Following the crushing disappointment of the first Ninja Turtles game for NES, Konami had to make it up to gamers large time. What made it even worse: the first arcade game was released around the exact same time, giving gamers the exact game play they were expecting. So it makes sense that for the follow-up they would port said game and fulfills everyone’s desires.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: the Arcade Game was released in 1990 to the delight of players everywhere. A beat em up like Final Fight and Double Dragon, the arcade game had been everything we expected and then some, featuring a never ending supply of cameos through the cartoon, 2 player co-op and your choice of Turtle, each with delicate differences. I can remember spending illegal amounts of money playing the game each week with friends and strangers alike as I was fully entrenched within Turtle mania.
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The NES port, while not arcade perfect is congratulations and succeeded in washing away any lingering memories the first video game had left.
You fight great supply of Foot Soldiers and other nemeses from the Ninja Turtles fiction when you make your way through each of the levels otherwise you favorite Turtle. The arcade game was better able to depict the differences between each character, with Donatello slow but powerful with insane range, Leonardo perfectly in the middle, etc . The home port makes all of the characters virtually all the same with the only factor of note being their scarf color and signature weapon. Aside from the enemies you face the world is definitely littered with objects you can use to your advantage, such as fire hydrants, street signs, visitors cones, etc . Normally fighting the same enemies over and over would quickly become dull but there are enough varieties of Feet Soldier that you never feel like you might be going through the motions, with each kind forcing you to switch up your techniques. The bosses are exactly what you would expect: powerful, cheap, and true to the cartoon. In every way the game was a treat for the fans.
A few changes had to be made to fit the overall game into the limits of the NES. The particular 4 player coop is lacking, limiting you to 2 players. Say thanks to god for that in my opinion, I would dislike to see what the game would look like if they even tried. The levels possess undergone surgery, removing some components and extending their length for the lasting experience. Obviously the graphics and voices have not come over completely intact, but the game is still a very nice approximation of the arcade game. Most importantly it is a drastic leap within quality over its predecessor. I absolutely miss the speech from the game game; even though it was a bit rare it added to the overall atmosphere. Why is up for these changes are the two original levels created specifically for this port. Both are excellent and match the quality of the rest of the game and in my opinion also exceed it as they were designed specifically for the NES with superb graphics and unique challenges that will have fit in perfectly with the game game. The arcade game was a bit challenging which comes as not surprising since it was designed to suck quarters. The home port evens the odds simply by offering more lives when you start, limited continues, and extra lives for every two hundred points scored. While it is still taxing it remains manageable.