Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES 1990)

Heroes in a half shell, turtle power! Yes, it’s the freaking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in one of their earlier video game appearance. This is the 2 player game Turtles 2 for the NES, not to be mistaken with it’s single player challenged frustrating brother Turtles 1 which is… Let’s just say a lot of people are not thrilled about that game.
This one on the other hand is a 2 player co-op beat ’em up action packed fun I have played a lot both as a kid and as an adult. So prepare to have me recommend this game for you.

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Pick a turtle! You are going to have a great time!

Shredder attacks and kidnaps April! Yes, the plot is very basic but that’s ok. We just want good gameplay, we want to beat up bad guys, skateboard and eat pizza!
The gameplay is the Double Dragon/Final Fight/Streets of Rage formula you are most likely familiar with, but most of those games had the benefit of being released on a 16-bit system. The 8-bit beat em’ ups are generally more clunky and less fun to play than their 16-bit sequels but Turtles 2 feels really solid. Besides I have always liked the more uniquely themed beat em’ ups like the Turtles game or Knights of the Round for the SNES. In Turtles 2 you hit, jump, jump attack and do a super attack(A+B in quick succession). Almost all Footclan soldiers take two hits, while the super attack takes them down in one hit, and since there are no real drawbacks from using the super attack you will use that one mostly on them. There is a small delay from when you execute the  super attack and when you can move again so you won’t be using that move on bosses since they don’t die right away and will punish you. The normal attacks are quicker so you will want to use them sometimes but the jump attack is the attack you will be using on bosses since you can get out the way fast enough so the bosses will not be able to hit you if you do it right.

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This skateboard gal goes by you in stage to and I always used to try to hit and scare her as much as i could for some reason….Is that normal? And yea of course pizzas replenish your life.

All these moves, diverse enemies, cool level design and fun bosses make the gameplay of the game really solid, especially when you team up with a friend. Yes there are 4 turtles but this is only a 2 player game. Just 2 players is extremely fun, and besides i would imagine the game being too chaotic with four players on such cramped levels.The system also probably would not handle it. The turtles all play the same also so it does not really matter who you pick, so just pick your favorite (I know you have one).
The game is not very hard, but not easy either. Me and my cousin breeze though it now like nothing but that is because we have gone through it hundreds of times. Yes I am being serious, HUNDREDS of times!

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It’s a trap! Don’t get fooled by the Pizza Hut sign!

Newcomers should enjoy a fair level of difficulty with very limited frustration. It makes the game fun and fluid but difficult enough that there is a fair chance you won’t beat it on your first run. This is one of the games we have played most in my life from age 4 until now (26). One of the reasons for that is the moderate difficulty, it was just plain fun (and it’s the Turtles of course). Now a days we cousins look for more of a challenge in more sadistic games but regularly come back to Turtles 2 to have a good time. We always thought the skateboarding stage was most fun were you basically have the same gameplay but you are constantly moving forward very fast while beating up bad guys and their helicopters. But all the stages are fun and unique by themselves.
The game keeps count on how many takedowns you have. Every 200th takedown gets you a extra rest so in total you have 2 rests per continue, 2 continues if i remember correctly, plus the extra takedown rests so there is plenty of room for error but you still cannot get too careless cause the final stage is pretty rough.

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Fun, challenging, good looking bosses

The game looks really good for a NES title, the Turtles sprites look good and the Footclan looks even better. The level design is basic beat em’ up continue forward design but the variety of enemies and the beautiful backgrounds and bright colors and environment make the game look extra fresh. Bosses are really nice looking too. You will meet staples like Bebop and Rocksteady among others at the and of each stage and all of them can take a punch. The boss fight are long and require you to be on your toes all the time. I bet some will get your heart beating if you are running low on lives. The music does an excellent job there too. The Turtles theme is there among with a bunch of other sweet tunes that make the game even more memorable. It’s upbeat, catchy and gets stuck in your head at least for the rest of the evening. The Shredder Battle theme is so amazing. I still get the flashbacks and chills when i face Shredder who is one of the coolest final boss I have ever faced in my life.
This is one memorable, fun, solid co-op goody we have on our hands here.

Longplay! ***contains spoilers***

I told you i was going to recommend this one 😀

Gameplay 9
Visuals 9
Music 9
Lasting appeal 8,5
Is it fun? 9,5

Overall, 9 an amazing game!

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