Shadow of Smash Bros. – E3 Impressions: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash Up

Developed by much of the same team that brought us Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there is a reason party fighter fans have been paying attention to TMNT: Smash Up.  With no Power Stone 4 in sight and the next Smash Bros. probably another console generation away, is Smash Up the cure to your 4-player brawling itch?  Sure, but let’s get something straight: if you are looking for a rote Smash Bros. clone, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Although the games look similar, TMNT has some differences you’ll notice right away.  The Smash Bros. iconic “percentage” based damage system? Gone.  Each character sports a classic health bar, it’s level has nothing to do with how far your character flies.  Falling off the map will still result in an effective KO, but it’s not your primary method for eliminating the competition.
The attacks are different too – TMNT Smash Up is a little more serious – you wont find as many comedy attacks here, just character distinctive Kung-fu and a little Ninja Magic here and there. You’ll also find the gameplay to be a little slower paced than the most recent Smash Bros. outing, although it’s balanced by the other changes made to the battle system.

In all honesty, it’s not at all fair to judge TMNT: Smash up based on a series that is technically unrelated to it, but it’s hard not to draw comparisons.  The bottom line is that it’s a fun, enjoyable, and seemingly well built fighting party game.  It’s not going to be tmnt12“Smash Bros. 4,” but it’ll be a welcome variant in familiar territory.  Hopefully, we’ll see this title crawl out from under the shadow of it’s spiritual predecessors and make a real name for itself.  It showed a lot of potential, and we’ll be watching!

TMNT: Smash Up is due out for Christmas of this year.  Staff at E3 said to watch Comic Con for details on the single player mode and unveiling of additional characters.