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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time is a video game produced by Konami. A sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) arcade game, it is a scrolling beat 'em up based on the 1987 TMNT animated series. Originally an arcade game, Turtles in Time was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time in 1992. That same year, a similar game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist was released for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.

Years later, the arcade version of Turtles in Time was revisited on newer consoles. A slightly altered version of the arcade game was included as an unlockable bonus in the 2005 game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare. In August 2009, Ubisoft released a 3D remake of the game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled, for Xbox Live Arcade. The remake was released onto PlayStation Network on September 10, 2009.

Gameplay

Up to four players (two players in the SNES version) can take control of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Each playable character has his own strengths and weaknesses. New features in this game include the ability to execute a power attack by hitting an enemy several times in a row, and the ability to slam Foot Soldiers into surrounding enemies or to throw them out of the playing field, towards the camera.

The game features the same control scheme of the previous arcade release - a joystick for movement, an attack button and a jump button. Certain joystick/button combinations can make a Turtle run, perform a slide or dash attack, jump higher, perform a stationary or directed air attack, or perform a special attack.

Players guide the turtles through a series of levels, starting out in the streets of New York Citymarker before being transported to levels representing various eras of history. In each level, players face enemies from the 1987 cartoon, including foot soldiers and stone warriors.

Plot

Shredder taunts the Turtles after Krang steals the Statue of Liberty, in the intro of the arcade game.
The introductory cut scene of the game details the game's plot. It begins with the Turtles watching a TV newscast on a Sunday evening, with April O'Neil reporting from Liberty Islandmarker. Suddenly, Krang flies in using a giant exosuit (seen occasionally in the animated series) and steals the Statue of Libertymarker, moments before Shredder hijacks the airwaves to laugh at the Turtles. The Turtles jump into action in downtown New York and pursue the Foot to the streets and the city sewers (then to the Technodrome in the SNES version), where Shredder sends them through a time warp. The Turtles must fight Shredder's army in both the past and the future in order to get home.

Development

The original music of the game's soundtrack was composed by Mutsuhiko Izumi a TMNT veteran who also composed the music for the previous arcade game in the series. It was produced by Kazuhiko Uehara and Harumi Ueko, both of whom went on to produce several Konami games, including the following TMNT game, Tournament Fighters. In addition to an original musical score, the attract mode of the arcade game is noted for featuring the song "Pizza Power", which was taken from the TMNT live concert known as the Coming Out of Their Shells Tour. The game's music was released as part of the compilation album Konami All-Stars 1993 ~ Music Station of Dreams, published by King Records in 1992.

The 2005 version of the game included in Mutant Nightmare features new music and voices, updated to match the new TMNT series. The samewould apply to Turtles In Time: Re-Shelled.

Version differences

The Super NES version, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time was a follow-up to the first three NES games. Like the NES port of the first Ninja Turtles arcade game, TMNT IV was not a direct port of the arcade original, as it did present some notable differences in presentation and gameplay.

While SNES version is missing some animations and graphics effects from the arcade version, it features a Mode 7 forward scrolling effect in the "Neon Night-Riders" level and unique skin colors for each turtle. The SNES version is also missing certain voice samples for both the turtles and boss characters. In addition, the arcade's title screen song, "Pizza Power", was replaced with an instrumental version of the cartoon theme song.

The second part of the SNES-exclusive "Technodrome: Let's Kick Shell!" level, features a fight sequence in an elevator.
Various alterations were made to the SNES version's gameplay. "Sewer Surfin'" and "Neon Night-Riders", were changed to bonus levels and a new technodrome stage was added. Four new bosses were also added: Slash, who replaced Cement Man, the Rat King, Battletank Shredder, and the duo of Bebop and Rocksteady. The game also replaces the final boss with Super Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (who previously appeared in the NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project). The SNES version also adds two regular enemies: Roadkill Rodneys (which replaced the boxing robots) and Mousers. The game also features a time-trial mode, and a two-player versus fight mode. Each turtle was given unique attributes in areas such as speed and strength. In addition, the throw and slam moves can now be performed intentionally, instead of just randomly.

The 2009 remake, Re-Shelled, features new graphics and sounds. The graphics were remade completely in 3D, with players now moving in and out of a true 3D camera. The opening and closing cinematics were remade with a stylized 2D look. The vocal quips of the arcade version return, re-recorded by the cast of the 2003 cartoon.

Re-Shelled is based on the original arcade version instead of the SNES version, meaning that the extra stages and enemy characters from the earlier home version are not included. The gameplay remains similar, except that players can now attack in eight directions. The game can also be played online with up to 4 players. This version also features a Survival mode, Quickplay mode, multiple difficulties and achievements.

Critical response

TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SNES game)
Publication Score
Mean Machines
80%
Nintendo Power
4 / 5
Nintendojo
9.4 / 10
Allgame
3.5 / 5 (very good)
Following its release, Turtles in Time became Konami's best selling arcade title. Although critics found that the second game was largely similar to the previous arcade game, they felt that it was a net improvement over its predecessor on all points, including graphics, music and gameplay. Overall, the game was hailed for staying true to its source material.

The SNES version was praised for its additional stages and gameplay modes. Like the arcade version, the SNES game has been lauded for its visuals, which replicate the cartoon's art style. The game's music and sound effects have also been praised. However, the game has been criticized for its repetitive gameplay and short length. Despite these criticisms, Nintendojo called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time the best Ninja Turtles game of all time.

Unlike the SNES version, the 2009 remake Re-Shelled has met with mixed reviews. IGN gave the game a 5.9 out of 10, stating that Ubisoft hasn't improved enough upon the original game to justify the remake's comparatively high price point. It also criticizes how there is no option to play the original arcade version of the game. Gametrailers gave the game 6.1 out of 10, saying there isn't enough to warrant more than one or two plays.

References

  1. GameSpot review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare. URL retrieved 16th September 2006.
  2. Konami; Arcade machine manual for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time.
  3. Allgame review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. URL retrieved 30th October 2006.
  4. Instruction manual for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time.
  5. X-Cult comparison of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. URL retrieved 16th September 2006.
  6. NinjaTurtles.com episode synopsis for "Heroes in a Half-Shell, Part 5 – Shredder and Splintered". URL retrieved 16th July 2006.
  7. NinjaTurtles.com episode synopsis for "Krangenstien Lives". URL retrieved 16th July 2006.
  8. NinjaTurtles.com episode synopsis for "Divide and Conquer". URL retrieved 16th July 2006.
  9. Allgame review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. URL retrieved 22nd July 2006.
  10. IMDb review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. URL retrieved 22nd July 2006.
  11. Moby Games profile of Harumi Ueko. URL retrieved 22nd October 2006.
  12. Moby Games profile of Kazuhiko Uehara. URL retrieved 22nd October 2006.
  13. Arcade History review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. URL retrieved 22nd July 2006.
  14. Game Music Revolution CD information for Konami All-Stars 1993 ~ Music Station of Dreams. URL retrieved 13th October 2006.
  15. Video Game Talk review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare. URL retrieved 15th October 2006.
  16. [1]
  17. http://www.meanmachinesmag.co.uk/review/367/turtles-in-time.php
  18. Nintendo Power Magazine review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. Issue of 1st August 1992.
  19. Nintendojo review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. URL retrieved 16th July 2006.
  20. The Armchair Empire review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. URL retrieved 16th July 2006.
  21. http://uk.xboxlive.ign.com/articles/101/1010334p1.html
  22. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-hd-tmnt-turtles/53866


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