Video Game Review: Turtles in Time (Re-Shelled)

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Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled

After much hype and waiting, the anticipated “Re-Shelled” edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time was released on Xbox Live this week, with a price point of $10.

The original Turtles in Time was an arcade game (yeah, remember arcades?) released by Konami back in 1991, and was an instant hit.  A sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, it was a side-scrolling, four player beat ’em up based on the 1987 TV  series. A year later, Turtles in Time was ported to the Super Nintendo as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. That same year, a similar game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist was released for the Sega Genesis.

I spent countless hours and quarters playing Turtles in Time in the arcade and on my Super Nintendo back in the day – loved every minute of it, and have been sad that not a single TMNT game since then has captured the magic of these two original arcade games.  Thought the TMNT movie game wasn’t half bad, it didn’t quite capture the spirit of the spirit of the four-player beat-em-up.

With Turtles In Time now available via Xbox Live and in a Re-Shelled edition that updates the game with more modern graphics and controls, did this downloadable game recapture the fun of TMNT-games of old?  Find out after the jump!

I have to admit that this is probably the first time that I’ve actually completed a game fully before writing about it here on IoM.  I like to write about games while they’re still relatively new, but, unless I’m going to take time off of work, I just don’t have time a new release’s first couple of weeks to complete a full game.  However, Turtles in Time takes less than an hour to beat (actually, it’s probably closer to a half hour) and no, I wasn’t playing it on EASY mode.

Yes, you can still throw the foot soldiers towards the screen.
Yes, you can still throw the foot soldiers towards the screen.

That’s not to say that the game is bad – just know that, when you spend your hard-earned ten dollars on Turtles in Time, you really are getting a less than one hour one-player experience, and, despite how fun it may be, I can’t imagine that the online component adds that much to the game other than more turtles on the screen.

Don’t get me wrong – I still love Turtles in Time.  It’s a great bit of fun, and does remind me quite a bit of playing the original, in every good way possible.  The changes to the game are more than graphical – rather than being a 2d game in a semi-3D environment, the game is more 3-D, in that you can swipe your weapon more than just left and right, but also upwards and downwards.  It sounds like a small change, but it does change the game considerably.  The main villains have all been re-designed, which I’d be okay with, but I found most of them a bit too different from their original counterparts.  The music has changed as well, and definitely not for the better.

Going back to the time aspect and the cost, I don’t regret paying 10 bucks for the game.  I’ve paid more money for games that are less fun.  However, I would have liked to see something else.  I would have liked to have seen the original arcade game as unlockable or, even more preferable, the bonus stages and villains from the SNES version of the game (heck, maybe even the Genesis version, The Hyperstone Heist).  As it is, ten bucks isn’t bad for what you get, but it feels bad because there’s so little game here.

Still, better than the 20 bucks in quarters we threw into the coin-op game back in the early 90’s.  If you’re a fan of the Turtles, and of the original game, short or not, you’re going to enjoy the game, even if it’s not quite as hard as you remember, or as long.  Still, it’s a great bit of nostalgia, and I’d definitely be interested in seeing some more of my arcade classics (especially similar beat-em-ups like X-Men, and Captain America and the Avengers) done in a similar style.

Paul Awesomeness Score - 6Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 6 out of 10!

3 comments on “Video Game Review: Turtles in Time (Re-Shelled)Add yours →

  1. I remember this game too…I most likely play the demo for nostalgia’s sake, but that’s probably it.

    I’m glad I’ve been browsing the rest of the site, I would have never known about this otherwise.

  2. Same downloaded the demo and enjoyed the changes to the controls felt much more responsive though I did keep getting grabbed allot more than I remember.

    The music is horrible and what stopped me clicking the buy button in the end, why change it that much the music one of the things that made it so iconic.

    Ah well always have the SNES version on emulator to play whenever I want.

  3. Great review. Unfortunately if anything you have convinced me not to get it.

    I played the demo at the weekend, and it was a great trip down memory lane, but it just did not feel right. If you can complete it in an hour then that’s just not enough turtles action to keep my happy.

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