Utrom Confirmed, but Not Really – Expanding Content on Nick’s TMNT Site
A quick hop over to Nickelodeon’s TMNT site confirms that we will see the Utrom in the upcoming cartoon, but evidently they won’t go by that name. Instead, brace yourself by an invasion of: the kraang. Not Krang, the Utrom-looking super-baddy from the 1980s TV series, but a whole race of renamed Utrom. They will be wielding blasters that look vaguely like those carried by the Triceratons in the original independent comic, plus the addition of a gears-of-war style chain bayonet.
New videos on the site profile three of the four turtles: Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo. Additionally, they’ve added a weapons gallery that introduces a few changes to the Turtle’s kit: Michelangelo now uses both nunchaku and kusarigama while Donatello will fight with his traditional bo and a naginata. Leonardo and Raphael still use katana and sai, respectively. Other profiled weapons include shredder’s claws and splinter’s staff.
The new character bios are concise, and don’t tell us much of anything new. Leo is the leader, Mike’s the fun one, Donnie’s the brains, and Raph is tough. The “about” section also reiterates common knowledge about the turtle’s origins (no mention of aliens, thankfully) and sets up their conflict with the Shredder.
The discussion forum is generally positive, which suggests that it’s probably tightly moderated. After a few moments spent reading through the entries, it’s easy to see that the forum is populated mostly by kids, and possibly by moderator sock puppets generating Astroturf. With topics like “I have a crush…on LEO AND RAPH!!!” and “urtwo fav turtles,” it’s a safe bet that the message boards at Nick ‘toons aren’t going to become your new source for hot TMNT news.
Overall the site gives a clear, if shallow, impression of what we can expect from the new series, but there’s one particular stand-out feature: the flash game Dark Horizons. The game play is reasonably well developed as each of the four turtles do behave a bit differently based on their attributes (attack, defense, agility, and range), but the real standout is the visuals. The turtles in-game are highly stylized – all shadowy black with bold, character-appropriate weapons, masks, and kit. Fights are a bit button-mashy, but timing is an element, especially in the stages in which another turtle joins you. The levels are a bit difficult to navigate since some of them tend to look the same, but if you’re looking for deep gameplay challenging navigation, well, this ain’t it. This is a true side-scrolling slash ‘em up, and worth a few minutes of your turtle-lovin’ time.
Dark Horizons Game: http://www.nick.com/games/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-dark-horizons.html