Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

tmnt11nes.png.png (2685 bytes)Konami could not have created a more difficult game targeted at 8-year olds than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This classic platform title is nothing short of impossible for most people, and even with a cheat device like the Game Genie, it's still not easy to get through. When you can get through it though, this is a decent title not without merit, and there are more reasons than the difficulty why people remember it.

The only TMNT game that allows players to switch between one of the four Turtles during gameplay, that mechanic plays a huge role. It's a simple concept and one that should have been used in subsequent entries. Managing each Turtle's energy bar is the key to success. Each Turtle also has their trademark weapons, which affect reach (critically in the case of Raphael), speed, and strength.

Taking down a wide variety of enemies that are exclusive to this game, the levels carry the player everywhere. An overhead map features a little action, and this is how the next section is chosen. It might not be such a bad system, but there are far too many individual spots that go nowhere, and exist solely to sap the life of a player who doesn't know any better.

That's only the beginning of the difficulty problems. Enemies attack en masse, and you're sure to take at least one hit. Health regenerating pizzas are rare, and even if you've mastered the majority of the game, the final battle inside the Technodrome is ridiculous. That's assuming you can get past an underwater maze littered with time sensitive bombs, killer seaweed, and loose collision detection.

tmnt12nes.png.png (6190 bytes)Otherwise, this is a great platformer, with natural jumping and simple attack scheme. Alternate weapons allow for projectiles (which are almost a necessity for the final showdown with Shredder). These provide a little relief from the basic slashes that make controlling each Turtle too similar.

While each sprite has a great look for only three-color sprites, slowdown and flicker mar the experience. When things are at their worst, it can adjust the player's timing or take a cheap hit. Later in the game when things become crowded, it's even more prevalent. Given the already high challenge level, this is the point where things really become aggravating.

With more of the comic book inserted than the cartoon spin-offs, this is one of two Ninja Turtle games to stay somewhat true to their roots (the other being the awful translation of Tournament Fighters on the Genesis). That makes this one appealing to some, though if they're not die hard gamers ready for the beating, that won't matter. With practice, it can be done (and it's worth it for the otherwise tolerable gameplay), but it's going to take a lot to pull it off.


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Last updated: Saturday, December 10, 2005 01:12 PM