TMNT Tournament Fighters


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 4

After an numerous excellent outings, it was only a matter of time before Konami screwed up the Ninja Turtles. A one-on-one fighter is a natural extension of the license, but the limited gameplay and ridiculous difficulty level will turn off even the youngest gamers. Those expecting a translation of the outstanding Super Nintendo game of the same name will not be the only ones disappointed by this mediocre fighter.

Krang, that evil brain-in-a-mechanized-body, has managed to clone the Turtles and the real heroes must travel to dimension X to stop his diabolical scheme. Knowing that they couldn't go at this alone, the Turtles has enlisted the help of some friends including Casey Jones and April O' Neal amongst others. Players going solo will have to challenge not only cloned replicas of the turtles, but clones of their friends as well. How Krang managed to clone April is anyone's guess...

The dark tone of the game more closely resembles the comic books that originally made these characters so popular. Our favorite mutants look uncanny in their Genesis incarnation. Though slightly small, the outstanding use of color and shading bring the TMNT right off of the screen. The backgrounds suffer slightly because of this, but there is still some great looking details here too. Arguably, these are some of the best looking characters in a Genesis fighter.

Using a measly 3-buttons on the Genesis' controller (one of them is used for a taunt) is hardly sufficient. The buttons are used for punching and kicking with no variance in power like the majority of fighters on today's market. Special moves are done with the typical Street Fighter half circles and charge motions. The limited number of moves offered to players doesn't allow for deep strategy like in a normal fighter and turns this game into more of a button masher than anything. Those used to the SNES version of the game and it's deep gameplay will be sorely disappointed.

There may be an option to change the difficulty level, but no matter what level you choose, you'll most likely be slaughtered by the computer. It's aggressive style and cheap throwing tactics are not a sufficient replacement for quality AI. Getting an attack in on the computer is more a matter of luck than actual skill. Playing it on the highest difficulty is suicidal and not even the included practice mode can assist players in their quest to defeat Krang. If you've bought this game for your children, I hope you've saved the receipt.

Also lacking is the music. None of the classic themes the Turtles are known for have been included. Granted, some of the music is quite good, but the lack of recognizable tunes is inexcusable. I also challenge anyone who has played this game to decipher the voices. Numerous quotes are spurt out by the heroes in green, but understanding them is an entirely different story.

With only it's looks going for it, this game sinks to the bottom of the Genesis library. Why Konami simply didn't translate the SNES game of the same name over to this console is just plain stupid. Granted, there are worse fighters out there and playing against a human opponent isn't that bad. However, due to the lack of buttons and moves, the game quickly degenerates into a button mashing fest, hardly what gamers expect from a fighter in today's crowded market.


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