Review by Megaman1981

"Pizza Hut, Domino's, even Mama Celeste. Hey, a turtle will eat anything when it's Pizza Time!"

Way back when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the most watched T.V. show, several games were released on the NES. The first game was very difficult, but still very fun to play. The second was like the arcade game and was awesome. The third installment is excellent, and even incorporated several things from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 movie. Everything that could be involved with a ninja turtle was made; toys, cartoons, comics; you name it, it was made. I remember when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time was released on the SNES. I didn't own the system, but I played it on my friends system everyday and loved it. What made it so brilliant was the fact that everything that was great about the NES games was put it into Turtles in Time. Shortly after that, the turtles started to die out. Then in 2003, they were revived. The toys, cartoons, and even the video games returned. The video games however, weren't like they were in the old days. The first game was very hard and very repetitive and boring. The second game I never played, but I heard it was terrible. So, I wasn't expecting much for the third installment, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare. I was surprised to find out that the game was indeed pretty good.

The new ninja turtles were designed just like the old comics. As such, the new video games were designed to be just like the show using a cel shaded style just like in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. I like it. It is different from the same old same old. In fact, it makes you feel like you're playing a cartoon. The music and sound is fairly simple. It's decent, but nothing compared to the old ninja turtle show.

The old ninja turtle games were designed to be like an arcade beat em up. They tried to make the new ninja turtle games to be just like those, but it didn't quite work out. The combat was repetitive, the stages boring, and the turtles and camera angles murder to control. To be fair, they fixed most of this in Mutant Nightmare. Now all four turtles will be on the screen at the same time. The A.I. controlled turtles work well and are an asset in battle. The camera problems are still there though. To be blunt, the camera is a real pain. It's difficult to control especially in boss battles. That is where a real problem arises. The game isn't that difficult, but thanks to the camera, the boss battles are very difficult. Luckily you can upgrade your turtles using the gems you find after defeating enemies. This can add new combos, more health, and more attack power. There is also a variety in the gameplay. Some stages are about defeating X number of enemies, some are shooting levels, and some have you protecting another person like April or Splinter.

The story is modeled to be just like Season 3 from the show. There are 3 episodes and each episode is kind of like a new game. The first episode has the turtles fighting off the Triceraton invasion. The second episode talks about how Splinter was kidnapped by a government agent named Bishop, who wants to steal the turtles DNA. The final episode deals with Shredder trying to rebuild New York after the Triceraton invasion in his disguise Oroku Saki.

There are plenty of reasons to play this game numerous times. First of all you can unlock movies about each character from the turtles show. These movies can be unlocked by simply collecting the character CD's in each level. I loved everything about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles growing up. They were my favorite cartoon, along with the Flintstones. While this game isn't as good as the old days, it's definitely better than the first two games.

Now that we are done with the review for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare, I would also like to mention that the arcade game Turtles in Time is hidden as an unlockable, and I would like to review it. It's still the same game as you remember it, just with some slightly remixed music. Be warned though, the arcade game is shorter than the SNES game. Anyone that has played the arcade version of Turtles in Time will know that it only has nine stages (ten if you count the Technodrome level). Well, the SNES version has added more stages, and more bosses such as the Rat King, Slash, and Rocksteady and Bebop (how could they leave those two from the arcade version anyway?).

Anyway the gameplay was pretty simple for Turtles in Time. You chose one turtle at the beginning, and make your way threw the streets of New York. There isn't much difference between them, although Donatello has the longest range weapon. As you play the game, you will have to defeat all of Shredder's Foot Clan using a mix of slash attacks and jumping attacks. Nothing really new of course. If you were familiar with the NES versions then you'll be fine. There is one really cool move that wasn't in the NES versions. The ability to throw an enemy into the screen (or off the screen?). This move is so cool. The game is pretty easy according to some people, but I don't know. I think that Turtles in Time is much harder than the NES games, but still is fairly easy, if that makes sense.

The graphics are much improved over the NES games. Each environment has vibrant detail, as does each character, whether it's a ninja turtle or Baxter Stockman. The music is your basic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles music, but some of the songs really stick into your head. The story in any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game usually revolves around Shredder kidnapping April. Well, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 for the NES, Shredder stole the island of Manhattan. Shredder decided to go a bit further this time and steal the Statue of Liberty. As the turtles pursue Shredder and battle him in the Technodrome, he uses a time traveling device to send the turtles back in time. The turtles will land in the dinosaur age, a pirate ship, an old western style train, and on the moon in the future. After all that, a showdown with Krang and Shredder awaits.

I must say that the true beauty and delight from this game comes when you play the game with a friend. Plus using the Gamecube will allow you to play with four people at once. This statement applies to both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare and Turtles in Time. Basically fans that are clamoring for a return of the classic turtles games can keep waiting for a Konami Gaming Collection (or whatever), or they can pick up the decent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare, plus get the fantastic Turtles in Time as well.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/24/05, Updated 05/14/06


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