During the peak of its popularity in the late 1980s through to the early 1990s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise was practically unstoppable in terms of themed merchandise and mainstream exposure. From branded cereals to music concerts, the four crime fighting Turtles swiftly became house-hold names across the world. However this article is thankfully not about the Ninja Turtles Pudding Pies or the Mutant Turtle’s Wacky Wild West toy play sets, but is in fact about their line of video-games. Well, one in particular at least… Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time!
What was once an arcade game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time would later be ported to the Super Nintendo in 1992 and again to the SEGA Mega Drive under the title The Hyperstone Heist. The game itself follows your traditional scrolling beat ‘em up adventure, as you go from a variety of locations in the hope to settle whatever predicament that has occurred with violence. In the case of Turtles in Time; Krang steals the Statue of Liberty, only to have Shredder hijacks the airwaves to laugh at the Turtles immediately after. So as the unsung heroes of New York, it is up to you stop Shredder from committing any more crimes. Honestly Konami could have had anything take place before Shredder mocked the Ninja Turtles and I am almost certain that they would be up for kicking his head in; however only two at a time would be able to, since the SNES version lacks the ability to play as all four turtles at once.
As you progress in-game, the difficulty will quickly stack up on you and start pumping out alternating enemy types each with their own attack style. Some will hurl ninja stars; meanwhile others will attempt to choke you. Depending on which turtle you picked to play as would in return affect how well you can deal with the onslaught of enemies ahead of you, with each having unique health, attack and range stats. In other words, knowing which enemy type you can handle over your friends can really determine how far you make it. At the end of each stage you will also encounter a boss, some being characters that appeared in the animated show, meanwhile others being gimmick themed bosses for the zone you are fighting in. It’s impressive to think even today as to how well Konami used to licence for the TMNT brand.
The music used for the game is outstanding as it captures the spirit of the television show and helps sets you in the right mood for what awaits you, especially in the gimmick themed zones such as a one stage called. A relaxing simple calmly paced track plays for “Neon Night Riders”, which has you on hover boards traveling across a bright and colourful environment, meanwhile an intense and continuous drumming plays for “Bury My Shell At Wounded Knee”, which is set on a train being used to transport the foot clan at high speeds.
Overall: It controls well, looks great and has an amazing soundtrack; however here is my problem… I don’t want to look beyond my rose tinted glasses and look down upon a game that I treasure from my past, but I must. There is not much else to say about Turtles in time, because time is what this game lacks. What I mean by that is that the length of the game is rather short in comparison to other traditional scrolling beat ‘em up games.
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