Game Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Darren Calvert


Turtle mania was sweeping the world when this came out in 1989. That's probably why this game was so popular despite it being an unfair bag of dog's droppings!

So popular was the franchise that Nintendo even bundled the NES with this game in Europe replacing the mighty Super Mario Bros cart.

It's easy to see why so many persevered with this at the time. It had the turtles in it! Unfortunately not many of the bad guys from the TV show even appear in the game. A bit of an oversight you might say. Instead baddies are just generic looking and could be from any other action platform game instead. They did put in Bebop and Rocksteady, but that was about it!

Basically the game is a platform game, but there are overhead driving sections as well. Both are probably as irritating and unfair as each other. The 4 turtles you can play as are hopelessly unbalanced; Raphael and Michelangelo have terrible reach with their weapons so it is much too easy to get hit.

Coupled with the lousy collision detection you will be tearing your hair out before long. Things are better with Donatello and the reach of his staff, so try to keep him alive!

Other problems are the endlessly respawning enemies which are difficult to take out and unfair precision jumps which you will have to progress in the game. One slight mess up and you have to backtrack several screens taking more and more damage. This just doesn't work in a game of this nature, it adds to the frustration factor.

To add insult to injury, there are also an abundance of graphical glitches and slowdown which further hampers the enjoyment factor. To make matters worse, the game's score is devoid of any recognizable TMNT tunes, including the main theme. This is a travesty, to say the least. The sound effects are all right, but by no means compensate for the lack of TMNT inspired sounds and music.


Thankfully some of the sequels on the NES are generally better than this. Don't let childhood nostalgia blind you to the flaws this game has. By all means if you have fond memories of this from when you were a kid download it, but don't say we didn't warn you!

Note: Presumably due to licensing costs, the game costs 600 Wii Points instead of 500 which is the cost of a standard NES game.

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User Comments (13)



Wesker said:

I can't get over the size of the sprites in this game considering its on the NES!

This game has it all; platforming, fighting, strategical use of characters and weapons and its an officially licensed game! The only problem with this game is the difficulty; its too hard! But even though its frustrating its still fun and I feep coming back to it over similar games that are generally more highly revered. Maybe I'm just sadistic like that.

By the way, the Angry Video Game Nerd does a wicked review of this game, you should check it out on youtube. That'll tell you if you want to buy it or not.



Nintendork said:

^ Okay..... so you were praising the game, and recommending the AVGN review!?!

But anyways, I hate this game. It's just regular license crap



Shinnok said:

You're absolutely right Nintendork, this game blows. I like Manhattan Project, they should just skip the crappy sequel and release that.



NESnes said:

This is one hard game. It is fun if you know what to do, though. Most people should skip this release unless you played it back in the day. Last time I played it (in the 90's) I could never figure out where to go once you reached the city.



sdcazares1980 said:

Remember the Howard and Nester days from Nintendo Power? In the comic, Howard says each Turtle has to have 99 scrolls before entering level 3. I'm sure he meant level 4. In fact, you have to have them before facing the level 3 boss, MechaTurtle. Correction aside, Howard was SO right. It is almost impossible to beat this game without the 99 scrolls, and getting to them was just incredibly boring!



DaveOwl said:

It wasn't as easy without the scrolls granted on the Mechaturtle boss (having them made it really easy) but as long as you kept Donatello alive all the levels were fairly straightforward and were especially the key on the Technodrome level as you got to the final stages.

Damn I loved it



shantaego64 said:

Why does it say "Hero" Turtles on the screen?

Great game if you just relax and play it!



Wolfenstein83 said:

I think in Europe it was called "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles."
Kind of like how Contra was also known as Gryzor.
This is a somewhat bad game but I would give it better than a 3 stars, maybe 4 or even 5.
Also, I don't understand why here in the US this game is priced the same as an import?



theblackdragon said:

@Wolfenstein83: It's a licensed game, and the license-holders need to get their profits as well as Nintendo and Konami. that's why there's that 100-point premium attached.



SennaKurosaki said:

Yeah, I have some good memories playing this game back in the eighties. But indeed it was a very hard game. Thanks for the "blinded-by-nostalgia" warning! I would have otherwise fallen for that trap...



JimLad said:

I think this was better than the other Turtles games. It actually had variety in it's gameplay and wasn't just another generic scrolling beat 'em up.
It definitely deserves more than a 3.

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