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Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection


Big compilation, 3AM

When I take a look at all of the video games in The Cowabunga Collection, reminiscences hearth off like pistons in my mind. I recall the intense pleasure of enjoying Turtles in Time. And the intense disappointment of the irritating and notorious Turtles NES platformer. Plus every part in-between, like exhibiting folks the SNES model of Tournament Fighters in a bid to woo them over whereas they have been busy enjoying different combating video games.

Individually, not all of those titles stand out. But as a repackaging, Digital Eclipse has carried out some effective work.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection 1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection (PC, PS4, PS5 [reviewed], Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Publisher: Konami
Released: August 30, 2022
MSRP: $39.99

As we do with many evaluations coping with compilations, let’s check out what’s on provide upfront earlier than we dig in:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Arcade)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (NES)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (Super Nintendo)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Super Nintendo)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (Sega Genesis)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Sega Genesis)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of The Foot Clan (Game Boy)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back From The Sewers (Game Boy)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue (Game Boy)

As I stated earlier than, fairly the choice! There’s a lot to unpack there, and we’ll begin with the plain: the video games themselves.

Turtles in Time is an absolute traditional, and will very nicely be thought-about the crown jewel of the gathering. In 2009, folks have been paying $10 for it on the Xbox Live Arcade and PSN, or nonetheless enjoying the SNES authentic. Its time-bending setting, ahead-of-its-time voicework, and various degree design helped catapult it to one-of-the-greatest-of-all-time style standing. I had a blast enjoying by means of it once more in each SNES and Arcade type (which principally have aesthetic variations, with the SNES model sporting a bit extra content material and alterations), and it was an effective way to kick off a playthrough of the gathering.

Odds are although you’ll have a number of that you just think about your private favorites. Hyperstone Heist typically comes up in lots of Turtle sport conversations, and it does maintain up in the present day. Outside of Turtles in Time, I performed loads of Tournament Fighters SNES, and despite the fact that it may very well be thought-about a wonky fighter total, I admire the arcade and versus mode choices, in addition to the addition of some out-there characters. The brawlers/beat ’em ups within the pack, actually, are evergreen, and considerably legitimize this complete assortment within the eyes of many. Some of them have been launched in varied fashions over time, however now you may just about collect all of them below one $40 roof.

While I wouldn’t essentially name them “underrated,” all three Game Boy video games really feel like pure evolutions of the components set forth within the NES platformer; with easier, extra forgiving degree layouts and extra direct management of the turtles themselves. That’s very true for the third entry, which has talents particular to every turtle. Speaking of, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue is unquestionably the standout, because it makes use of a Metroid-like framework. It’s truly one of many meatier video games within the assortment, and can probably shock some folks with how a lot there may be to it.

As an entire, there’s one thing concerning the standout Turtles visuals that also maintain up, even when the aesthetics for a few of the NES and Game Boy titles have aged much less gracefully. The distinct cartoony nature of the supply materials shines by means of right here, and there’s a purpose why particular person Turtles beat ’em ups are thought-about a part of the golden age of the period, alongside classics like The Simpsons Arcade Game.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection 2

Naturally, mathing out how a lot every entry is price to you could be robust. Yet, you actually don’t must undergo in silence on the subject of discerning whether or not or not it’s price shopping for in, even when you solely actually like a number of video games. There are lots of playthroughs of each single one among these video games, and loads of data on the market. Once you’re previous that stage, it’s time to take a look at the gathering as a group. We have nice information on that entrance, as Digital Eclipse has carried out proper by the Turtles legacy.

So one of many largest options of the Cowabunga Collection is the “watch” mode. You can kick off each sport with an automatic help mode, the place it performs by means of a run from the beginning. Here, you may fast-forward and resolve to leap in at any level. While you gained’t essentially want them for choose breezier video games, the obvious selection for this characteristic is Turtles NES, particularly for you people who haven’t crushed it but. It creates a degree of accessibility that primarily justifies video games that perpetually annoyed you rising up, even when it doesn’t totally salvage them. Games even have an “enhancements” [cheats] menu, together with choices like a degree choose and further lives.

Strategy guides are additionally in, they usually’re pretty. They’re crafted for The Cowabunga Collection, within the model of traditional ’90s suggestions sections in magazines, they usually’re tremendous quirky, with some truly helpful data as well. What blew me away although is the flexibility to typically manually click on on a technique information part and immediately activate no matter characteristic it’s suggesting. This contains the possibility to see “secret endings” and the like with out having to really play by means of it your self.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection 3

The standout characteristic for me is the extras menu. Here you’ll discover containers and manuals, advertisements and catalogs, and even comedian ebook covers and nonetheless screens from a number of TV exhibits. There’s behind-the-scenes-style guides/bibles the designers needed to observe for characters, and a music participant. It’s a complete take a look at Turtles historical past, and I surprisingly discovered myself digging into it for an hour earlier than truly enjoying any video games. Filters embody authentic, full display screen, widescreen, TV, monitor, and LCG toggles. Local play is in, and every sport exhibits the variety of supported gamers plainly on-screen. Although we couldn’t take a look at on-line play, The Cowabunga Collection has the choice for it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a good repackaging of a set of uneven traditional video games. I’m in no rush to play Turtles NES once more, as an illustration, however I can see myself diving into the extras menu and breaking out any variety of the beat ’em ups with family and friends at just about any level. With the quantity of care put in by Digital Eclipse, this is among the finest methods these video games have been introduced since they have been launched.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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