Like with many long running game franchises, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games have been somewhat patchy over the years.
Since the original arcade game that introduced the classic TMNT 4 player beat ’em up, not all TMNT games have been that great. But this on the GameBoy Advance is truly a little gem!
It has the fast paced, button mashing feel of the original arcade and console games of the early 90s. It is more of a beat ’em up platformer, so whilst you can’t move in all directions on the playfield, it still retains the spirit of these original beat’ em up games, but kind of a typical of the time, cut down handheld version.
Fast and easy to play, each turtle has their own skills, animations and missions to play. In fact, the game is different depending on which turtle you chose to play with. There are four acts per character, giving the game a nice amount of variation. The game has excellent graphics, with the main character sprites being particularly well drawn and animated.
Each of the Turtles has their own story to follow during the acts as well as some nice minigame levels, including Raphaels Excitebike style level, racing along picking up boosts and fuel whilst racing Casey Jones. Leonardo has a nice first person target shooter whilst speeding along a sewer, Donatello has a glider based shooting level and Michelangelo speeds through another sewer level on his skateboard, which reminds me a bit of the Sonic 2 bonus levels.
The game is based on the reboot series of 2003, I’m not a particular fan of this era, I guess due to my age and nostalgia for the original TV series, but even though I had a GBA at the time, this one passed me by, so it’s been a real pleasure to get in to this some 18 years later!
It’s not the longest game and lacks the excitement of the multiplayer mode that the turtles games became famous for, but with the new TMNT game, Shredder’s Revenge coming soon, this has been an excellent discovery to tie me over until that arrives.