Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review (NES) The Original Nintendo Game

Bebop and Rocksteady.
     The first foray of the TMNT into the video game world isn't one of the brawler beat-em-ups that defined the series right after this installment.  It's actually this top down view with deadly tanks, and side scrolling platformer levels upon entering sewers or buildings game on the original Nintendo.
     This game was more unforgiving and imbalanced than it rightly should've been- creating play that is far from fun and it punishes players for failing to adapt to the horrendous control scheme.  The problem with the difficulty here is that is due to arbitrary problems and poor level design you are forced to fight through wave after wave of enemies that should be menial but aren't.  Dark Souls feels like a lackadaisical stroll in comparison- at least it is fair and the controls are tight.

You get to drive the Party Wagon!!!
     Perhaps if the controls for TMNT were better the tediousness might have been simply a fun challenge, but instead it devolves into pure frustration.  If a player moves a single screen over in the level, every enemy respawns.  An infinitely respawning group of enemies that do massive damage if you even touch one gets to be really irritating while you also have to struggle with the awful controls.  Even worse is the fact that there are plenty of filler stages and places that don't contain anything necessary for progress and serve mostly to deplete what little resources you have.
     The platforming is also a problem as a result of terrible jumping mechanics.  If you bump a ceiling you drop straight down- often right into the line of fire you jumped to avoid.
     Compounding this problem is the fact that while you may choose which of the 4 Turtles you want to play as at any time, Michelangelo and Raphael are nearly useless because their weapons have nothing for range.  Many players just resort to using them in heavy damage taking areas so they can prolong the use of the only two Turtles worth using, Leonardo and Donatello, as they give you much more range.  

Diffuse the bombs.
     Somehow this is an extremely flawed game that I loved as a kid, but not as much as the drastically better TMNT: The Arcade Game, which was released in the same year.  Any fondness I once had was drown in the infamous underwater "Dam Level" that will no doubt go down in history as one of the biggest torments to any children that suffered beneath the waves.

This was a nightmare for many, many children.
     Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES is a mediocre game at best, and the difficulty curve proves to be its greatest undoing, most notably because the TMNT should really be aimed at kids.  If they hadn't included a never-ending stream of respawning minions or even a level select option the game might've left young players with better memories, but as it is, nostalgia won't cover its abundance of faults.

     For more of my Turtles posts [ TMNT ]

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