Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Technodrome Level

In honor of this game being released on the Wii's virtual console (which was released in honor of the recent movie), I decided to give it a play again. I still enjoy it.

I am aware that it is not a good game. At least not in the traditional sense. The play control isn't very good. Jumps are hard to control and getting from platform to platform can be a chore. You don't quite move fast enough, especially in the air to avoid enemies. You can switch between the different turtles and they each have their different weapons, but generally you would always want to use Donatello. His weapon may be the slowest, but it is the strongest and has the longest reach. Leonardo is next best and then comes Rafael. You pretty much never want to use Michaelangelo to fight with. The game is also extremely difficult. There are pits and spikes that are hard to avoid (and occasionally instant-kill lava). The enemies can be extremely tough to avoid and they often take multiple hits to kill so it is tough to kill them without taking any damage.

Despite all these negatives, I really like this game. Part of this is nostalgia. I had it when younger and spent a ton of time with it. It also has some things to recommend it. The game's soundtrack is stellar. The game's graphics are good. Exploring the city and airfields are fun. There is also a big sense of satisfaction when you get past certain parts.

That last reason is probably the biggest for me. The game is difficult, but masterable. It doesn't feel "cheap" - that is you generally feel you could have avoided something if you'd done a little better. For whatever reason, I just really dig tough games like these. Hell, the Ninja Gaiden games are pretty much my favorite on the NES because they are the perfect combination of excellent play control and incredible challenge.

I have been thinking about it, but I can't decide what I would do when the review this game. Obviously, I will point out all the flaws and shortcomings. The issue is the ridiculous number at the end. Is it completely based on what I think or what an average person would think? This is a whole issue with reviews in general and how "objective" they are supposed to be. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Right now, I am so out of practice I couldn't even make it to Shredder. The final level is absolute hell with enemies that take four hits from Donatello (meaning like eight from Michaelangelo) to kill. I used to be able to get through it, but not last night.

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