Thursday, March 22, 2007

Teenage Mustant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade (Xbox 360) Review

Being a child born in the '80's, I was swept up in the whole Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze, and I was, of course, a huge fan of the Arcade Game that was released in '89. I don't even want to guess as to how many quarters I spent playing with those Heroes in a Half-Shell, but suffice to say when I saw this title as a brand new Xbox Live Arcade title last week, I nearly pissed myself silly.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade was not the best side-scrolling beat 'em up of all time, or even of its time, but it had the Turtles and the Turtles were cool. With this Xbox Live Arcade release, it's nothing but pure nostalgia.

The game begins with the Turtles and Splinter on a rooftop noticing a fire at April's apartment, and of course our heroes spring into action to save her. It becomes immediately obvious that Shredder is behind this chaos, and the Turtles embark on a mission to save April (and also Splinter who gets captured somehow) and to foil his evil non-descript plans. Needless to say the game isn't big on plot, but it is big on simple, classic fun.

You can choose to play as either of the four Turtles who all basically fight the same. They each have an attack (which seems to randomly throw an enemy if you're in close), jump, jump kick, jump slashing attack, and a special move by hitting attack + jump. That's it, those are the simple controls. Again, all the Turtles pretty much fight the same, with Donatello having longer reach, Raphael being able to attack a little faster, etc.

The levels themselves are very short, and I'm glad that the game was only 400 Microsoft Points, as I was able to win it in about 30 minutes. Back in the day, you were limited by how many quarters you had, however now, you can simply keep continuing which sadly removes some of the challenge and tension. This does serve to highlight how cheap some of enemies and bosses are though, as they were designed to kill you so you'd need to keep spending cash to play.

The Single Player game features drop-in, drop-out Co-op for up to four players at any time, and you can of course play over Xbox Live. The game, just like back in the arcade, is more fun with more players simply because there's a lot more enemies on screen to mindlessly smash and bash. Even as a Single Player game though, it's a great trip down pixelated, low sound byte memory lane.

My only major criticism with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade is that the game's Achievements are buggy, not always granting them to you if you succeed, and sometimes giving them to you even when you shouldn't have earned them. It makes no sense to me, but at this point in time, I only have 2 more Single Player Achievements to earn.

So is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade worth your (approx.) $6.00? In my opinion, as a huge childhood fan of the game: Yes. It provides some great, simple, short term entertainment that'll leave you shouting cowabunga!

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