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Intro

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Arcade Game

Page 4:
World Tour
Manhattan Missions

Page 5:
Turtles in Time
Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled

Page 6:
The Manhattan Project
Hyperstone Heist

Page 7:
Fall of The Foot Clan
Back From The Sewers
Radical Rescue

Page 8:
Tournament Fighters

Page 9:
LCD
Pinball

Page 10:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
Battle Nexus

Page 11:
Mutant Melee
Mutant Nightmare

Page 12:
TMNT (2007)

Page 13:
Mobile
Browsers
Standalone

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Smash-up
Arcade Attack

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project - NES (1991)

US Cover

Japanese Cover

A few months after Turtles in Time was released in the arcades worldwide, the next game in the console series was released at the quickly fading NES system. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Manhattan Project was initially released in Japan in December of '91 under the title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, and made available in the US in February of 1992. Despite being promoted in several European gaming magazines and given a tentative summer release date, it was never released in the region. This along with the fact the Super Nintendo was already on the market, resulted in Manhattan Project to go largely unnoticed.

The main team that had been responsible for The Arcade Game was busy handling the sequel to that game, and with most of the other development teams being focused on either arcade or Super Nintendo titles, a new team was made consisting of young talent working essentially as a B-team, relegated to older hardware or side projects. The team, named Kuu Neru Asobu (くうねるあそぶ = Eat, Sleep And Play), was largely untested with the exception of a few that had done assistant work on 1 or two previous titles. The only member on the team with prior responsibilities in a TMNT game was Masaaki Kishimoto, having been a visual programmer on The Arcade Game. The Kuu Neru Asobu name was used for one other game, The Lone Ranger before it was retired, though the team stuck together for a few more titles mostly based on other franchises such as Batman and Zen: Intergalactic Ninja.

Even though the title alludes to the creation of an atomic bomb, things are not quite that serious thankfully. The four brothers are now on vacation, enjoying some shades on the beaches of Florida, out in the open for all to see, thinking Shredder and Krang is trapped in Dimension X for good after the triumph in their battle at the end of The Arcade Game. Tuning in to see April's live news coverage, things again go wrong as Shredder takes April captive on live television and lifts the entire island of Manhattan off the ground, making it a floating island. The challenge is issued, if the foursome wants to see April alive, they have to come rescue her.

The controls are as always the familiar layout set by The Arcade Game, playing identically to the NES port of that game. Individual special moves as seen in Turtles in Time are now featured, and are even more fitting their characters than before. Leonardo uses a Cyclone spin attack with his katanas, Mikey has the more playful Kangaroo kick, Raph has a drill attack while Don has a rolling knockout staff strike. These new special attacks are much more characteristic and visual than those found in the games before Manhattan Project. Apart from the special moves, the gameplay remains very similar of that found in The Arcade Game, with every corner polished and fine tuned to a much smoother product. Controls are responsive, difficulty is perfectly balanced as the game progresses and the stages are longer and much more eye pleasing. The boss roster is also bigger than ever before. It also adds an attack where you stab an enemy and chuck them over your shoulder. This attack will kill standard foot soldiers instantly, but give less points than other attacks. This gives a neat little risk/reward mechanic, in that you can take the easy route but be awarded a lower score, and therefore less extra lives. It also fixes the invincibility period from the NES TMNT II after hitting an enemy.

The more interesting aspects to Manhattan Project are found in the design and the liberties taken. The storyline for instance, even though it fits in with the outlandish premise and tone of the series, has a much more Japanese flair to it, with the concept of an island being ascended into air and floating. The overall style also leans more towards the common Japanese art styles, with characters having more exaggerated facial expressions and body language than before, and larger characters such as the bosses are done in a Chibi style with larger heads and smaller framed bodies.

The locations and their exterior splendor are also much more satisfying in this game than what it is in Turtles in Time. From the beaches of Florida to downtown Manhattan and beyond, the stages are long, dynamic and full of life. The scrolling now goes in all directions rather than just left to right, and stage hazards are more interesting in that the stages allow for more platforms and changing scenery. Characters can also fall off ledges now and even hold onto the edge, similar to what was later implemented in Battletoads & Double Dragon a year later, adding greatly to the stage dynamics. The boss roster is the most expanded yet, making use of a greater number of characters from both the cartoon and the toyline, with Dirtbag, Groundchuck, Tohka, Rahzar and Leatherhead amongst the villainous foes.

Coming out in the later years of the NES cycle, Manhattan Project fires on all cylinders and makes use of some of the most colorful and vibrant graphics found on the system, and the soundtrack is among the very best on the console. The soundtrack is in fact so well made that American video game composer Jake Kaufman has cited it as one of his main inspirations for going into the field himself along with the Contra games, and on his website a remix track is offered from his earlier days of arranging and composing music. As fantastic of a co-op brawler Turtles in Time is, Manhattan Project arguably tops it with more appropriate locations, incredible music and greater length, as well as a better defined moveset for the Ninja Turtles themselves.

Though in Japan the game was released with a rather generic toon turtle style cover art, Michael Dooney was brought in to draw an exclusive cover for the American release more suited for the game and showcasing more character based on the game's content. While the cover is one of Dooney's greatest TMNT related works, lack of communication between the parties resulted in him only being given a short explanation of the game's storyline and the fact that the turtles battle many familiar foes from the TMNT universe. Not being familiar with the game or Konami's previous efforts, Dooney drew in several characters not actually in the game, most noteably Triceratons and Casey Jones.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Manhattan Project (NES)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Manhattan Project (NES)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Manhattan Project (NES)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Manhattan Project (NES)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Manhattan Project (NES)


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hyperstone Heist - Genesis (1992)

US Cover

European Cover

Japanese Cover

Despite a PC release here and there, TMNT games were for the most part associated with Nintendo consoles due to the main entries in the series being released on the NES and SNES and the high quality and popularity of those games. Sega had never been graced with any games starring the heroes in the half shell, rather having to compete with their own line of beat-em-up games in the Streets of Rage series. By spring of 1992, Capcom had began to expand their outlet on Sega's Genesis system due to its stable footing on the American market, and it was probably not a coincidence that Konami followed suit quickly thereafter. In August of 1992, the first TMNT game for a Sega console was released.

Making use of another young team in-house at Konami led under Hiromi Sumida, Hyperstone Heist is best described as a remix game, making use of objects and properties made for the previous games, though retooled slightly to fit the new story. Taking the general premise of Manhattan Project, Hyperstone Heist sees Shredder shrinking down Manhattan into collectible size with the use of the Hyperstone, a highly rare and potentially dangerous stone from Dimension X. In what has by now become a weekly broadcast on American airwaves, Shredder issues a challenge to the turtles to stop him. The levels are all taken from The Arcade Game and Turtles in Time, with minor touchups to make them flow together properly. In addition there are also a few all new sections.

The sprites and controls are lifted from Turtles in Time, playing identical to that game with the exception of one things. The Mode 7 powered screen toss is missing entirely due to the Genesis not being able to scale and zoom sprites in a similar manner. The color palette is more restricted, though this in turn allows for a grittier and tougher look to both the Ninja Turtles and their adversaries. The cutscenes feature some slightly redesigned looks to both the four turtles and Shredder, who is probably looking his best ever in this game.

Even though most stages are more or less identical at first glance to those found in the two arcade outings, the length is greatly increased per stage and several sections added along with an all new enemy pattern. The general enemy selection remains fairly similar as before, though the boss gallery has some peculiar choices, not in who you fight, but rather who you don't fight as Rocksteady is on his own with Bebop not to be found anywhere in the game. Hyperstone Heist is noteable however for being the only console game where Tatsu from the live action movies appears as a boss. Both the bosses and the regular enemies have a boost in their AI, making for a more challenging and perhaps more satisfying brawler.

Even though most gamers had by this time come to expect and accept the Genesis sound chip to being utilized in mostly inferior ways and not on par with the great sound of the SNES in comparison, Hyperstone Heist really kicks up the quality in the sound department, not only bringing over fan favorites from both Turtles in Time and The Arcade Game, but also composing all new songs for several of the new sections. The Shredder's Hideout stages in particular, feature quite incredible melodies that easily hang with the best of the SNES tracks. The voice clips however are the opposite and are extremely low quality.

Hyperstone Heist is in ways a perfectly acceptable entry in the TMNT franchise of video games, and Sega loyalists were happy with the results though it didn't completely fill the void that they endured over several years. On the plus side, the animations, sound and controls are probably at their best yet, with the overall pace and difficulty of the game being much more enjoyable here than what it was on either SNES or the NES. Another strike against the lack of creativity in the Turtles in Time stages are that the sections brought over from that game have not been changed much at all, and still do not stick out despite being set billions of years in the past originally. The major hurdles for Hyperstone Heist are its shorter length and weaker color schemes on the backgrounds which makes some of the stages look a bit flat. It's a fine compliment to the games which it takes its origins from, but not quite on par being three games squished into one yet shorter than all three individually.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hyperstone Heist (Genesis)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hyperstone Heist (Genesis)



<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro

Page 2:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

Page 3:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Arcade Game

Page 4:
World Tour
Manhattan Missions

Page 5:
Turtles in Time
Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled

Page 6:
The Manhattan Project
Hyperstone Heist

Page 7:
Fall of The Foot Clan
Back From The Sewers
Radical Rescue

Page 8:
Tournament Fighters

Page 9:
LCD
Pinball

Page 10:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
Battle Nexus

Page 11:
Mutant Melee
Mutant Nightmare

Page 12:
TMNT (2007)

Page 13:
Mobile
Browsers
Standalone

Page 14:
Smash-up
Arcade Attack

Discuss on the Forums!

Back to the Index