I remember back in the days of 1990, before the arcades
were littered with innumerable fighting games. There was
this Konami game called "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
Myself, my brother Alan, and two total strangers would
take on the roles of one of the four Ninja Turtles and
use cooperation to fight Shredder and his baddies. And
while the first NES TMNT game was it's own little bit,
the second one is a translation of this arcade game. Instead of
being an adventure-ish side scroller, it's now a beat-em-up vaguely
similar to the Double Dragon troupe.
After a rather neat intro, you get to choose which of the
four turtles you wish to play as. Then another little
cinema scene shows up. The Channel 6 news building is
on fire! You've got to rescue you pal, April O'Neil!
When this level is completed, Shredder sprints April away
and from that point on it's a wild goose chase to track
down that tin-headed Freddy Krueger wanna-be.
The first thing that I noticed (well, other than the obvious
graphic degradation) was that the game really didn't play
much like the arcade game. In the coin-op, once you
attack an enemy, they were stunned for second. With a few
more slams of the attack button, they were down on the
ground dead. Not here. Hit them once and they go
flying back. Now, the weird thing here is that you have
to wait a second before hitting them again. Why? For
some reason, if you attack twice in succession, the second
attack just goes right through the enemy, doing
no damage. So, if you choose to do the normal slashing
attack, the method is just pretty much hit, back off, hit
You can also jump kick, which can take down many enemies at
once, but some enemies can simply hit you out of mid-air
without any way to dodge it whatsoever. And finally, there's
the jump n' slash method. By pressing A then B
quickly, your turtle will jump up and swipe the enemy with
his weapon. One hit will kill most foot soliders. But trust me,
the game gets boring quick just doing this over and over and over...there's
only three moves total! Plus there's almost no differentiation
between the four turtles.
Bosses are another annoying aspect of the game. Familiar faces such
as Rocksteady, Bebop, Baxter Stockman (before he got turned into a fly)
and Krang will meet you at the end of the stages. Simply hitting them or
using the jump n' slash just won't get you very far, as you'll get a hit
or two in, then immediately get attacked, throwing you across the screen.
So you have to resort to jump kicks. But like the foot soliders, the bosses
often use attacks that stop your assault in mid-air, again sending you
flying back with damage. It seems like the only good way to beat a boss is
to keep jump kicking and hope you have enough health/lives that you can
outlive him. The end battles with Krang and Shredder are just so annoying.
Now that I'm finished bashing in the game mechanics, I may as well
move on with the rest of the game. Obviously, it had to be scaled
down to two players as opposed to four. There is an overwhelming amount of
flickering as it is, so two more turtles onscreen would only make it worse.
There is a handful of levels
ranging from the city streets to sewers to factories to...er...more city
streets. Okay, so it does get a bit repetetive in some areas. The
good news is that Konami added two extra levels in the game along with
two new bosses...a snow filled region and a Japanese house. This is an
interesting bonus for those that have played the arcade game.
There are a couple of nifty things in the game. Although the
background graphics are generally boring, certain graphical effects (like
the flames in the first level) look rather cool, plus seeing the Shredder
on the TV screens in the second level is a neat addition as well. You
can use parking meters and fire hydrants as weapons by hitting them and
can even deflect the manhole covers that the foot soldiers throw at you.
And while almost all of the bad guys in the game are foot soliders, at
least there's a great big variety of them (normal karate ones, ones with
swords, boomerangs, guns, and many more.) The rest of the graphics aren't
too bad, although some of the bosses look bleh. The music's not bad, certainly a step up from the annoyance of the original
NES game's music. The sound of hitting an enemy is really annoying
Overall, it's the play mechanics that really ruin this game. It gets annoying
using the same three attacks with no real variety, plus the hit and run
manuever gets old quick. There are a few interesting scenes (like the
skateboarding level) but otherwise it's just too easy to lose interest as there's
nothing really exciting ever going on. A very average conversion of a legendary arcade