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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (Game Boy) artwork

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (Game Boy) review


"“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers” is the kind of game I thought “Fall of the Foot Clan” would turn out to be. That is to say…it sucked. Amiable is not the word for this one. As a matter of fact, “Sewers” demands three words to describe it: incompetent, plodding, and annoying. I pity the Turtle fans in 1991 whose parents bought them this game instead of “Manhattan Project”. "



“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers” is the kind of game I thought “Fall of the Foot Clan” would turn out to be. That is to say…it sucked. Amiable is not the word for this one. As a matter of fact, “Sewers” demands three words to describe it: incompetent, plodding, and annoying. I pity the Turtle fans in 1991 whose parents bought them this game instead of “Manhattan Project”.

On paper, “Sewers” is cut from the same cloth as 1990’s “Foot Clan”. It’s a side-scrolling actioner where you continually move a Ninja Turtle to the right side of the level while fighting off wave after wave of Dimension X goons. There are some changes. The mini-games (which I completely missed while playing the first game) are now at the end of each stage. If none of your Turtles get captured, you get to play a “bonus game” for extra points. If one does get captured, you get to fight an annoying boss in an attempt to rescue them.

Another new element is the occasional shift to free movement, as in the popular Ninja Turtle arcade games. This makes for a nice change of pace, but it also begs the question of why the entire game isn’t like this. It feels like a gimmick to make the game feel more exciting than it actually is.

From the very outset, there is a distinct feeling that something isn’t right with this game. It’s like listening to an orchestra that has one performer off key. The Turtle looks dorky. He doesn’t *strike* the enemy with his sai, but swipes at them like a sissy swatting at a fly. His upper body hardly moves, only his legs. His torso is always in the same position, whether he’s walking, jumping, kicking, or attacking. I give the graphic designers a D-.

A sense of desperation underscores the obstacles in the game. Whoever designed the levels employs every dirty trick in the book to defeat, not thrill us. There are bosses that require you to jump or move in *just* the right way and in *just* the right position to avoid getting creamed. There are obstacles positioned to be nigh unavoidable. The Ninja Gaiden Re-Spawn, a favorite of hack game designers, even rears its butt ugly head.

I gave up in Stage 5, a level that’s like the unholy marriage of M.C. Escher and “Sonic 2’s” Wing Fortress Zone. Every level before that was fairly standard. City? Check. Sewer? Check. Skateboarding? Check. Cave, complete with the Indiana Jones boulder? Check!

If I had the will, I probably could have made it to the end of “Sewers”. It’s not entirely awful, but it’s exhausting and with nothing to show for it. This is a second-generation copy of “Fall of the Foot Clan”. I’d rather replay the original a second time over.

Rating: 5/10

joseph_valencia's avatar
Community review by joseph_valencia (June 04, 2009)

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