Review by SuperPhillip
Heroes in a half-shell. Turtle Power!
As a three year-old in 1989, I really don't have much recollection of my gaming prowess. However I do know that I was a major Turtles fan along with most children of the late eighties and early nineties. TMNT products such as toys, board games, party favors, a television show, movies, and of course, video games, flooded the market. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Arcade Game was just one of those titles. If you've played the NES game of the same name, there are vast differences. One being that you're not limited to two players, Pizza Hut is not an in-game advertiser, levels are different or not existent, and as a kid you'd run through your allowance in one gaming session.
The Xbox Live Arcade version of this game comes with all the fun you remember (or can't remember, heh) of the old arcade game. Obviously new features include online play for up to four friends or strangers from around the world and achievements. You can still play with your friends offline as well as a note to those who have friends or siblings who you'd like to play with who can sit right next to you. For those of us not stuck in the nineties, voice chat between players allows for some serious fun and sometimes odd conversations while taking down the Foot Clan.
TMNT '89 is a 2D scrolling brawler along the likes of Double Dragon or Streets of Rage. Your turtle starts at the beginning and heads for the end of the level where a boss sometimes lurks while taking out the Foot, mousers, and other baddies along the way. Nothing too special there. The game only spans eight levels which aren't long by any means, but the fun part about these types of games is going through them more than once, trying to beat high scores and this time, gain achievements with friends. One of the problems with the game concerns achievements. Sometimes achievements won't register even though you've met the requirement for it. Turtle Soup, I'm lookin' at you. Regardless, TMNT '89 is a great way to pass the time in-between matches in Gears and zombie-trashing in Dead Rising.
Ultimately those who remember the Turtles arcade game, television shows, and other products will be in love with this game. It's old nostalgia meets new technology in voice chat, achievements, and online play. Instead of losing quarters every time you lose a life, the entire arcade game will only cost you a one-time price of 400 Microsoft points ($5). A shell of a steal if you ask this reviewer.
Story: April's been abducted by the evil Shredder, and the Turtles aim to get her back through eight levels and several bosses.
Graphics: Cool 2D sprites, but they're obviously dated by this time's standards.
Gameplay: Move from one area to another taking out the Foot andall of Shredder's henchmen in the process. See Double Dragon for an archetype.
Audio: It's pizza time! Some digital voice-work can be heard. The KO sound of a turtle is a tad annoying, however.
Replay Value: The game is short, but you'll want to play through multiple times. If you have friends, it's even better. Achievements lengthen the playing time as well.
Overall: 8/10 Very nice for 400 points.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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