I had been hearing “rumors” for a while now that Raw Thrills had something different up their sleeve – something related to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But without any more information than that, all I could do was wait. With the IAAPA 2017 trade show only a few weeks away, I was surprised to find out that the game would be making an appearance there and that it brings back a genre many of us have longed to see grace the arcade scene again: the brawler / beat ’em up. Long time readers of the site might recall my lamentations over the lack of brawlers in the modern age…looks like that article might need a refresh soon.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2017/2018
Many of you are familiar with Raw Thrills’ other game that has been on test this year, Injustice Arcade. I’ve heard from some in the “fighting Game Community” (FGC) that they are disappointed in that. However, if you are into 1v1 fighting games, you have to realize that IJ was not made for the FGC audience. It was made for card collectors, casual gamers and comic book fans. By the reports I’ve been hearing so far, it’s doing extremely well earnings wise with that crowd.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the other hand looks to have what beat ’em up fans are looking for. For starters, it has joystick/button controls. Behold the game from this IAAPA 2017 flyer that is making the rounds:
Notice that the game cabinet is very similar in shape to the new Injustice Arcade cabinet – speaker placement is the same as well. It appears to be a three button game, I assume that the large buttons are for a special attack (just like what Injustice does).
I reached out to Raw Thrills about this and was able to get some additional information on this new title. For starters, this is a “new game, built from the ground up” by the company. All of the game assets are based upon the most recent TV series that is found on Nickelodeon. RT added that the company has been working to “create novel forms of entertainment”, particularly something multiplayer that brings four people close to each other, “working together to play through the game and defeat bosses”. As to what makes it different from the ol’ Konami TMNT (apart from having an HD screen and placement of the turtle characters):
This new version of TMNT is a completely new re-imagining of the brawler concept. There are more moves, more environmental interaction, cool Turtle Power special attacks, voiceover from the entire cast (including Seth Green and others)… it’s really amazing.
Top that off with the game bringing in “amazing test results” and we’ve got a nice surprise on our hands. This isn’t the only multi-joystick game to land on the arcade scene in recent years – Namco’s Pac-Man Battle Royale comes to mind but that’s really the only game to refer to in the past five years that isn’t one of those redemption fishing games. I have also been surprised that after PMBR did so well that we haven’t seen more attempts to copy the same kind of idea (4-player classic style games). I wouldn’t worry too much about the redemption option mentioned on the flyer. That’s a good way to hedge the bet but I’ve heard of many operators who have ran their Space Invaders Frenzy or Galaga Assault games (both RT designs) as arcade-only games and seen them do well. That and the arcade modes play with far more depth than the redemption modes do.
Granted, I’ll see how it plays at IAAPA here in a few weeks but either way it warms my heart to see the beat ’em up get some love in this day and age. I’m also curious to hear what you think about this – many of you might even have one of Konami’s TMNT games from back in the day. Are you happy to see the genre come back or would you prefer the industry stick with what it has been doing?