Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review #346: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Tournament Fighters(SNES)

 This was a nice surprise.
 Alright, so I suspected that this one was gonna be the best of the bunch, but not by a wide margin, and boy was I wrong! Not only is it better than the NES and Genesis versions, it's actually a very competent fighting game on its own right.

 The game offers 4 different modes, Story Mode, in which you take one of the four turtles through the different enemies on your quest to save Splinter and April, this mode actually features a few intermissions between stages which are a nice touch for a story mode. Tournament Mode is actually this game's Arcade Mode, you take any of the 10 available characters and beat up the rest, VS Player, which is pretty much self explanatory and Watch, in case you wanted to watch two CPUs go at it. It could've benefited from a practice mode, but that kinda wasn't the norm at the time, so it's easily forgiven.
 The game is played with four buttons, weak punch, weak kick and their strong variations. Each of the 10 playable characters, as well as the two secret bosses, play fairly different from each other, with different special moves and inputs. There's also an energy gauge that is constantly decreasing, but you can fill it up by staying on the offensive, whether your hits land or get blocked, they will add up to the gauge, and once filled you can press Strong Punch together with Strong Kick to use a desperation move that deals a ridiculous amount of damage, if it hits. All in all, the game is top notch as far as mechanics go, there's enough leeway to pull of simple combos, and not everything combos into everything, so button mashing isn't encouraged. It's certainly above most Street Fighter II clones of the era.

 The character roster is made up of all four turtles, Shredder, Rat King and Chrome Dome from the awful 1987 series, as well as Wingnut, War, Armaggon and Karai from the Archie comics, and as per usual, Konami also saw fit to introduce an original character, this time in the form of the skimpy-clad ninja Aska. It also bears mentioning that the game looks fantastic, while the stages are a bit dull, the character sprites are gorgeous and characters look badass, for lack of a better word. Take the turtles, while their looks and color scheme comes from the awful cartoon, they've been redesigned to look beefy and muscular, which works wonders and kinda reminded me from their Mirage counterparts.
 The Genesis version of Tournament Fighters was terrible. The NES version was good considering the console it was released on. But Tournament Fighters on the SNES is good, period. Most of my gripes with it can be attributed to its age: It lacks depth, the character roster is rather small, it lacks basic modes like Practice. Regardless, this game can be entertaining for both TMNT fans and fighting game aficionados, and I dare say that the game offers just the least amount of depth needed to be played at a competitive level, if you are so inclined.
 7.0 out of 10

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