Posts Tagged ‘teenage mutant ninja turtles’

System: Game Boy

Release Date: August 1990

Rarity: 27%

Price/Location: $4.99/Gaming Warehouse (Grandville)

You can tell me all you want, 90s kids, that you didn’t like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but you’re wrong because EVERYONE liked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

From left to right: Homecoming King, captain of the football team, voted “Cutest Guy” in mock election, Class President.

The Ninja Turtles defined early 90s culture. Ninjas, pizza, wise-cracking, cartoon characters. These guys had everything working in their favor. It’s only natural that in an era where intellectual properties were being licensed out to game companies up the ass, that someone would make a TMNT game or 10. Some were good…

Not pictured: The several hundred dollars worth of Chuck-E-Cheese tokens sitting inside the machine.

Some were… not so good…

For many people who’ve played this game, this is the final level. This is Level 2.

But what could be better as a kid in the 1990s than a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on your Game Boy!? Holy crap! That’s like… like… Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers on your Game Boy!

The end-all-be-all of video games when I was 8 years old.

I never actually knew there was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game Boy game until I stumbled across it at Gaming Warehouse. Just like every other game in this blog, I just had to question the price: “This is the freakin’ Ninja Turtles! Why is it so much cheaper than everything else?! I made my purchase and set out to find out why. The first thing I noticed was this was made by Ultra Games. Ultra Games was a spin-off of Konami. Nintendo had special rules in place for its 3rd-party developers back in the day where they could only release a certain number of games per year. Creating a sister company circumvented that rule. I can’t remember what other companies did this, but the Konami/Ultra Games example is perhaps the best known.

Of course that doesn’t stop them from putting Konami on the title screen.

So the first screen after the title is a level select/button configuration screen. Being that there are only two buttons, there is not much to configure. I make B the attack button and A the jump button. I notice there are only 5 levels to choose from. I started off on Level 1, naturally. After this screen is the Turtle select screen. Michelangelo, thank you. Level 1 places me on the streets of New York. April has been kidnapped! Oh no! The controls are tight. I’m able to jump around easily and attack with relative ease. Enemies die in one hit, unlike the arcade game. But like the arcade game, the graphics are surprisingly good. I couldn’t believe this game came out within the first year of the Game Boy lifecycle. The music is kickass too. A chiptune version of the main TMNT theme plays throughout the first level. I am loving this. After a short boss battle, I breeze through level 1 in short order. That’s when I start to worry.

Yes, me worry!

If there are only 5 levels in this game, and I beat that level that quickly, then I fear I may beat this game in the time it takes most people to take a shower.

Doing both at the same time is not recommended.

Don’t get me wrong, Level 1 was a fun introduction to the game, but I’m hoping Level 2 will be a bit more of a challenge. I press on to Level 2 and I’m met with more of the same. Foot clan soldiers fall easily and enemy patterns are deciphered quickly. Thankfully the boss is a bit more of a challenge this time around. I actually lost a turtle this time! I choose a new one and finish the boss.

Serving Shredder proud on the frontlines.

Levels 3 and 4 are more of the same “run to the right and attack” action. I lost a turtle on each levels boss, so I was down to one turtle for the final level. Now, I don’t know if I’m missing something in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lore here, so anyone reading this, feel free to answer this question for me. Why in the hell is Shredder the Level 4 boss and Krang the final boss? It almost feels like some kind of programming error. Shredder is the most challenging boss in the game, whereas Krang died after I caught him in an attack loop. Meaning he froze in place for a second when I hit him, then immediately hit him again when he moved, repeat until dead.

Shredder is beside himself after reading Konami’s memo regarding the change.

Verdict: HIGH FIVE

I may have beaten this game in 20 minutes, but it was a very enjoyable 20 minutes. I know I said each level was more of the same from the last one, but that’s a good thing. It’s a shame this game wasn’t longer but I can see the reasoning. As it was only a 1990 Game Boy game, the length of the game was possibly sacrificed to make the graphics and music better. If I had payed original retail price for this, I’d be pissed. But for 5 bucks, it’s all good. Out of the mixed grab bag that is good and bad TMNT games, this sits somewhere in the middle. A great game only hampered by it’s short length.

Kinda like another game I had as a kid. *sad face*

That does it for Episode 6 of Five Dollar Gamer! If you want to leave comments, praise, criticisms, or suggestions you can leave them here, or on The Official Five Dollar Gamer Facebook Page!

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