Written by  :  Mumm-Ra (410)
Written on  :  Mar 09, 2003
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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More, much more of the same! But improved.

The Good

The four ninja turtles named after renascentist artists were back for their last, and arguably best, side-scrolling game on a Nintendo console. A Tournament Fighters version (in which the turtles and other creatures fought each other in a Street Fighter styled game) released in 1993 for NES, Super NES and Sega Genesis was not as successful. And the Sega Genesis version (Hyperstone Heist) is very similar to the SNES one.

The game is a faithful conversion of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles 2: Turtles In Time for Arcade (the first Arcade TMNT was released for NES only as TMNT 2: The Arcade Game).

The story is always the same: Shredder has done something wrong and Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello and Raphael have to fight an infinite number of Foot Clan soldiers and other creatures to defeat the big boss. It may sound repetitive, but Double Dragon and Final Fight also are. The news here is that the turtles travel in time, to the past and then to the future.

The graphics are very good. The sprites (moving objects) are beautifully designed, detailed, colorful and cartoon-like. And they also have personality. The bosses are big, just like in the Arcade version. Konami made an ample use of SNES zoom capabilities, as Foot Clan soldiers are thrown towards the screen by the turtles. The backgrounds are nice, but don't quite match the sprites.

The sound is astonishing, featuring the old traditional turtles song (the same from the cartoon) and very good special effects (including digitalised voices, something really rare for the SNES).

The gameplay is one of the nicest ever, following the Arcade versions. The sprites move very quickly (not as much as in the Arcade) and the enemies fill the screen, what may cause some slow motion. The controls are simple and each turtle has a variety of over 20 different moves (some unique ones), all of them very easy to perform. All these elements contribute to make a great game, one which you could finish thousand of times without getting bored.

There's also two different game modes: Time Trial and Versus. In Time Trial, you try to finish the stages as quick as possible, which doesn't add much to the game. Versus mode is a turtle fight in the same way as Street Fighter. The success of this option originated the following turtle game, Tournament Fighter.

It's hard to say if Turtles In Time is the best Ninja Turtles game ever, but it's certainly the best 16-bit console turtle game, since Tournament Fighter (for SNES and Genesis) feels weird and Hyperstone Heist (Genesis version) lacks such quality in graphics, color and gameplay.

The Bad

The game is not perfect, though, and probably concentrates more problems than its two predecessors. Well, I'm not going to blame the game for some slow motion scenes, as it is a result of the SNES relatively slow processor.

First, the game is short. It is probably a consequence of the rapid action, but it is a fact that it takes much less to finish than the two previous games.

Second, the game is too easy. It could be an advantage for the beginners, but people who had already played a bunch of turtles games deserved a little more challenge. Luckily, it is not the kind of game that you put aside once it's finished. You keep playing it because it always provides lots of fun.

Third, some Manhattan backgrounds could be more elaborated and less mechanically designed.

The Bottom Line

TRUE CLASSIC. The best 16-bit TMTN game rivals, and probably beats, Final Fight in the dispute for best fighting side-scrolling for SNES.