TMNT: Tournament Fighters

Super NES

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 10

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9.5

Overall: 9.5

The endless mountain of Street Fighter II (or Mortal Kombat if you do so prefer) clones that appeared on the Super NES was bound to have one success story. That little story comes to us from Konami and their fantastic use of the Ninja Turtle license. Simply put, this is THE fighting game for the console, even surpassing Capcom's best efforts.

The roster of characters is relatively small (a meager 8, 4 of which are the Turtles), but everyone is so perfectly balanced, who cares? Each comes from either the cartoon or the comic, perfectly replicated on the screen. Though more mainstream fans would likely have battled it out with Bebop or Rock steady, die-hards are rewarded with obscure characters like Aska and Wingnut, their only appearance in the video game world.

Utilizing the 4-button control scheme that works all too well on the SNES, every move comes off without any issues. The specials are of the standard charge and half-circle variety making this one accessible to any fighting game veteran. The super meter (located conveniently under the health meter) charges whenever you attack your opponent. Since specials are so easy to perform (pressing Y & A together making these easier for the younger set) results in relentless, offensive minded rumbles. Plus, the speed of the battles adds to the chaos, but everything remains entirely user-friendly even on the fastest settings.

Though this may end up being a rather bold statement, I can hardly think of a better looking SNES game than this one. The insane amount of color and shading used on the characters makes them look even better than they did in the comics. The backgrounds are filled with little details to appease fans and be on the lookout for a slew of cameos. Even the animation is top of the line, eclipsing the cartoon on more than one occasion. Though the screen is crunched (making it seem like a widescreen presentation at times) the amount of detail more than makes up for any problems here.

Sadly, the now infamous theme song the mighty mutant turtles are known for is missing. In fact, none of the songs the TMNT are known for have been included. While the tunes here certainly fit the style, it's simply sad to see such care was taken with the characters but not their themes. Nevertheless, the battle cries of both the Turtles and their adversaries are crystal clear and the crunching sounds during the battle are crammed with bass.

For those looking to buy this game for the younger set, be aware the AI is brutal, even on the easier settings. Thankfully, it's not generally cheap as in most one-on-one brawlers, but too smart for it's own good. You'll be bombarded with fireballs and kicked out the air on a regular basis, but all of this is for the good of the game in the long run. You'll most certainly get your money's worth out of this one.

Some may gripe about the lack of characters, other will gripe about the simplified supers, and even more will gripe about the vicious difficulty, but these are the same people who will end up spending hours taking on Shredder in order to win the tournament. This games long term appeal can't be denied and it's rock-solid fighting engine will likely stand the test of time for years. Definitely a fighting game that no fan should be without.

Tip: If your really getting knocked on your a$$, take Rapheal. His torpedo move can get you out of a corner trap easily and his spinning kick is a great, easily executed combo move.


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