Whether you’re a ‘Hero’ or ‘Ninja’ Turtles fan (even though I’m a retro 80’s fan, I still prefer Ninja), a TMNT RPG game should always turn heads. Enter Ludia, a mobile developer who have not only fully licensed the game, but have added something else that will have younger fans and older retro fans, reaching to touch ‘Install’.
I’ll admit, tun-based RPG screenshots and shots of the retail-like ‘Card Shop’, got me hook, line and sinker! Flashbacks of collecting TMNT cards and stickers (and don’t forget that stick of bubblegum), came flooding back to me! Ludia, have worked hard to capture a true retro feel in terms of classic term-based combat, playground collecting and just about everything you ever loved about the Turtles universe!
Is Ninja Turtles: Legends a 3D RPG or an RPG card game?
We know it’s hard to believe, but TMNT: Legends is a 3D turn-based RPG (at last!), that makes very clever use of retail-styled cards. First, you’ll start the game with Leonardo and you’ll be introduced to a basic turn-based system, with just one attack button (don’t’ worry, you’ll unlock more as the game progresses). Your first enemies will actually look like something from the recent XCOM games and once defeated, you’ll receive your first cards.
All those Turtles games and not one 3D turn-based RPG…until now (the first 2D RPG was TMNT – The Ninja Tribunal in 2009).
After defeating all enemy waves in a mission, you may receive the following post-battle rewards:
Character DNA Card – These will unlock new characters for turn-based battles
XP: Unlocks new levels for your characters
Mutagen Card – Used to level-up your characters and gain new abilities (if you have the materials)
Material Card – From rope to training bags, you’ll need materials to help your characters learn new abilities
Pizza Card – Used to energize your team for the next fight
Greenbacks Card – Used to buy pizza
Warp Cards – Once you’ve completed a stage and earned 3 stars, you can use a warp card to collect that stages rewards, without needing to play through that stage. These rarely drop but their use is well worth noting.
Of course, Ninja Turtles: Legends is free-to-play, meaning there will always be subtle nudges to spend your cash (D4G always recommend spending what YOU think the game is worth, in order to help the developers who worked hard to create it for you!). While you can easily enjoy the game without spending anything, those who demand their favourite characters from the get-go (or all the recent cartoon and/or movie Turtles), will need to drop some coin. But those of us that enjoy RPG’s already understand one major rule – RPG’s require strategy and patience.
The main focus in Ninja Turtles: Legends will be to recruit new characters. At first, you’ll just have Leonardo, but after the first few battles, you’ll be able to recruit enemies that you defeat. While these first few are easy to recruit, others will require multiple DNA cards to unlock. Be prepared to collect anything from 5-70 cards for new characters. While at first, this may seem harsh, Ludia, have added major replayability, by encouraging grinding to unlock the most popular characters. It won’t be easy work, but this is an RPG, not a graphic novel.
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How does this TMNT RPG play?
Playing as Leonardo, it’s all on you to rescue your family and fight pretty much every foe across the TMNT/TMHT universe! But you don’t just have to seek help from the good guys. Yup, as long as you get those DNA cards, you can recruit and train ANY character to fight alongside you. Of course, you’ll want the full Turtle crew…but that’s gonna take some work. Remember, your mission is to rescue them. So, don’t expect the rest of those pizza-guzzling ninjas, to easily fall in your lap.
Recruiting all characters is the first thing that sets TMNT: Legends apart from most RPG’s. The second, is that it’s more on-the-rails with battles. This isn’t a bad thing, because you’ll see your team run, climb and leap from one battle to the next. We love the ‘ninja run’ that many turtles and some other characters perform.
Should you download Ninja Turtles: Legends?
While fans will love this RPG, the games biggest downfall is card pack pricing. The game offers over 35 characters to earn and recruit, with their leveling-up abilities judged on their cards stars. Brave characters (starting with one bronze star) have the lowest level cap, while Heroic (starting at two silver stars) and Epic (starting at three gold stars) will grant much higher level caps. Card packs will include one guaranteed character of that band (which will instantly unlock that character), with the possibility of all other post-battle reward cards.
At the time of writing, Brave card packs were £8.99, Heroic’s £17.99 and Epic’s weighing in at a whopping £34.99! (recently lowered from £44.99!).
However, you are treated to a free Mystery card pack, every 2-3hrs. While a majority will award basic character DNA cards, I did have one Mystery pack award me a Heroic character!
Fully licensed, turn-based and offering a wealth of characters to play as, Ninja Turtles: Legends is a great mobile RPG that may be overlooked, due to its current pricing model. One major tip to remember is not to get sucked into the card shop. Wait for your free card drops and grind. You can easily support the developers by purchasing warp cards (£1.79 for x50) and/or greenbacks ($200 for £1.79) when you really feel you need them. That way, you’re still supporting the developers and helping them with sales figures and a budget to improve on their next game.
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