Monday, April 27, 2009

This is also not important


Recap: TMNT: Smash Up is a new fighting game coming out this year featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, developed by Game Arts, some of the folks behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It looks to play like Smash Bros. (as one might have noticed from the SUPER SUBTLE reference in the title), but has enough of its own ideas so it won't be labeled a complete rip-off. It looks and sounds surprisining promising.

Now, this being a crossover/fanservice game (to which I am somewhat partial) based on material I have a reasonable amount of knowledge about, it makes sense then that I would start speculating on stuff in the game. Specifically the characters.

The developers have made tons of tittering hints about characters, talking about how the game is 'set to please fans of all eras of the turtles' (the game coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the franchise) and how we'll see characters we'll expect and others we never saw coming. Very vague, but it's a start.

So Who is Already In It?
Of course, you can't a TMNT game without the turtles. So Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello are all already on board. So is Splinter, another no one should be surprised by. Finally, an early interview with the developers pretty much confirmed Shredder, not that we needed anyone to confirm the main antagonist of series being a character in a fanservice game for that series.

Who is the Most Likely?
TMNT is a franchise that has had many different components over the years, each one its own little universe. There's the original Mirage comics, the 80s cartoon, the late 80s/early 90s Archie comics, the movies (which don't really feel all that coherent and maybe shouldn't all be counted as one thing), and the new cartoon. Considering that this is supposed to be a game for all fans, I'm thinking the best place to start would be to find common ground between the iterations.

Not that hard, really. Which characters appear across all the versions? There are a few, and they would probably constitute the 'characters you know' thing the developers being interviewed have mentioned.

The shoe-ins, that I'd say need no further speculation, are Casey Jones and Karai. Appear across multiple forms, are always major characters, and are perfect for a fighting game. There ya' go.

The other recurring characters: April O'Neil, Baxter Stockman, Fugitoid, Rat King, and Leatherhead. Each one has their own sets of helping and hindering factors (Will April get in based on the new movie, Fugitoid is mentioned on the main site for the game, will they include Leatherhead even with a giant alligator as a hazard, etc.), but as a Turtles fanservice game, they seem to be the best starting selection of characters.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see a 'generic' character or two in there, like a Foot Ninja or Triceraton, considering how prominent they are. Maybe even an Utrom.

And Some Wild Guesses
From the sounds of things, some of the character choices may follow an idea I had when the game was first announced; that is, pull characters from different sectors of the franchise. This could supply the 'hardcore for-fan' characters they keep alluding to. But who?

This is a tad bit harder. The only clues we can possibly get is from the fact that the character selections are being made by Mirage. Who would Mirage pick? I don't know. From reading the blogs of the guys, I get the idea that they were behind some of the characters featured in the Archie comics and toyline, so some of those guys could show up. But that's probably wrongheaded.

Hard to say, really. I would say that if anyone from another (as in not Mirage, which is where I suppose most of the characters will come from) form shows up, it might be someone like Slash or Ray Fillet, characters who might gel with the others better (the former more than the latter).

Some people have also brought up the possibility that they could include Usagi Yojimbo, which is certainly a possibility. The only thing with that is that Usagi is owned by another indy comic artist who 'lent' his creation to the series a few times out of friendship. There's still a decent chance for him (he'd certainly fall under the 'never expected' banner), but he's a different scenario.

I'm glad to get that off my chest.

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