The turtles have been around for many years and if judging by the financial success of the newest movie, that version will be around for at least another movie (and related licensed products). One licensed title that featured the “heroes in a half shell” was the Super Nintendo game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. Veering off from the beaten path for licensed games pretty much having to suck, Turtles in Time continued their continuing streak of giving gamers a solid game to play while catering, somewhat, to fans of the cartoon series.
While the cartoon series catering was short lived (an intro and a few enemies) it is still cool to see it in a game during this period. Liberties were taken with the overall port from the arcade too, this is not a direct port as the SNES simply could not handle that (more detailed levels/enemies and four player mode being the biggest). What is here is great and worth the time of any turtles fan, though brand new ones that got into TMNT based on the recent film will be disappointed as Turtles in time is obviously more cartoony.
All four turtles- Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michaelangelo- are available in Turtles in Time. Splinter and April O’Neil are limited to the cut scenes though so no playing the rogue reporter getting revenge here, nor the master showing students how it is done. Old enemies show up as bosses such as Rocksteady and Bepop, Slash, Rat King and Battletank Shredder with the final boss being replaced with Super Shredder from the second movie (Secret of the Ooze) who were all added to the SNES game. That is six bosses you won’t find in the arcade game, and I do believe they are not in the Sega Genesis port (Hyperstone Heist) either. Also the Super NES game was privy to a completely new level, the Technodrome stage where you see the Mousers being constructed in the background. That was awesome back in the day.
Gameplay is the usual brawler formula. Advance through the linear stages to face a group of baddies, beat them and advance. Repeat till you encounter the boss at the end of the level. That may sound boring but with Turtles in Time, you are at least given some comedic fun such as falling into an open manhole or getting a Mouser on your arm. Also, there is a lot of animation in the turtles, particularly when getting hit, which adds to the overall feel of quality in this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.
Konami was, and still isn’t, known for their fighting game engines but they nailed it with their TMNT licenses. The formula works and as long as you take it in short bursts (the game is not too terribly long) then you will be having a “cowabunga” of a good time.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time hit the Super Nintendo and for a period of time was available on both Xbox Live and the Playstation Network. This “Re-Shelled” version was pulled due to a lapsed license (can’t do that with physical releases folks).
The SNES game might be available at the following online retailers: