Sunday, May 1, 2011

teenage mutant ninja turtles:
turtles in time re-shelled

Progress: Finished multiple times

Growing up, my family always had family friends. I think most do; parents that are friendly and they both have kids your same age - and you become friends because you are around each other a lot. My family and friends would go to Utah a lot on ski trips. Sometimes we would stay in the canyons but one year I specifically remember staying in Salt Lake City. I remember this vividly, mostly because there was a mall there with a huge arcade (remember those?). Now my memory may be a little off because I was a lot younger and shorter, and frankly the world looked different then. Click Read More to continue.


One machine at this arcade garnered our full attention. It was a huge arcade cabinet, think 4-player Gauntlet or the image above. It played like Double Dragon and featured the (still new at the time) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was loud and colorful and my friends and I were ready to play. I'm not sure how old we were and I don't care to count. Old enough to be left alone but still young enough that we were in ski school. Our parents had left us at the arcade while they went to dinner. It was a four-player game and with my sister in tow that made four of us. We must have poured 20 dollars each into that game and played for what seemed like forever. I just remember how excited I was. When our parents finally came back we were nearing the final battle and our dads seemed like they were actually into it (drinking at dinner?). Then came the final nunchuk blow and Krang went down—the game ends with a brief "You win" screen, then abruptly starts over. The parents had enough and we were forced to leave. I remember the excitement I had felt give way to disappointment and feeling jipped. But damn that was fun while it lasted and created a memory I obviously still cherish.

Original arcade graphics
Back then I always had one of the lame TMNT games at home. Fast forward to now and you can find TMNT: Turtles In Time on both XBox Live and PSN. It is basically the same game I had played as a kid (technically it was the game's sequel in the arcade). It is a fairly cheap download with trophies added in and updated HD graphics. The new look is a solid improvement, and it removed the jaggies, but sadly I expect more. So here I am excited again, right? Let's just say: Always read a review before you download. I fired the game up and must admit it was fun. I beat it in 20 minutes. My true feelings about the game really dawned on me: this game is short, the cut screens are laughable and the boss battles are predictable. It even has the same unforgiving surfing style level as the previous game. And the soundtrack and sound effects are (break your speakers) horrible.

Updated HD graphics
I'm left feeling that same disappointment as when the game had originally ended for me. I don't regret downloading it because it was a fun trip down memory lane. I will probably even play it a few more times. But I certainly wouldn't recommend purchasing it unless you are a die-hard TMNT fan. In which case, TMNT: Turtles In Time is probably the best TMNT game around.

Shoulda stayed in the past

In 2012, Nickelodeon is planning a new animated series for TMNT.


  1. I saw this on PSN, but refrained from buying it (I bought the X-MEN arcade game from our past and had the exact experience you just described). I want to keep the memories of playing this non stop in my friends basement on his SNES haha. Graphics do look good though, much improved.

  2. Thank for the warning Brian. I was tempted to get that as well.