Saturday, July 18, 2015

Backlog Blitz: NES, Week 22, "Radioactive Waste Week"

Well, this week is going to be toxic. Get it? Because I'm reviewing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Toxic Crusaders? HAHahahaha...ha...ha...ha...ha. Anyway, I'm nearing the end of my first week of mandatory time off for the summer. It's not normal to want to back to work, right? Because I really want to go back to work. Let's talk about video games!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I don’t know how to explain how awful this game is. Every sewer level is identical, for one. For two, you can trudge through enemy chokepoints, losing 95% of your health, reach a dead end only to find a health-restoring pizza and nothing else, and then retrace your steps back to the entrance of the area. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THAT? It’s an exercise in bloody futility! Enemies spawn JUUUUUUUST offscreen, at perfect heights to hit you. Oh, and every time you enter the sewers you’re guaranteed to get hit by an enemy while you’re descending the ladder. All they had to do was make a Ninja Gaiden game with a TMNT skin. They failed. They failed so hard. So very hard.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 
Tournament Fighter
Well. This has the worst controls of any fighting game I’ve ever played. I’m no fighting game expert, but generally five-second lag between input and action is a BAD thing, right? Right. Also, having the four fighters be the Turtles, but with no discernable difference in fighting style was an AWFUL idea. At least give them their weapons and make them fight different! If it’s just fists, they all fight the same!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: 
The Arcade Game
When you have a game where the enemies spawn just off screen, DON’T make me hug that edge of the screen in order to progress in the level. That’s just bad design. This game is basically Double Dragon, only somehow even less fun and more clunky. Especially how the Turtles move—it’s like watching paint dry.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: 
The Manhattan Project
Compared to the previous TMNT games, this is practically a masterpiece. It’s not a GREAT game, but I’d rank it with something like River City Ransom. The controls are more fluid, I can actually move at a decent pace (though it’s still ridiculously slow), the screen-advancement BS was fixed up somewhat, and overall it feels less clunky. I appreciate that. This isn’t a good game, no sir, but it’s better. I’ll take better.

Toxic Crusaders
So this is what the TMNT games should have felt like. It actually feels FUN. It’s cheap in a lot of ways—I shouldn’t lose my weapon after only one hit—but at least Toxie moves faster than an octogenarian with two artificial hips. I’m far WORSE at this game, but that’s more on me than on the game. Honestly, I’m wondering if this and one of the TMNT games didn’t get the wrong art assets assigned to them. Toxie actually feels like a Turtle, while the Turtles felt like a big lumbering hunk of toxic waste. This is actually fun, so…props.