While on a news story, reporter April O'Neil witnesses the Statue of Liberty being stolen by Dimension-X ruler Krang. The Shredder wastes no time claiming the theft on TV. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also witness the event and immediately spring to action with intentions on breaking into the Technodrome. The Shredder is obviously ready; but what exactly is his plan? -summary
There was a time when I thought that the mindless fun, two player co-op, side scrolling arcade beat'em up would never go the way of disco. Which is why I still find it strange in the here and now that particular genre is still M.I.A. for the most part. It's sad too because this genre of games can be great fun when done right. This is a genre I terribly miss. Released in 1991 for the arcades, and later in 1992 for the console systems, in this case Super Nintendo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) IV: Turtles in Time, is a two player side scrolling beat em-up, and it's a good port of the arcade version. Now in regards to the arcade, this game is the direct sequel to TMNT. However for the consoles, it's the fourth after TMNT III: The Manhattan Project.
I have to be truthful and just say that I was never really impressed with this game, console or otherwise. When comparing it to the very best of its type, I would say its average and nothing more. It's ironic in a way, after the craze for the original Double Dragon died down, it was Konami to raise the bar in this genre with Vendetta, by adding various elements to the game play not seen before in games like these. They straight out did themselves with that game in terms of character variety, weapon use, and challenge. So when TMNT: Turtles in Time came out, yeah, I thought it was lacking in innovation, and I thought it was strange that Konami would take a backwards like that, because it clearly wasn't their style. I don't believe this was among the best games of its type back then, and age hasn't really helped it either.
Turtles in Time features all four of the turtle brothers: Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo, but the game is only two player co-op instead of four like its arcade counterpart. Either solo or with a partner, you traverse through ten stages of beat downs taking on Shredder's Foot Clan as well as Krang's Stone Warriors. The four turtles remain faithful to their origins as they each use their trademark weapons, and they are also distinguished by their usual headband colors. They each possess a single combo string that instantly kills weaker opponents, a move that strikes enemies approaching from behind, a dashing bum rush, a sliding kick, and jumping kick. They also have two special grabs, with the first being a single armed body slam, in which they bash an opponent back and forth into anyone approaching, and the second one tosses weaker enemies off the stage towards the camera. Their final attack is a special strike that drains the health gauge, so this should only be used in tight situations. The turtles 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. While 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.
After completing the first four stages, the game begins to live up to its namesake, when Shredder banishes the turtles into time, and they find themselves fighting from like 25 million BC to 2105 in the far future. As many games from that time period, the game isn't really driven by its story at all, and the time trap is used only as a vehicle to drive the brothers from one setting to another. So there really isn't much to speak of here concerning story development. The first two stages especially, are pretty generic and more than likely made simple enough to get a feel for the game, and by the end of the second stage you should have everything down. The stages are relatively short, with Konami adding in two bonus stages, that follows the turtles on some type of jet-ski's, as they demolish Foot Soldiers with a single blow.
The enemies consist of different types of Foot Soldiers with different abilities and are distinguishable through different color palettes. For example, purple Foot Soldiers are the melee grunts who engage in hand to hand, while white and red are more weapon based attacking with nunchuks or shurikens. The AI does its best to work with the numbers game, and at times, it will definitely overwhelm you. Adding to the players struggles, are the stage hazards consisting of wrecking balls dropping on you, electric beams giving the turtles a big shock and even falling stalactites. I also think it's pretty cool how the zany feel of the animated series is also present, with one stage taking place on a pirate ship, and the turtles are slapped dead in the face with a piece of weak wood when stepping on the wrong spot. There are various moments of fan service present to give serious fans what they more than likely will be looking for. This also rings true in regards to the boss characters, with many fan favorites making appearances, such as the always silly Bebop and Rocksteady, to the irrational evil turtle Slash. I see the reason why fans of the franchise cherish the game so much.
Turtles in Time can be fun at times, and the short length of the stages is kind of a plus, because redundancy will begin to set in and one of my issues among plenty, is the limited moves list and abilities. There's only one power up they can pick up, and it's some type of pizza that sends them spinning around leveling everyone with one blow. But there's nothing in the game they can use that makes them the least bit ninja-ish; no type of throwing stars, boomerangs, nothing. Instead, taking their place are exploding oil drums and even barrels to knock towards the enemy. The game never really tries to be more than just a mere beat'em up, nor does it take any real advantage of its "Turtles in Time" concept. For example, Shredder must prefer to kill his employees instead of simply laying them off, because every stage is extremely Foot Soldier heavy. The prehistoric stage could have been much better, had the turtles been taking on club-wielding cavemen or dinosaurs. The only thing you will see in regards to overgrown lizards will be bomb dropping pteradactyls, or rampaging smaller dinos that pass by trying to run you over only to never try and fight you. The western stage suffers from this same crippling flaw. It would have been cool to feature lasso-wielding Foot Soldiers, instead of the same old guys jumping off of the back of horses. This is one aspect of the game that was terribly underutilized. I also have to point out something that I'm not quite sure if it was added in for comedy effect. The turtles live in the sewer, but when you fall inside of a manhole cover leading to the sewer, their thought bubble appears mentioning "this cave is creepy", and I'm not sure if I'm mistaken, but you may also lose health. So, if the turtles happen to fall into their own home, they're not only creeped out, but they may also suffer injuries too.... Interesting.
You begin with a set number of lives, and you can increase them in the options. Also, in accordance with the difficulty you select, it dictates how many continues you will be given. When you die, you appear right where you were beaten. When it's game over, then you begin the entire stage from scratch, which really isn't a problem and this brings me too......
......My number one complaint about this game, and it's definitely the difficulty. This game is just way too easy on the Normal mode, and the hard mode really isn't much tougher. You can breeze through normal in about 35 minutes at the most, and hard maybe in about 50 minutes. The boss battles really aren't much either. The toughest boss is Slash, who appears around the 5th stage or so because he actually blocks all frontal attacks. After him, it's a cake walk all over again with Super Shredder being a super chump.
In addition, there are two more modes in the forms of Time Trial and Vs. The former pits one of the four turtles of your choice in different segments of the game, where they will battle enemies with a time limit. This portion of the game never held my attention, and it's been so long since I played through it, I don't even remember what it offers. Vs. is equally disposable, as you compete in two out of three rounds combat using only the turtles in a two player fighter. It was lame then and it's even worse now.
The control scheme uses two buttons, attack and jump, and when pressed at the same time, you can perform the health draining special attack. Throws can be performed when the enemies are stunned, and this takes little practice to master. The controls are pick up and play, and they perform great for a game like this.
In the options, you can select Comic or Animated. The former features the turtles in their comic book form, with each of them being a different shade of green from each other. While the latter carries over the form of the TV series. The game uses different sprites from the original game, and the turtles have different ready poses. I like the character designs here for many of the characters. Rock Steady and Bebop who appear in the pirate ship stage, are as comical as ever dressed up in pirate garments with a fencing sword and whip. Some of the characters like the Roadkill Rodney's, Mousers, and even the alligator Leatherhead resemble their animated series styles, while Slash maintains the look of his toy specs. Super Shredder heavily resembles the version from the second live action movie Secret of the Ooze.
The character animations stand out a great deal, with some fluid fighting combinations from both the Turtles as well as the Foot Clan. And it's pretty funny watching the turtles literally flatten by giant balls or electrocuted by beams of electricity. The stage backgrounds are a mixed bag but lean more towards the positive though. The scenery is basically the same throughout the stage and only scrolls on by while you move from point A to B. However, the stage designs are pretty cool capturing the different periods, and the game maintains that sci-fi feel canon with the franchise when the turtles head into the future as well as in the Technodrome. The BGM also captures the feel of the stage, the animated series, and the fighting, plus there are songs that have stuck with me to the point where I've replayed the game only to hear them. As for the sound effects, Konami managed to keep the more important stuff around, like the 'Pizza Time" and "Cowabunga" phrases. Other wise a few of the effects are rather generic, while a small number manage to stick out.
Personally, when I'm in the mood for this type of game, I would rather replay Streets of Rage 2 or Super Double Dragon, because of the extended moves list and various weapons. Turtles in Time is too average of a fighter with very little to offer.
Fans of TMNT will tell you this is the best side scrolling beat'em up ever made. Fans of side scrolling beat'em ups will tell you something drastically different. TMNT: Turtles in Time is among the weaker games of this type from the 16-Bit universe, and it doesn't really take any steps to expand on the original TMNT, or even two and three of the original NES series.
The very weak difficulty will find you blowing through this game in no time, which doesn't at all make it an essential purchase or download if you're not a fan of the franchise. I've seen this game being sold for nearly $200. Do not be suckered. Nobody should be paying that kind of cash for this, fan or not.
Pros: Loads of fan oriented material, two player co-op can be some fun
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time is not only the best TMNT game out there, it is SO much more! The 90's through the very early 2000's were the best years in gaming, and It definitely goes to show. The turtles were "da' bomb" back then and playing this as a kid blew my freaking socks off. I remember playing the original TMNT on the NES. Oh, how I remember that craptastic failure. There were very few good turtles games, but this struck green … more
Well I just talked about one classic SNES game, heres another one. Back when we still had those things called arcades, arcade to home transfers really didn't get any justice till the 16 bit era rolled around. Sure there were some decent ones like Atari 5200's Pac Man and NES's Gauntlet 2 were decent, there were plenty others that left a lot to be desired. SNES really helped get the ball rolling with they're conversions of Street Fighter 2 and … more
When compared to the arcade version this game was ok at best. I never really dug it because it was way too easy. It was a decent port over, but unless I have someone to play with. It will continue collecting dust. I will give it credit though, and admit it was nice seeing Slash take the place of that mud creature from the arcade.
I loved this game! It was a little bit too easy, even on the hardest setting and with the lives code. I can't think of any other game or anything for that matter that made such clever and witty use of the word "shell". ie. Shell-shocked, let's kick shell, bury my shell at wounded knee.