CGI movie, at least they acted like ninjas for a change. And im one of the fuckwits who liked Shredder in the first Bay Turtles movie. Come on, he was such a beast! Flying swords and everything! Yeah he looked like shit, but compared to the fugly ass turtles, he looked like a hundred bucks. *sigh* Yeah, I love me some Ninja turtles

…………………….Get Transformers

No no wait, dont go yet! Lemme explain!

Now, both of these games are very similar in gameplay and content. There’s something to enjoy for fans of both franchises. But here, it all comes down to execution and the amount of fucks given.

STORY: Transformers

Read the opening premises for both the Turtles and Transformers. Yeah, I didnt write anything for turtles. There’s nothing to write about. The plot is that thin. Krang again wants to open a portal to dimension X, like I haven’t seen that story a million times in the cartoon. And Shredder is just there. What is his motive!? You wouldn’t have a clue. And the Turtles just go to stop him. How the fuck does Bay Turtles have more depth than a game of fanservice? 

On the other hand, I dont know shit about Transformers and I regret not being a fan. This is pretty dramatic and awesome shit! Terraforming an entire planet which would doom the human race to extinction!? And a moral dilemma? At least I have a good understanding  what Megatron is up to.

There’s a semblance of motivation on Transformers’s end. I couldn’t give 2 damns about the Turtles. And no, the Ninja Turtles are not under-developed  shells (hehe), they’ve had arcs a plenty, even if most of them boiled down to Raphael’s jealousy of Leonardo, there’s lots of material they could’ve used, they did nothing.
ART DESIGN: Transformers

The Ninja Turtles are pretty hideous to look at in this game. Why is everyone trying to give them noses!? The old cartoon had the perfect designs for them, especially seasons 8-10. Hell, the CGI film had fantastic designs. I cant even look at their faces. They’re not as ugly as Bay Turtles,  but goddamn. Transformers!? They REUSED THE OLD 80S DESIGNS!!! Well what the hell was wrong with the 80’s turtles that you made them look like bitches!?

Also the environments look better in Transformers. Color! Actual Color! The turtles game looks all dark and grungy,  the environments are about as colorless as a mime. They’re both cel-shaded, but cel-shaded games have some color on them, the turtles game looks depressing half the time. 

GENERAL GAMEPLAY: Ninja Turtles

At its core, Turtles did have better combat. All of these special attacks and combinations you could pull off, as well as having the option to switch between characters mid-stage was a plus. That and having all 4 turtles fighting at once made it feel more like you were on a team. Also having that ability to switch between characters meant you could switch skill sets on the fly, making the game feel more free form.

Transformers is more rigid with its rules. There is no team, its just you facing hordes of sometimes cheap and overpowered enemies. I did like being able to change from car to robot without restrictions, but when it comes to fighting,  it gets kinda repetitive. You hit the enemies and dodge shit until you flash yellow and hit R2 to do yo special, rinse and repeat. Im kind of confused why in some parts you get assistance from the other Autobots but when a big bitch like Menasor (did I spell that right?) comes out, those assholes disappear. Thanks for the backup yah jackasses!!

Only thing I can say is at least Transformers has better long range options.  All you have in Turtles are shurikens. I forgot to mention that earlier, but it might as well not be in the game, it’s useless. The dodging mechanics are also better here. I hated it in Bayonneta,  but it made sense.  You dodge as soon as you’re attacked to slow down time. In turtles its all fucked up. Dodging and requires its own stamina meter for no good reason (you would go into your shell and spin around for as long as that button is held) but worse yet is if you want to grab onto an enemy or boss, get this, you have to let go of the dodge button at the last minute… and then hit circle at the right time! Thats retarded as hell. It doesn’t feel natural at all, its like trying to throw a fireball in Street Fighter 1. Its arbitrary execution complexity for no reason, this maneuver doesn’t even do a lot of damage, its just a fancy move for comedy purposes but its not funny. And then you have these packs of nitwits who go on about “P* games take skill to play”, this doesn’t take skill at all. Studying AI patterns is easy. Blocking or dodging at the right moment to produce an unrewarding bonus effect doesn’t mean shit. And turtles game is pure proof of that.

MUSIC AND SOUND: Tie

The soundtracks aren’t impressive to be honest. I guess for music I’d lean towards the Turtles. Its regular arcade stage music, not atmospheric movie music that plagues every game just about. Plus in Transformers,  because you were fighting minibosses everywhere you go, you hear the same song over and over again until you blow your goddamn brain out.

Sound would go to Transformers though.  Sound effects were much better, the game sounds amazing to be honest.  When fights get really chaotic, it sounds like  fucking warzone! Turtles, not so much. Especially when it comes to blunt attacks sounding like tapping wood half the time. None of the hits sound painful or anything, hell half the time the sound effects are so low you dont even know you’re getting attacked by enemies off screen. 

There’s also the matter of voice acting and this pisses me off personally. For Transformers they went and got the original voice actors to come back. I dont know if they’re all the original cast, I do know that’s Peter Weller and Frank Welker as Prime and Megatron respectively. Why not for the Turtles game  well? The turtles just sound off! Nolan North was great as Deadpool, but he’s no Leonardo. I dont mind Steven Blum in any role and for someone like Krang, its actually a step up. But I would kill for Cam Clarke to come back as Leo. Fucking love Cam Clarke, this guy is main character material. Shits all over Johnny Young Bosch. 

For those who dont know him, you might’ve known him as…

Max Sterling: Robotech

Kaneda: Akira 1988 Dub

Liquid Snake: MGS1 & 2

Bakuryu and Cronos: Bloody Roar Primal Fury

Jack Archer: Robotech Battlecry

Kratos: Tales of Symphonia

Thor & Dare Devil: Marvel Ultimate Alliance

The Guy just rips ass. 

GAME DESIGN: Transformers

This was ultimately the deciding factor. The decisions that went into the final product leans into Transformers favor. It doesnt have bullshit rules.

if you enjoyed the Turtles, good for you. People who enjoyed a game are more likely to want to get the most out of it. And if you want to play on higher difficulties,  you’re gonna need stronger turtles. But unlike Transformers, there is no leveling system to speak of. So there is no other way besides… hmmm.

Remember the charms bit from the Turtles overview? Yeah, this shit killed the game for me. First off, whoever thought it was a good idea to restrict charm slots by difficulty is a dick. You have 3 slots, but you can only use 1 on both easy and normal mode, 2 on hard, and 3 on rapist mode. And ofcourse you get the best charms on the highest mode.

This wouldnt be a huge issue if the game’s difficulty wasnt bullshit half the time. Naturally on higher difficulties,  enemied have more health and attack power, but you literally have to relearn this shit because enemies start deflecting your attacks… repeatedly. Its gets borderline tedious to the point of insanity, its like half the time you’re not even damaging enemies,  you’re just trying to outlast them because they’re fucking cheap now. 

Not to mention this game has a fetish for stone golems. These asshats have a wretched amount of health and super armor! Oh and if you’re playing on very hard, your health is dramatically reduced to 4. And these fuckers hit hard. 1-2 hits, you’re dead. Your only means of survival are abusing combination attacks and having good charms. But even on higher difficulties,  you randomly encounter an enemy samurai that can kill you in one hit. Why the fuck would they put an enemy like that in the game? Its irritating, you’re trying to do something and fuckwad-san comes out of nowhere and kills you and your team.

Transformers gets really bullshit on higher difficulties as well , but its not impossible. Shit, I beat very hard in less than 4 days. Transformers has a leveling system, you get stronger the more you play and its easy to get better weapons. Turtles,  the stats are fixed and you dont get better weapons at all. You can power up your special attacks, but it means dick on higher difficulties as the enemies have way too much goddamn health. You need the charms.

What kills that though are the drop rates. Enemies rarely ever drop anything, more likely it would be some health pickups. And most charms that do drop rarely have anything you’re looking for. And you need to make sure its YOU who kills the enemy and not any AI controlled turtles, because you wont get any items if they kill the enemies. But even thats impossible most of the time! These fuckjobs put in a stealth kill system that if the enemy doesn’t notice or see you,  you can kill them in 1-hit (or do nothing but piss off stone golems). But the enemies often times smell your ass a mile away and will turn around to see you more often than not. And while you’re struggling to kill this 1 enemy, your asshole comrades wont be noticed by any enemy and can steal your kills. This has happened on several occasions. The AI teams are a double-edge sword, they make it impossible to get charms. Combined With the piss drop rates, it would be a wonder if you got anything at all. If you do get any charms, try not to die. You’ll lose w/e items you got from enemies,  including charms. Ofcourse with how bullshit this game gets, you’re more likely to bite the dust eitherway.

What kind of Bullshit am I talking about? Since this game is all about score attacks,  if you get a high enough score, you get to fight 2 bosses at the same time! Why is that a reward!? I don’t know. But on higher difficulties(!), your score is tripled,  so you end up fighting them anyway! 

So instead, maybe you could just upgrade the charms you do manage to get? Yeah right. Upgrading requires score points and materials you get from enemies and bosses. And the costs are massive. Each upgrade costs an astronomical amount of 3 different items plus score points. And bosses barely drop shit, some upgrades require 5 Karai medals, its hard enough trying to kill this Crazy bitch, you’d have to fight her like 10 times to get anything.

Its broken. Its fucking broken. This game pushes you to play on higher difficulties but makes it borderline fucking insane to play through or enjoy. Its literally impossible to get anything accomplished. Not to mention it feels unfinished. Some stages have randomly generated areas, even the boss retread stage because they’re all fought in a random order, and sometimes you might not even fight every boss, maybe 3 at worst. The enemies are tedious and overpowered, and fighting bosses are a chore. Ra help you if you have to fight 2 of them. P* is usually better than this, what the fuck were they smoking when they made this shit!?

Transformers is balanced in everything it does. Drop rates are fair, weapon and skill upgrades make sense and arent at all demanding of hard to get materials,  you just sacrifice certain weapons to make one better. You can even make your own skill chips.

That and I find turtles boring for the same reason I found Madworld boring. Its a lousy score attack game where you grind a high score just to complete a level. 

OVERALL: Transformers

I found both games to be a desperate attempt at P* repackaging their old games into 80’s nostalgia, but ultimately Transformers wins for the mere fact that it had more care and effort put into it. Its a generic beat em up, but it works. Its not frustrating beyond all reason and it certainly has more charm to it. Turtles is a bunch of decent ideas, but the execution is terrible. It never feels like you’re getting anywhere in terms of growth, you’re constantly hitting walls because the game’s design is not refined. It simply does not work. Its asinine to make enemies nigh impossible to beat with fixed stats but reduced health and no continues. Make the game hard, not artificial.

*sigh*….I’m sorry childhood heroes, but Transformers Devastation wins!

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