Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection

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Are you ready to start singing the tune, naming each turtle, and taking down Shredder? Well if you were a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(TMNT) back in the day or as of now, cause they’re still playing on the TV constantly in so many new styles or even in movies. Then, you need to give this game a try and add TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection to your gaming collection!

There are so many classic games to choose from, and plenty that many have never seen before. It brings back those classic arcade action fun and the love for a team of familiar cartoon characters in either black and white or color. However, what is marvelous about this one game is that you have a total of 13 with 11 new ones that have never been seen or played in North America cause they were only released in Japan. Therefore, you’ll be granted not just a handful of games, but s many to fight your way through.

This leads me to ask one question. Do you have what it takes to bring down Shredder and his large following of foes? Well if you are ready to go ninja and choose a turtle, then nothing will be holding you back!

🐢 How Was The Game 🐢

I must first start by saying that there are so many games in one download for the Xbox One and can also be played on Nintendo Switch. Each of these games comes from different consoles, all past and classic consoles. Some are arcade-style games, a few were presented first on the classic Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega, and even Gameboy consoles. Everyone is packed with plenty of ninja-style fighting moves that if you know the turtles, you know all TMNT games will be about fighting. So there is no doubt, that this collection is fully entertaining, and what really spikes my interest is the many to choose from!

I’ve been a big fan of the classic 80s TMNT and still love them throughout the years. They were always wonderful to watch and hilarious as well to watch on TV. Especially my favorite, Michelangelo who just made the entire show humorous with his foolish behavior and his large craving for pizza. Plus, each of them was named after artists another reason I loved the turtles, is cause I love art!

So what do you get with this game? I can tell you that there are plenty of excellent graphics when it comes to playing these old games on a newer console. You get beautiful clear graphics, and a choice to save when you like or even rewind if you need to, and play against others online or local. Plus, the artwork is another thing to admire. Especially when you just start the game, you have this cool comic book-style design and an entertaining, action-packed song that plays in the background.

When you do choose a game you’ll notice this nice framing of art that borders the game. No matter the game you play, it’s going to appear as if you are seeing each game on a smaller monitor with a border design that covers each side. I don’t find it unpleasing, it just reminds me of an arcade game or an actual size screen I’d play if it was a classic console. I’m sure not everyone will enjoy seeing a smaller screen to play the game on, but for me, it’s perfectly fine.

Below is a list of games included in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection and a few of my own opinions of each game:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)

The first thing when playing this game is the song which feels quite refreshing. Especially, those who loved that tune from the classic TV show. This is one of the games that come in color and have an option of 4 players. It feels like an arcade game with such bright and nice graphics as you move and fight through each location. The game is harder when you are a single player since there are so many enemies attacking you at the same time. Not fair if there are 4 or so enemies coming after you and they do move fast!

I also felt it got a little tiring hearing the same phrase repeated over and over, cowabunga. Yet, the movements are smoother, and so is the design of the turtles. I think this is one of the flashiest and action-packed versions in this collection, as there are even alerts to tell you to move forward and so much going on. It’s way faster and maybe a bit more challenging to get far in this game, thankful for the save feature.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nintendo Entertainment System)

This game really explains through a little video clip of every character hero you can play as. From their name and the weapons they use, which is very nice for first-time players and those who have no idea who makes up the team of the TMNT. Now for the game, it’s a very fun one-player game where you can choose who you want to be. It doesn’t tell you how to play, but it’s quite simple to pick up, and as simple as the game is to play and use the controls, so are the colors of the enemies and the scenery.

There are 4 turtles to play through in this game and each has its own weapons to use. You can either just die and you can choose one of the other turtles to play or you can also change the player by pausing the game and choosing who you want to be. Even at the pause menu, Master Splinter tells you to fuel up with pizza to keep your energy up.

So as mentioned above, It’s a simple game to play and understand. Very easy to control, with not many buttons needing to be recalled, which is normal for an arcade and classic game. Also, if you ever played this before, it will bring back memories and remind you how simple it was back then and challenging to defeat enemies with just a horizontal or vertical use of a weapon. Plus, the many other things you can do in the game to stop the enemies from destroying the different locations you visit.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Arcade)

I like that it starts with you choosing a character right at the beginning, and it gives you this little warning to not do drugs before playing. I found that to be a bit cute and a nice addition for players, especially young players to follow through with. Also, the game is similar to the TMNT game before this one on the list of games. It seems as if the movements are faster and so are the enemies. However, the repetitive saying can be a little much. However, the color and gameplay are better and a bit more exciting with all the different moves and ways you can attack each enemy. It’s not such a bad arcade-style game!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (Nintendo Entertainment System)

This game allows you to choose the turtle you’d like to play to begin. It can be played with two players which makes it easier to have another fighter to fight with, but if you want to play alone, that is fine too! Then there is a clip and you are ready to go fight! Each location is mainly played in the manner of fighting then you move on to the next portion of the game. It’s very simple and like many arcade games, not many buttons to learn to use the weapons or jumping movements.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (Nintendo Entertainment System)

This is another game that allows a single or 2 player option. I wasn’t able to play this option, but there seem to be two different options, like player 2 A and player 2 B. Either way, when you do get to start playing, each player chooses a character, one of the turtles they’d like to use as their fighting ninja and the then the game begins.

I actually feel that the movements are a little updated by one unique move than in the second game. There is this ability to do this flying twirling action to knock out each enemy as they come along. You still need to move after defeating each bad guy before going forward, but the scenes are a bit brighter and set in a newer location. Still does feel like playing an arcade game at this time as well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Nintendo Entertainment System)

This version of the TMNT is actually a fighting game. You can fight your own turtles against each other. Playing through the story mode, verse player or CPU mode, and even tournament mode. This is what I find interesting that you can battle each turtle together when they are a team. I guess even friends and team ninjas can get angry at each other.

Either way, this is a fun game; a fun fighting game. It’s simple to play and allows you the ability to take out each player who comes up next. What I love is in the tournament option you are on a board that you move forward after defeating one turtle and see who ends up the champion at the end of it all. The movements feel a little slow to me, but there are a bunch of moves and even objects that come available in the game to use while fighting. It’s not too bad of a fighting game just feels slow when trying to perform an action as it takes longer to kick or punch.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

A game that allows for one or two players and just like an arcade game, you move on while fighting each enemy that comes your way. It’s very neat with the close to a 3D effect of the enemy being thrown towards the screen, almost as if they are coming at you. The game is very nicely done and love that the movements are smoother and easier to perform. There are even a few options, not just the story style mode with a choice of one or two players, but you can even play against each other in a versus mode or trial mode option.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

Here is a game that allows one or two players and you can either play the game or just watch it. There are a few other options in this fighting game, in which you really just fight one on one. It’s actually cool that you can go and attack Shredder or other monstrous creatures in the game, not just a turtle on another brother turtle.

The options to play through are either the tournament mode, a versus mode, or story mode. However, if you rather sit out and watch, that is also an option. So is choosing some unique monsters as fighters to play against one another, which is quite unique and fun too and even the graphics and movements are awesome!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (Sega Genesis)

Either as a single-player or as a two-player game, this is mainly like an arcade-style fighting game. You fight and move on with either character; turtle of your choosing. The game includes many unique moves and can slightly, just slightly feel slow in moving, but otherwise, it plays really well and so is the graphics. I love the expressions on the faces of the turtles, easier for a single gamer to beat the crew of enemies without difficulty or losing so fast, and how much more flexible they perform each action in this game.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Sega Genesis)

This is the first of the collection to include a practice mode. There are so many characters to choose from to fight in this game. Like April, Casey, Ray Sisyphus, and the 4 turtles. Each is able to be adjusted with the speed and power of the game. So it sort of allows you an additional bonus before fighting. Regardless, this is just like a traditional fighting game, where you can also verse one another or the CPU.

Oh and the characters, either one you choose still won’t be better than another. I feel the game is fair in that way. Since the CPU is very difficult, probably why you can adjust the speed and power. It isn’t so easy to even beat the CPU in practice, at least it is just practice and they move and fight back. They aren’t just dummies waiting for you to try out any attack. Either way, it’s pretty action-packed as all fighting games are and the graphics and movements are nicer in this game than many in the collection.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of The Foot Clan (Game Boy)

A single-player game in black and white, perfectly known for the classic Game Boy. It’s very large in the images of each character and villain you fight against. The choice of character is up to you and so is the stage. The only thing is that it will be a little difficult to tell the difference between whom you’ve chosen to play as. However, the weapons they hold will make it a bit more obvious.

Additionally, the movements are a little slow, but the gameplay is very straightforward. Since you just move ahead and fight or fight those from behind and just keep going. It’s a very easy game to get a hang of and I do like that close-up view of the characters in the game as it’s very clear to anyone to know what’s going on. Plus, it really does look like you are playing on the Game Boy console.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back From The Sewers (Game Boy)

Here is another 1 player Game Boy game that is in the black and white color with a slightly faster move in action and still hard to tell the difference between a turtle, and a weapon is a way to answer that question. The close-up view is still there as in the first game and honestly, the jump and kick style moves look a little humorous as the body seems to stay straight while the legs just move horizontally. Nevertheless, it’s another fighting game you continue to fight each bad guy as they arrive as there really isn’t any way around them until you defeat them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue (Game Boy)

I must say that this game is very interesting in that you go rescue your brothers, but also that you have more moves and can do so much more in the level. It’s not just a simple move forward when you can go above and break objects while fighting villains. I like the action and the many new moves you can perform. It’s also a game that allows you to collect passwords, but it doesn’t mean you have to use them, thanks to the save feature of the game. However, as a Game Boy game, this one really made the movements and what can be done a little more interesting.

🐢 Final Verdict 🐢

Honestly, it’s hard to say that this one game is horrible because in total it was just so much classic FUN! Games back then use to be slower and the colors or way they move are very obvious in each game. Sometimes the sayings, as phrases are a little much and at that time the game was pretty much exciting. So modern games to classic will be hard to find it that entertaining and enjoyable as many would like them to be. However, they are collections of the past, not much changed, and really a blast from the past when playing.

Plus, you get so many new games to try, 13 total and so many games to be entertained by. Each with its own, original, and unique game style to play through. I think for the older players, it will be memories that might spark how much fun and bring the familiar cartoon heroes back into their lives, TMNT. That is why I find this TMNT game to be nothing but an excellent game and worthy to be added to any TMNT collector’s collection!

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