Turtles through Time

Originally posted at GameSpot on March 10, 2008

Currently playing through TMNT for the GBA and at first I wasn’t sure how much I liked it; then something happened – I beat the first level. Many times a game might not seem like a good investment, but then you make some actual progress – and the game is as good as gold.

This is the case with TMNT, and I’m sitting pretty at Act 3. I forgot how much I enjoyed the turtles as a kid, never missing one second of the cartoon and going to see the first movie in the theatres. (I’m sure I saw the second movie in theatres as well, but I don’t know about the third one – the first movie was the good one though.)

Playing through the game got me thinking about my gaming with turtles past. First up, the arcade game. This was out at the height of the turtles (first round of) popularity, and it was a great beat’em up that you could play with a friend. I can remember forking over quarter after quarter in order to keep Donatello and the others alive as long as I could. I never beat the arcade game; either because I wasn’t good enough or wasn’t rich enough – probably both.

Next up was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES, and it was a must-own for any fan. The game, however, took advantage of that fact and was awful. Annoying levels (swimming through electric seaweed) and punishing difficulty sucked most of the fun out of this one, although picking your turtle and a well done intro-sequence helped to ease the pain a little.

I vaguely remember playing (or renting) some other turtle games, mostly emulating the side scrolling multiplayer fighting action of the original arcade game – which was a good thing.

I know there have been a slew of TMNT games in recent years, but this GBA title seems to be the only one with a decent score. I haven’t played them, so I can’t personally vouch for how good they are. However, it has been fun to re-visit a franchise I enjoyed as a kid and find there is still some life there.

Turtle power!

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