“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Heroes in a half shell. TURTLE POWER!” – excerpt from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon
It’s that time again; my slow but steadily developing “COW-A-BUNGA DUDE!” series is back! Throughout the “COW-ABUNGA DUDE!” series, we will be examining the different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games that have been developed throughout the years. Today, we are taking a look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game.
Back in the 80’s and 90’s, the Ninja Turtles where the hottest thing since sliced bread. Kids couldn’t help but devour, with great tenacity, the seemingly limitless merchandise available. Cloths, toys, bed sheets, bubble bath (my personal favorite), are just a few examples of the items children, like me, demanded from their parents. This merchandise included video games!
Check out the rest of the article after the bump.
In 1990, the Turtles needed help, our help! By teaming up with Konami for the second time, the Turtles recruited our thumbs to assist them in attaining victory over that talking can opener, the Shredder, and his legion of robotic Foot Ninjas.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game (TMNT2) is a classic beat em up game (my favorite genre). You, the player, take control of one of the four Turtles: Leo, Raph, Mikey, and Don, each of the Turtles handle slightly different. Don has the longest range and the slowest attack speed. Mickey and Raph have the fastest attacks, but the shortest range. Leo, takes the middle ground, he has an average attack range and average speed. To casual players of TMNT2 these little differences were hardly noticeable. Besides, as a kid, only one Turtle was the Turtle for me… Mikey! His dual-wielding Nuchakus seemed like an unstoppable combo in my eyes. That is until I would fight Bebop or Rocksteady, then my lives just seemed to vanish.
Moving on from the Turtles that we all know and love, let’s talk about game play. As I said, TMNT2 is a beat-em up game. A beat em up on the NES often featured one or two playable characters moving from left to right across the screen. As they progressed through the level, enemies would attack from either side, forcing players to always watch their backs. Clever environmental traps were often implemented by developers to catch players by surprise.
In TMNT2, all of these usual beat em up features were present. Up to two players could team up and take on Shredders endless supply of Foot ninja. While fighting the Foot, players had to be cautious of holes in the floor, falling billboards, and giant wrecking balls. As players progressed through each stage, they would be pit against one of many classic TMNT villains: Bebop, Rocksteady, Beakman, and of course, the Shredder himself. For a true ninja warrior, these villains were nothing, but even the best can be bested. In the event one of our four green ninjas needed an energy boost, piping hot pizza was scattered around the level to refill ones life. That’s right, delicious hot pizza was the source of life and energy for all four turtles! Konami, under the studio name “Ultra Games,” even went as far as to packaged each copy of the game with a coupon for a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut!
TMNT2 was originally a quarter sucker, an arcade game. It was released to arcades in 1989, one year before it saw home release on the NES and other home computer systems. The arcade variety of TMNT2 came in two different flavors: a two player version and a four player version. Both versions had superior graphics and sound to the NES version. That can be explained however, the NES does not have the same strength as your average arcade machine. Do to its arcade history; TMNT2 has a brutal level of difficulty. Just like TMNT1, the game was far too difficult for most children and adults to beat. Konami tried to remedy this by giving the player three continues, thus giving them a total of twelve lives. Its difficultly didn’t keep people from playing it though. No matter how many times this game handed them their shells on a silver platter, they just kept trying.
TMNT2 is a classic game! Between its great game play and one of the world’s biggest licenses at the time, the game was a great success! Not only did another TMNT game get released on the NES, but two more were released for the SNES. That’s not all! TMNT2 has since been re-released on the Xbox360 as a part of its Arcade collection.
If you are a fan of Beat em Up games and you love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this game is a must have for all NES owners! The good news is, it’s pretty cheap, costing no more than $10 for a cartridge!
Stay tuned for more COW-A-BUNGA DUDE! In the future! Next time, we will be speaking about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project.