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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  (Arcade) artwork

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  (Arcade) review


"Four player beat-em-ups are almost a thing of the past nowadays. Aside from Gauntlet Legends< there aren’t any of them left in my local arcade. The cabinet spaces are filled with games like Battle Gear 3 and Warzard, games that remain untouched by most players. When I walk into the arcade now I usually get filled with a feeling of nostalgia as I remember some of the four-player classics that have been unfairly snatched from us because of their age. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles was one of these ..."



Four player beat-em-ups are almost a thing of the past nowadays. Aside from Gauntlet Legends< there aren’t any of them left in my local arcade. The cabinet spaces are filled with games like Battle Gear 3 and Warzard, games that remain untouched by most players. When I walk into the arcade now I usually get filled with a feeling of nostalgia as I remember some of the four-player classics that have been unfairly snatched from us because of their age. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles was one of these games and although it’ll probably never be part of the arcade again, it’ll remain in my memory.

After choosing your character by selecting which set of buttons and joystick you want to use, the blue buttons are for Leonardo etc. You’ll be thrown into a side-scrolling beat-em-up of the Final Fight variety. Each turtle has a similar primary attack where he’ll use his weapon to batter the enemy. Also the turtle will have an automatic combo that he’ll pull off when you press the attack button rapidly when duelling enemies. Also you can jump reasonably high to avoid any obstacles and also if you press the two buttons together you’ll perform a flying kick that does a great deal of damage on the enemy. Another ability allows you to throw foot soldiers which does a lot of damage and can also hurt other enemies that hang around nearby. Last but not least, each of turtles has a move which he can use to destroy the opponent in one hit, although they can be hard to pull off it really helps to clear the field.

You’ll battle against an army of mixed coloured foot soldiers, grappling robots and chomping mousers robots. With your turtle you will have to use the weapon in hand to destroy the forces of Shredder and rescue April and Splinter from the clutches of the tyrant and his army.

Your journey will take you through several locations including a burning apartment and the streets and sewers of New York. Our heroes will come in contact with a lot of Shredder’s army and finally some of Shredders top henchmen. Foot Soldiers tend to be the primary enemies and most of them can be killed with a few hits. However the colour of the soldier will allow you to figure out what their attacks are, some will throw bombs, others will have samurai swords, giant mallets and boomerangs. The colour doesn’t matter as they all go down the same but when they attack in large

On the field, you’ll encounter a few other obstacles which can be seriously hazardous to your health. Firstly enemies can attack you from the rear so you’ll have to very quick and agile to avoids this. One can easily get behind you and hold you in a full nelson which will allow another guy to use you as a punching bag. Pressing the attack button rapidly will allow you to break free eventually but this hazard can really be the cause of your downfall. Also as you walk along the street an enemy can leap of underneath a manhole and throw the lid at you. If you’re quick enough you can reflect this by hitting the airborne lid back to the opponent but the hole will remain in the ground, falling down this will cause loss of health so tread carefully.

At the end of the level you’ll be given a boss to deal with, you’ll find yourself locking horns with the top goons in the army of Shredder. Rocksteady and Bebop, the rhino and warthog guys who were comedy gems in the cartoon and very hard bosses here. After duelling with them separately, you’ll be treated to gloriously difficult fight with both of them combined. After this you’ll fight Baxter Stockman and his army of robotic mousers who are consistent and annoying, as you have to fight an army of mini-robots at once. Towards the end you’ll battle two bosses one after another, the robot with Krang inside him is first and after a sluggish battle with him you’ll have to fight Shredder and his clone together.

Playing alone will obviously make these bosses a hell of a lot harder than a four-player game so the difficulty ranges a lot. Obviously, the latter bosses get harder and most of the time your success will ultimately depend of how many coins you have in your wallet and if you’re playing alone or with a pal. The game itself is fairly hard if you’re alone because the enemies just keep coming at you. If you are playing alone and don’t have a lot of change with you then this game will be challenge but when you have three others with you then it seems a lot easier.

Graphically the game follows the layout of the SNES game but with sharpened visuals and animation. All of the turtles are basic palette swaps of each other, which is fair enough as the turtles look like that anyway so no accusations of laziness here. Each turtle looks great and has smooth animation, although they are similar to the other 16-bit games the improvement can be seen due to the details seen on other sprites like Rocksteady and other bosses. The backdrops are really nicely drawn, the fire effect on level one is well animated and the beautifully drawn city landscape seen on the introduction is well done. A lot of pictures are used to replace cut-scenes here and they are quite impressive in creating an atmosphere like the cartoon as they look almost like the cartoon itself.

The tunes and sound effects of the game are great and are almost exact translations from the show. There is loads voice sampling with turtles saying “shell shock” and various other sayings that made the show great. Bad guys have the best sayings though like when Rocksteady says “Say your prayers, toitles” or when Shredder gloats “Tonight, I dine on turtle soup!” which really get you into the world of the turtles. The tunes tend to be variations of the turtles theme song and have sweet quality and make the game more pleasurable to play.

All in all you’ll find the game great fun to play alone and more fun to play with a group of friends. I doubt any arcade will have this around any more because this game is almost fifteen years old so good luck if you find it anywhere now. If you do strike oil and find the game in the corner of your local arcade or a caravan site activity room then plug in some cash and play like mad. If you’re a fan of the series then the game will be ideal and if you just like action games the appeal is also there.

Rating: 7/10

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Community review by goldenvortex (October 08, 2004)

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