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Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Feb 02, 2013
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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The Good

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project pushes the NES hardware to the limits (and then some) in terms of animation, graphics, music and sound effects.

Shredder has returned once again to kidnap April and, as an added bonus, Manhattan itself. Once again our green "heroes in a half shelf" must save the day!

Much like its predecessor, you control one of the famous ninja or "hero" (if you lived in Europe) turtles through several side-scrolling beat 'em levels that will remind you of Double Dragon, Final Fight or Streets of Rage.

Each level is loaded with familiar minions of the evil Shredder and, yes, familiar bosses are waiting for you at the end of each level. As an added bonus, each turtle has a special attack they can use, at the expense of their hit points.

Naturally, the two-player mode is especially fun to play. This time around you also get to decide, should you play with a friend, whether or not your weapons can hurt your friend.

Even if you were not a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise (personally, I liked the original graphic novels better), this is still an incredibly well done and enjoyable video game for the NES.

The Bad

Its not a huge complaint, but Shredder has someone manage to kidnap, yet again, April O' Neil. As if saving Manhattan was not enough, the programmers decided to, once again, have standard "damsel in distress".

Triceratons do not appear in this game, even through they are front and center in the game's box art. Maybe this was a last minute decision, but I would rather had Triceratons then the two campy mutants from the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II film.

Much like the second game, Master Splinter is basically reduced to cameo, intermission sequences. I always thought it would have been cool to have been able to play Master Splinter in the game, but, alas, no secret characters were programmed into the 4 meg cartridge.

The Bottom Line

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project is one of the best hack n' slash/beat 'em video games released for the 8-bit Nintendo. The story and the game play will not win too many originality awards, but the game itself is still fun to play, even after all these years, and it is a well-needed reminder that video games based on popular cartoon or comic book characters do not have to disappoint.