TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 6.5

The Ninja Turtles have been around for a long time, appearing in comic books, movies, cartoons, and of course the inevitable video game. The Genesis version of the Turtle saga is a all-too-brief, slight translation of the second arcade game, Turtles in Time (which was directly and almost flawlessly ported to the Super Nintendo).

Shredder, the evil nemesis of the Turtles for those not in the know, has stolen the Hyperstone which has allowed him to shrink the entire state of New York and keep it locked tight in the Technodrome. Our heroes must embark on a short 5 stage quest to recapture not only the stone, but the most famous city in the world.

Taking bits and pieces from the arcade game, the 5 stages are a mix of new and old. 2 new stages have been created for the Genesis game, but one of these is simply a rehash of previous boss fights, an unforgivable flaw considering the games short length. To compensate for the length, the difficulty has been pumped up a notch, but any gamer over the age of 8 should still be able to breeze through it in a matter of hours.

Our heroes in a half-shelf are well represented graphically, but the drab colors of the backgrounds ruin the generally bright colors associated with the Turtles. One of the strangest flaws in the game occurs in the water stages. The Turtles (and their enemies!) appear to walk on the water. There is no splashing, no reflections, nothing. It is definitely deep because alien look-alike creatures appear from beneath it to attack. This occurs at more than one juncture in the game and makes this reviewer wonder if someone actually play tested this game. Beyond this baffling anomaly, the game does retain the look of the arcade games and the explosions are huge and highly detailed.

The theme song for the Turtles, made popular by the Saturday morning cartoon is represented to the best of the consoles ability. The voices however, are not. The scratchy-sounding clips are normal for a Genesis game, but there has to be room on the cart for higher quality samples considering the games length.

The gameplay is still the games highlight as it was in all the previous versions. It's obvious why the two arcade games were such massive hits in their heyday. Granted, there is no option for four players like in the arcade, but the 2-player mode is sufficient. The new stages are a nice touch as is the mixture of parts from the arcade, but there definitely needs to more of everything.

Anyone who has ever played these games knows that they are truly classics. While this specific version really doesn't come close to matching the success of the Super NES and arcade versions, it's a nice gesture for turtle starved Genesis owners. A quick play through is recommended for those who can't get enough of the green heroes, but just don't expect a long visit.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:34 PM