The Ninja Turtles were colossal in the 80's and 90's and still remain popular and of course video games were a given. A majority of them were arcade style beat em up games akin to Double Dragon but this one-this game became one that almost everyone played but most people dismiss because of it's different style-this game is a side scrolling adventure style, and it's challenge. This game shows no mercy.
Oh it starts easy enough but the games challenge ramps up exponentially as the game goes on and if you can make it to the end to see that oh so classic NES ending (tough game = lame ending) then buy yourself a pizza for your own reward.
The gameplay has you taking your turtle from an overhead map into buildings, tunnels and sewers where the game turns into a sidescroller where your turtle will fight foot soldiers, mousers, giant flies...living fires.....chainsaw weilding guys........UFO things?!....yes, alas the monsters you fight are taken more from the comic books and not quite as much from the cartoon. So that means you will get a pretty motley assortment of enemies to fight that could be unfamiliar.
Level 1 will whet your appetite with some basic platforming to rescue April before you move onto the infamous swimming in Level 2 where you must disarm bombs that will blow up a damn and the water is filled with traps. Level 3 is a search across New York to find Master Splinter as you search skyscrapers, warehouses and sewers to find him.
Level 4 is a maze through the foot clans airport and getting past it's security systems like spikes and lasers. Level 5 is a search of a different kind as you go into different tunnels to find the boss hideout and it changes each time. Stage 6 is all platforming as you fight your way to Shredder and capture the life transformer gun to return Master Splinter to human form.
Three things really hamper this game. One is balancing. You have access to all 4 turtles, but only 2 are worth using: Leo and Don. Don is the powerhouse who hits enemies the hardest and has the greatest range and Leo to a lesser extent. Raph and Mike are, for lack of a better term the bitch turtles who you break out to spam your way out of a tight spot. They have limited attack range and can barely attack above with they're upward swings and have no downward attacks at all.
Second thing that hurts is the controls. Your turtle moves side to side alright and can jump up very high, but slowly and it's easy to miss your mark on some jumps on the way down, and some platforms require you to hit the exact right point, or you miss and have to try again.
Third are your enemies and it all goes back to the balancing. Turtles like Mike and Leo can swing away at an enemy that moves faster then they do, deals more damage and often can have you retreating or switching to Don to finish the monster off if they're health gets low. Donatello will end up being the most abused Turtle and it goes without saying that if you lose Donatello, you could be SOL till you find him and have fun surviving long enough to get to where he is being held captive.
You can find other weapons like throwing stars and boomerangs to help you, but they can be fleeting.
You get 2 continues and you will need them to get to the end and as mentioned above you can rescue captive turtles once per stage from level 3 and on.
The game inspite of these issues is very fun as you explore, fight monsters and explore some more and some strategy can come into play on some levels. The game can have it's powerups and health pizzas respawned by re-entering buildings and replay value can be increased by taking different paths to victory. The Ninja Turtles scared some away with this game, but the true ninja battles ahead and carves his path forward....to seeing crappy NES game endings.
What did you think of this review?