Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by decoy octopus



The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the NES was actually the most faithful to the comic and cartoon of the same name. It didn't play all that hot due to many faults, but it had the most memorable music of the series of games, and had a few good innovations.

I mean honestly, how many people can shredder honestly employ in the foot clan? You run through about 3 million of them in each of the beat-em-up TMNT's (2, 3 and 4) and honestly at some point you'd think the flow of new recruits would shore up because of the fact these Turtles are seemingly indestructable. But if you've ever played TMNT 1, you'd know, like I, that there are ten thousand ways to bite it.

You can get run over, entangled in electric seaweed, fall off a building too many times, get shocked to death, fall in fire lava, get impaled on spikes and other more fun ways. But let me remind you that none of this actually kills your rad rude and bad dudes, it only gets them captured. Sure I just boiled alive in some lava, but they tied me up and I have nary a scratch upon me :D

Where to start with TMNT's problems. I suppose the best starting point is to realize that Konami tried to do too much with the NES hardware and tried to put about 3 too many enemies on the screen at one time. So some of the time you'll be running along at a smooth 3 frames per second. Another thing they did with enemies is make spawn points that you can accidentally trigger by scrolling the screen back and forth. You'll end up with a huge score by the end of the game just because to make it through the whole game you have to mow into a shitload of bad guys.

Another thing is that out of 4 turtles, only 2 are of any use besides being damage magnets. Leonardo has a decent reach with his katana so you'll actually want to use him some of the time. Raphael has the reach of a paraplageic and you won't hit shit unless you're right on top of something. Which most of the time means you get a little damage in return. I only used Raph in the wonderous dam level where he just absorbed damage. Michaelangelo has a slightly better reach than Raph, but he still pretty much sucks. Which makes me sad because he was the coolest turtle out of them all. Donatello here is the stud of the team because his Bo reaches huge spans of the screen and has about the same reach as Raph's Sai backwards. Basically he's a juggernaut of destruction, and don't ever put him in a position where you could lose him unless you know exactly where a rescue point is closeby.

You'll notice that whenever you go into your subscreen to change turtles Splinter (And later April) will have nuggets of information as useful as spaghetti with human waste on top of it. And the map is such an advantage that the developers felt like it was too much of an advantage and take it from you in the last level, only replacing it with a "THE MAP DOESN'T WORK SO I AM LOST LOL"

The game also gives you item weapons that pretty much suck (Shuriken) or are so rare you'll probably never find them (Scrolls) or don't do shit but in special situations (Rope). The game continues at a vapid pace, until the game's conclusion with a fight into the technodrome (Which makes no sense because the technodrome is about 2X bigger than a turtle so how it's a 20 minute level is beyond me) before facing your arch-nemesis Shredder. Shredder has basic attacks, and a neat little gun that automatically kills you and makes you restart the whole level, or in my case, turn off the NES, eject the cartridge and question what I am doing with my life.

Despite TMNT's problems, I do enjoy parts of it, to me it's like a friend always strung out. For the first 20 minutes or so they're fun to hang around with but after a while they get on your nerves because they ate all the doritos and drank all the fucking pepsi so you throw them out.

wait...what? Oh and if you happen to beat this game, you'll be treated to a non-sensical ending where splinter says he can "Change back into a human now" and April offers pizza as a celebration.

What?

WHAT?

Splinter can just shapeshift willy-nilly? What the fuck nothing in this game makes sense. I just take solace in the face that I believe the turtles passed on the pizza pie and took a slice of April's personal pie.


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