Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Apr 10, 2014
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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I have always liked... Cowabunga.

The Good

The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the original Nintendo had some cool, even creative elements to it, but it suffered from problems with game play mechanics and probably being a bit too difficult and complicated for what gamers expected in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game.

Most gamers simply wanted to control their favorite comic book/TV cartoon ninja and proceed to hack n' slash their way through several familiar looking levels, with familiar bad guys and bosses.

They didn't want to try to swim around disarming bombs (and avoiding evil, sea weed).

They were not really interested in the semi-role playing game elements that arose when the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's Nintendo game had you driving around the city, in your turtle van, trying to figure out what you needed to do.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game is what most fans of the franchise wanted in such a game; a well designed, somewhat, simplified version of Double Dragon. In that sense, it is really a great game.

The 8-bit Nintendo's hardware could never hope to perfectly recreate the arcade game. Yet, these are some of the very best graphics you will see on an NES video game.

All of the TMNT II characters -- both the playable characters and the non playable characters -- are large, detailed and easy to recognize.

While much of the original arcade's digital voice has been scrapped in the port to the NES home console system, the game's intermission sequences are excellent and, like the in-game action, are some of the best you will see on the 8-bit, NES, system.

The folks developing this game really pushed the hardware inside the NES to new heights with this game.

True, you will notice the differences between the original arcade game and the NES adaption, but you will also be amazed at what the old-school, NES home console system was capable of doing.

The game play and control mechanics are simple and responsive. Each of the four, playable turtles has a standard set of fighting attacks -- including a handy jump kick -- and an on-screen meter to let you know how many hits you can take before losing a life.

While can collect pizza icons to restore your hit points, very few of them actually exist in the game. Yet, the game gives you a fair number of extra lives and continues, so the difficulty level will never become too difficult.

The NES port has more bit variation in the Foot Soldiers that you attack and the game also has two additional levels -- unique to the NES port -- with their own bosses.

You can take on the action-packed, game by yourself or with a friend. Either way you will need some fast thumbs in order to battle the many minions and bosses under the command of both Shredder and evil space alien Krang.

The Bad

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game does not offer the playable characters many offensive or defense moves.

Basically, each character can only walk, jump, swing their trademark weapon and perform a jump kick. This is all you need for this game, and (in that sense) it is not different from the original coin-op, arcade game.

However, if you are looking for the multiple offensive and defensive moves that can be preformed -- along the lines of Double Dragon or Streets of Rage -- you will be disappointed.

Last, but not least, the music and sound effects in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game certainly do their job well, but, well, it was pretty difficult to make the NES's hardware to be in a position win any music awards.

The Bottom Line

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Arcade Game is an action packed, joy-ride from start to finish. The game pushes the limits of the NES hardware and offers a simplified version of Double Dragon-inspired, hack n' slash game play.