TMNT: Back to the Sewers

Game Boy

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6

Gaming rarely gets better than the Ninja Turtle series. Konami was wise to grab the license, and unlike so many others, actually did something memorable with it... at least on the other systems. While the first game was an enjoyable albeit simplistic romp, the sequel drops down a notch in nearly every category.

There's not much to say about this actually. This is a sub-standard action-platformer that tries to toss in some variety, but it never really does anything different then either. Players simply walk left occasionally stabbing at an oncoming foot solider. They only take one hit before disappearing into a puff of smoke so the challenge never really becomes noticeable until later levels.

There are a few stages that offer up the ability to maneuver on a 3-D plane, but the gameplay remains exactly the same. Boss fights offer simplistic patterns that any child can figure out in seconds. Bonus stages let the turtles regain health in between levels, but only if the entire group avoids being "captured." If you lose a life... err, get captured, you have to fight a brutal robotic guard to rescue the unlucky one.

All of this probably sounds awfully familiar, and that's because this is pretty much the same game as the original. Gameplay has hardly changed, and there's no excuse on the planet for not advancing the series in any way. The hardware was old enough by the time of this release that something should have been changed.

Another major step down is in the graphics department. Someone in the art department obviously took a development period off for this one since the TMNT are barely animated. Their upper halves never move when attacking, ducking, or jump kicking. Same goes for the foot soldiers; they share some of the same animation. The only highlights are the still screens between levels.

A few voice samples have found their way in to this cart, though they don't add very much. A few of the music tracks have been lifted from the original though this is excusable. Can't really have a Ninja Turtle game without having the theme song. Otherwise, the tracks follow the precedent set by the first game with lightweight action music that uses the sound chip for all it's worth.

This is one of those games people just don't like, but they can't tell you why. They'll gladly praise the original and since the two are highly similar, it doesn't make much sense. "TMNT: Back to the Sewers" is just missing that one thing that a reviewer can't find a word for. It's not a total wash, but if you own the original, stay there.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Monday, January 03, 2005 08:21 AM