Old School Vs. New School

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Retro Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game

Well, I finally got an account at Blockbuster... and they have a healthy amount of games, some of which I'd definately rather rent than sully my collection by owning. One such title is the latest Ninja Turtles game. Now, I loved the old Ninja Turtles games back in the 16 bit era, but the drek Konami dragged up in the 21st century reek! Riding high on whatever that Yugioh brat uses on his hair, Konami released the sub-par "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in 2003, and some how managed to top themselves in crappiness with "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus" in 2004. However, there was one redeeming factor of that title... Konami decided to bless us with a unlockable port of the old arcade game that was stationed in pizza houses across the country. With this in mind, I made my first rental "Battle Nexus". I spent approximately five minutes on the main game and realized how bad it was even compared to last year's game, so I slapped in my Action Replay and unlocked the arcade game the cheating way. And so, I eagerly selected "Classic Arcade Game" on the main menu.

What I experienced, was not pretty. It was sick, wrong, and kinda stung my eyes. Read on if you dare.
This is in NO way a perfect port. Right from the start you know something is amiss when in place of the old animated arcade intro, you're faced with a static title image. There wasn't even the ability to enter your initials for a high score. Hoping for the best, I plunged ahead and played.
Now, graphically, the game is exactly like the arcade game. Plenty of animation and large character sprites. However, that's where the similarities end. Apparently Konami wasn't able to secure the rights to the original TMNT theme song, and since every tune in the game used that song to some extent (remixed, if you will), they had to replace the music...

With ONE TUNE.

Every stage has the same damn background music. From April's apartment building to the Technodrome, you'll hear the same music over and over again. And it's not even GOOD music, it sounds like some Konami intern pecking away at a Casio keyboard, playing the most boring, elevator song you've ever encountered. It will stick in your head, but not in a plesant way. You'll wake up screaming, hoping it will just burrow out of your skull like 'Alien'. Would it have been TOO much trouble for Konami to put in acceptable replacement music? Hell, I would've settled if they'd just used tracks from "Battle Nexus", I mean, they're RIGHT THERE ON THE DISC!

Then you have the voices, or rather, the lack of them. Konami couldn't get the rights to the original voices, and instead of maybe perhaps having the current voice actors re-record the lines (which probably would've taken maybe ten minutes), they opted just to completely cut them. And for some reason a lot of sound effects are missing. You can't even tell if you've made a connecting hitting a boss, since nothing can be heard. Just that damn background loop.

The omission of any kind of music (I refuse to call that casio crap music) or voices really destroys the atmosphere of the game, and let's face it, that's pretty much all the original arcade game had. All you've got left is an increasingly frustrating game starring green guys fighting purple guys as incredibly BAD music plays in the background. And it is frustrating. Someone at Konami must have been on a sadistic freak, because when they ported the game over, they must have set the difficulty switch to "Let's take ALL this kid's quarters!" It's incredibly frustrating fighting a boss at full health, only to have him punch you, make you land in an electric gate and then blast you with a missle, all before you can even get your turtle to swing. The entire time I was playing, I wished I was playing "Turtles In Time", which I just played last year and is a MUCH improved game.

But honestly, I probably would've enjoyed the game better had SOME sort of care towards the presentation department had been given. Sadly, Konami was probably more interested in how to cross Yugioh with Metal Gear Solid.

If you were even THINKING about buying this game just for the arcade port, DON'T do it. Download the ROM on MAME, track down the original arcade machine, ANYTHING else.
I'm just glad I only lost 7 bucks renting it instead of $40 BUYING it and being horribly disappointed.
NOT recommended. I shudder to think what Konami will do to "Turtles In Time" if they make another TMNT game...

2 Comments:

  • Sterile Corporate Garbage.

    That's how i title this response. We've discussed many times how big corporations sterilize things just simply to make a quick buck. Honestly Josh i don't think it was a matter of they couldn't get the rights to all the old TMNT stuff i think they simply weren't willing to pay the necessary cash to do it. You said they claim it's "the original arcade" game, but in truth it's faaaaaaar from original. Technically it's false advertisment, and just for a lark, and to teach greedy, fat lazy corporations a lesson someone should sue them for their false advertisement. Now that i've interjected my 2 cents, and bashed Konami time to my thread which you inspired me with, through this thread.

    By Blogger Ulticron, at 1:22 AM, January 16, 2005  

  • http://13dfgsdfg57.com/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:41 AM, December 04, 2012  

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