How do you play retro games?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (Game Boy)

82
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  WWWWolf (422)
Written on  :  Mar 23, 2004

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by WWWWolf
read more reviews for this game

Summary

"CHING!" goes the Konami register...

The Good

Very very rarely, the game manages to really amaze. Some of the background graphics are pretty good, in fact (for example, the first level sewers look pretty amazing). Cut scene graphics are, with a few nitpicks, pretty decently made.

The game is actually fun if you have nothing better to do. It's a great game if your thinking abilities are temporarily withdrawn for a short period of time. I bet the next craze is to find out who can finish the game at 4 o'clock in the morning, or severely drunk at any other time of the day.

Oh, and the whole game appears to be green by default when played in Game Boy Advance. Just like on the original GameBoy. Pretty neat. Probably a coincidence or something.

The Bad

The game feels like it was produced with great rush, and reeks of derivativeness. It can't even be properly analyzed in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game" context, but only in larger "Platform Game" context, if you catch what I mean. In other words, it doesn't feel like a Turtles game, it's just a platform game with Turtles characters in it.

The game sprites are pretty bad. I can easily recognize the characters and most of the enemies, but, uh... the walk animations look silly, the weaponry of the Turtles aren't exactly epic, and the Foot Clan warriors are oddly animated. Most of the sprites flicker a lot, suggesting that coders didn't have time to do the graphics routines properly.

Some of the enemies are odd, shall we say "non-canonical" in TMNT sense, and didn't exactly seem fun at the time (In retrospect - did they take the bats from Castlevania or what???)

The enemies are pretty stupid. The enemy AI can't be talked about in the same sentence with the term "artificial intelligence" in fears of tarnishing the term (apologies for doing so just now). I remember I was thinking, "why are these Foot Clan guys always slowly jumping at me, with no weapons, even?" Foot Clan was turned into a freaking Army of Kamikaze Androids!

Gameplay boils down to memorizing attack patterns and thinking of ways to outwit the enemies. There's no randomness in the game, all enemies are hanging out at the same places every time.

Levels are pretty dull. While level background graphics are good, the levels themselves are not particularly remarkable for any reason whatsoever. They follow the platform game cliché of "several levels with different themes", and the plot tying these various levels together isn't exactly strong. (speaking of which, where *is* the plot?)

And the video game "Engrish" is just about everywhere. Need I say more?

The Bottom Line

First, a question: Why on Earth I always ended up owning the shoddiest versions of the TMNT games? (GameBoy and Commodore 64, specifically.)

Here we have what was supposed to be the TMNT fan's next big thing to buy: The First GameBoy Turtles Game. Follow the action-packed tale of the Turtles as they rescue April O'Neal from the clutches of Shredder and Krang, through five levels, with a lot of cool Turtle graphics strewn between the levels.

The game was surprisingly challenging when I was a teenager. But does it tell you something that when I yesterday, not having touched TMNT:FotFC for over 10 years or something, could finish the game without any need to think about it, not dying a single time? Either in the past years I have finally learned how to play platform games, or maybe the game just burned into my mind. Or maybe the game was just easy to begin with.

Overall, the game now has this kind of feel: Konami got the game license, took Generic Platform Game Engine Mark One source code from the vault, produced some graphics, did some music, and slapped them together. If you changed the graphics, this would be just yet another platform game.

Along with Commodore 64 version of TMNT, the game left a bad taste in mouth, truth to tell. Back then, the game just didn't feel cool, like the animated series or something. Nowadays, the games felt shoddy and quickly coded, in hopes of grabbing the money off the gullible teenagers, which I admittedly was at the time.

It's a ninja game with no trace of the real ultimate power.

TMNT2: Back from the Sewers was a far better game than TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan, though, even when that wasn't without its small flaws, but at least it still seems *somewhat* fun. =)