Thursday 17 September 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES review)

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Ultra
Released: 1990

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game is a beat-em-up that's based on the 1987 TMNT animated series.

There's ten levels and your mission is to rescue April O'Neil and defeat Shredder. All four turtles have a decent move set that includes a weapon slash, a jump kick and a jump slash that can be performed by pressing the A and B buttons together; the latter kills most enemies with one hit but for some reason it's a little hard to consistently pull off. Comparing it to the Arcade original it's seriously impressive how much was ported over and there's lots of cool touches including one level where April screams for help on a background TV! It's arguable that some areas had an influence on Streets of Rage 2 (1992, Mega Drive) as some sections suddenly scroll downwards and there's even a short elevator ride. Scene 4 sees you jumping on a skateboard and fighting heavily armed helicopters on the highway which adds some nice variety. This NES port has two exclusive levels; Snowy Central Park is gorgeous with its parallax scrolling, slow ploughs and robotic snowmen armed with homing missiles! House of Shogun takes place in a Japanese Dojo and once again it looks beautiful with bad guys jumping out from behind the doors. The game has many enemy types to stop things getting monotonous and some carry weapons such as dynamite, boomerangs and sledgehammers. Each boss is fun to fight and many familiar faces are featured including Bebop and Rocksteady. Despite the lengthy adventure the main downside is that it's incredibly tough as you're always massively outnumbered; even the manual states that there's over 700 total enemies to defeat so seeing later levels is a real challenge!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game is an incredible port with tons of content and some solid beat-em-up action. It is a bit too challenging but it plays well and each level adds something new to keep the combat feeling fresh and exciting.

Random trivia: Another beat-em-up in the series was released on the NES in 1992 called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project.

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