While on a news story, reporter April O'Neil witnesses the city of New York disappearing. The Shredder uses an artifact from Dimension-X called the Hyper Stone to shrink the city down and add it to his collection, and on national TV, he directly challenges the Turtles to come and face him. The four brothers prepare for battle and set out to find the Technodrome. -summary
Here goes the major joy of owning two systems back in the late 80's to early 90's. During the competition that took place between the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, one could almost guarantee to get their fair share of playing some of those popular third party games. If the SNES kicked out something from let's say Konami or Acclaim, then you can bet Sega wouldn't be too far away on several occasions with their own version. This was one of the penalties fanboys had to pay since they chose to take a side, while us real gamers were enjoying some serious gaming from both sides. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
was originally released for the arcade back in 1991, and due to it being such a success and a worthy sequel to the originl TMNT; the two major consoles received their own ports. Turtles in Time
made it to the SNES in almost complete identical form, while the Sega Genesis version not only featured a different story which had nothing to do with the turtles going back in time; it was also different in its set up. To a certain degree, one can say its a different game, and if you never played the very first TMNT for the arcade, then you would probably enjoy this more. When looking back, I think Hyper Stone Heist
is a decent enough brawler and it outshines its SNES cousin in some ways. In others, it sometimes feels like a lazy effort and the SNES not only has moments where it's better, but it's better in one key area that seriously counts. Game Play: Hyper Stone Heist
follows the exact same formula of Turtles in Time
. You select one of the four turtles, or two if you decide to go with a partner, and engage in side scrolling beat'em up action, as you battle the Foot Clan on your way to fighting against the Shredder. The turtles journey takes them through the sewers, city, abandoned ships, and finally to the Technodrome for the final showdown. For the sake of those who may not know; the turtles are Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo, and they're distinguished by their weapons and individual colored bandannas. They each use a single combo string, a back attack, a bum rush, a slide attack, and a diving jump kick. They also have a throw move, where they bodyslam weaker enemies back and forth. This version does not have the second throw found in the SNES version, when the turtles hurl Foot Soldiers towards the camera. This is actually an issue with me, because the game play for the Turtles in Time
concept was near bare bones anyway, so it really didn't need the omission. I'm sure it has something to do with the Genesis not being able to handle the camera work.
The turtles still excel in different areas, such as Donatello's weapon the Bo possessing the most reach, and he appears to be the most resistant to enemies attacks. Raphael has the shortest reach, suffers big damage very easily, but is a speed demon on foot and even when dealing out his combo string. Leonardo is the most well rounded though, with moderate speed and he just seemed a little more fluid than the rest.
The player(s) will traverse through 5 levels on their way to the final battle. The stages are made up of 2 to 3 sub stages, with a boss at the end of the stage. If you played the SNES version then you'll recognize many of the stages, such as a different variation of the pirate ship, and the cave located in the prehistoric time period. The stage hazards such as being hit by falling stalactites or being slapped in the face by wood planks are still present, along with hazards unique to this game only, even with the booby trapped pizzas. You will more than likely be caught by all of them on the first go around unless you possess a keen eye. After that you'll never be hit again on replays.
Since the game doesn't reuse the time travel story, I would say the story is a little more digestible, so it really doesn't matter if the game is so Foot Soldier saturated, in fact, there are two sub stages unique only to this game, as the turtles invade the Foot Soldiers dojo. Here, there are some cool stage hazards that will see you stuck in between with constant enemy retaliation. There's one segment where they're using the numbers game heavy, and there are spikes on the ceiling preventing you from trying to jump. I think these stages are pretty atmospheric to the TMNT universe, as it captures that Ninja Turtle vs. Foot Clan feel. On top of this, it ends with a boss battle against Tatsu, which happens to be quite possibly the coolest boss battle.
Something that will be noticed almost right away is the difficulty. Turtles in Time
for the SNES is way too easy, even on the hard mode it's too easy. The Normal mode here matches up with the hard mode there, and the hard mode in this game must be unlocked. Now don't get me twisted, this game is not very hard either, but it tries to be, as the final stage in the hard mode doesn't have a single pizza to help regain lost life, and Super Shredder is much quicker, plus he's a spammer too if he gets you locked into the corner and refuses to let up. But for the most part, this game is a piece of cake too. The enemies still consist of different colored Foot Soldiers with different weapons and tactics, with Roadkill Rodney's, Mousers, and Stone Warriors. The AI is much tougher here, as projectile wielding opponents will constantly try to distance themselves and spam you to death with their weapons, while melee enemies will try to do you in. This is sometimes an annoying position to be in, especially if you're trying to avoid laser barriers as well. When you die, you restart where you were beaten. When it's game over, you start the stage again after the continue. Hyper Stone Heist
could have been a much better game, but I feel it was heavily slowed down. For one thing, there's too little fan service and this is where the SNES version shines the best. Turtles in Time
features a load of familiar faces from the turtles colorful rogues gallery, and even though I'm not a serious fan, I always found that lack of content here to be very disappointing. When coming into games like these that feature some type of superheroes, these games must cater to the fans, and they want to see their heroes duking it out with their prime enemies. Hyper Stone Heist
only has six major enemies, compared to Turtles in Time
having over ten including two different fights with both Shredder and Krang. The game was heavily fan oriented. I don't know what could possess Konami to add Rocksteady without his partner in silliness Bebop. To make matters worse, the fourth stage called the "Gauntlet" is a boss rush, and instead of Konami adding in surprises, they toss out the same bosses with only a different color scheme. On top of this, the final boss for that stage is Baxter Stockman, the exact same Baxter from the original game in his little hovercraft dropping out Mousers. No twist, no turning into Baxter the Fly, nothing. If Konami was going to rehash a boss, then why would it be the lamest boss in the arcade franchise? And throughout the game, there are various rehashings from the original. It's things like this that effected my overall enjoyment, saying nothing of the fact Turtles in Time
was nothing more than a mere beat'em up to begin with. The game also features none of the extras from the SNES version, such as Vs. or Trial modes. Seriously though, is that a bad thing? Controls:
The control set up uses all three of the buttons on the Genesis controller; attack, jump, and dash. In the SNES version you had to double tap forward to dash, and I prefer this over turning it to a button press. In any case, there are no issues here I can note, everything performs rather well. The options offers various control set ups. Graphics/Music/Sound:
I don't know, but I think the people who say the graphics in this game are completely inferior to the SNES version need a new set of eyes. Hyper Stone Heist
uses larger and more colorful sprites. The turtles and their enemies look a little better here, and when looking at the boss battle against Leatherhead, I believe this game has a faster frame rate. The attack combinations are pretty fluid too, and I saw no slow down or flickering when the screen is crowded with enemies. I think some of the backgrounds have better details too, such as the glass floor being able to see underneath some sections in the Technodrome, and the Foot Soldiers dojo having a genuine ninja ancestry look. There's a jet ski stage similar to the bonus stage in Turtles in Time
, that have some good details like a small bottle of trash and even box crates in the water. The one unforgivable flaw in the backgrounds would be the complete lack of detail when the Turtles are walking on water. The water appears to be flat ground with no splashes whatsoever, however, the Pizza Monsters are swimming underneath and are able to leap out of the water which is suppose to be the ground. I'm not sure if I described it correctly, but this is something so idiotic it has to be seen.
I'm not crazy about the sound effects at all. The voice overs feel too raspy and static heavy, the explosions are too uninspired, and gun fire sounds way too fake. The music which features songs from Turtles in Time
seems to have less of a background bass, yet they still capture the feel of the animated series and the fighting. Replay:
I think only serious fans of the franchise will get something out of this. I've owned the game for years, and until recently I haven't played it in over a decade and a half. I just think there are far better old school brawlers out there that got better with time. Final Thoughts:
If you're a serious fan of TMNT
, then the obvious thing would be to buy or download them both. If you had to choose between one, after this replay, I would say go for Turtles in Time
because of the fan service. There are far too many boss battles that makes up for its short comings in terms of difficulty. This game is about as long taking about 35 minutes to finish on normal mode. But if you're not a fan of TMNT
, and you're only looking for some gritty old school brawlers. Then I would go with Streets of Rage 2
, Super Double Dragon
, and maybe even Final Fight
. If you want a brawler with platforming elements, then you have Golden Axe
I & II to satisfy that crave. Pros:
-Moderate difficulty, some nice visuals
-Low on fan service, rehashing