Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Arcade Reviews

  • Tasty PastryTasty Pastry321,060
    31 Oct 2009 12 Mar 2011
    30 1 2
    Single Player

    I’m sure you remember this game if you grew up in the nineties. It was all over in arcades. You went up to it and put your quarter in and played until you lost your life. Same game.

    You can choose to play as either of the four turtles: Michelangelo (Orange), Raphael (Red), Donatello (Purple), Leonardo (Blue). Each has their own strength/weakness, though it isn’t shown to you directly. Leonardo has the longest weapon range, but Raphael’s weapon does the most damage if I remember correctly. It is basically based on that.

    You have to beat each level (moving constantly to the right), clearing enemies as you progress. There will be basic soldiers (guys in purple) who simply punch and hold you, but as you go further into the game there will be more advanced enemies that can hold bombs, shoot guns, and use throwing stars. You’ll also encounter the bosses of TMNT, including Rocksteady and Be Bop, as well as Shredder.

    Unlike your days of inserting a quarter, lives are free, which means you can complete the game despite how much you die. You’ll just have to hit the continue button. You have two buttons to use besides the control stick. One is jump. The other is attack. You can jump and then attack if you’d like. That’s how simplistic the game is. You have a life bar that goes down everytime you get hit. If it gets down to zero you lose a life. You can replenish it if you find a pizza on the ground and eat it. Yummy. Some of the environment is destructible as well – you can fling signs at bad guys, shoot water from fire hydrants, etc.

    Honestly that is all there is to the game. So now that you know how the game plays, I rant. This isn’t as fun as it was back when you were nine playing in the local arcade. There is no excitement in beating the game if there isn’t some other excited nine year old kid next to you telling you Leonardo is the greatest turtle ever. Plus you probably know how the game ends by now, and if you haven’t, that means you’ll know after the first play through. One of the qualities of those arcade games was two things.

    1) They were hard. That made you use your quarters. This game is still hard. But now without quarters. Know what that means? It’s just frustrating hard instead of an “exciting attempt”

    2) They relied on long levels with bosses that survive a long time. You’ll probably get bored of attacking BeBop in the smartest way, and just walk up to him and smack the attack button over and over, since running out of lives is no big deal.

    All that said, the game is still relatively fun, but I honestly recommend you almost exclusively play in multiplayer, as I’ll describe below.
    Final Singleplayer Score: 7/10

    The multiplayer plays exactly like the single player but with, multiple players. You can play either offline or online in co-op mode, with up to a total of four players. And yes, you can have multiple people on one xbox playing with multiple people on another. This is far superior to the single player for a couple of reasons.

    1) You have lives. It’s a rather large amount that should make it easily to the last area of the game if you have four people. If you have two you’ll most likely have a problem unless you’ve played the game a substantial amount of times prior and you know how to take advantage of each boss properly.

    2) There is some excitement created amongst yourselves and you get excited about the end of the game. The “ we can do this together” mentality really helps. Plus there is a score located above your player which is based on kills, that creates a competitive yet fun atmosphere

    The online community is actually not dead either, though it isn’t no Halo 3 or anything. But you should be able to find someone to play with within 5 minutes or so as long as it isn’t three a.m.

    Final multiplayer score: 10/10


    They didn’t change much if anything from the transition of this arcade game to the xbox live arcade. You’ll notice a wallpaper around the borders of your screen as you play of the turtles in a pose. This actually becomes a problem because if you have a plasma television you’re going to get burn-in. Beyond that you get what you’re expecting – two dimensional turtles fighting mutants and foot ninja. What more could you want? Since everyone would have been upset if they would have changed the graphics at all, I believe they made the graphics very well done. But that’s just my opinion.

    Final graphics score: 10/10


    As I said they just copied and pasted the game to the console. Therefore you’re going to hear the same “Cowabunga!” voice as you heard 15 years ago, and the same lame explosive and fighting sounds. However, again, everyone would have been upset if they would have changed it, and I think the lameness actually makes the gameplay just that much more cohesive.
    Final sound score: 10/10


    Ah, the achievements. I have 40 of 200 (4 of 12). I currently have all of the achievements (thanks to some very helpful people who helped me play this online!) When this game first came out it had substantial achievement glitch problems that turned me off towards working towards them until just recently, despite this being the oldest arcade game I own. This is one of those games where you NEED to look up how to do each achievement, because the wording can be, apparently, rather deceptive.

    There are a couple completion achievements, but the majority are “play the game differently” achievements or are score based. They are actually really good ideas for achievements, but since they have had so many glitches in the past, I’m reluctant to give them a good score. And if you don’t have any friends you’re going to have a massive problem (I’m sorry!). Plus, you’ll actually need more than one – try three.

    Final achievement score: 7/10


    There is no DLC for this game. Since I can’t actually think of any DLC that would be good for this game, so I’ll give it a…
    Final DLC score: N/A

    Final Score: 8.6/10


    1) The game can be played in local multiplayer or online multiplayer, or a combination of the two. That makes it a great game for the bunch of friends who want to play together in a non-competitive game.

    2) 400 microsoft points? Five dollars? What a deal!

    3) Interesting achievements…if not the best implemented…

    4) They didn’t try to change the game, but they did improve it. If you’ve read my rant on Dig Dug you’ll know how I feel about old games like this – but they improved it by making it possible to play multiplayer locally and online.

    1) The game is pretty impossible to beat with two people, and a little too easy to beat with four players.

    2) Infinite lives in single player takes away the necessity to bother with any kind of strategy.

    3) Many achievements had major glitches at one point

    4) If you have a plasma television you will get burn in

    Final Comments:
    I think it would be outrageous not to buy this game for 400 MS points unless you really have no interest in arcade games. This is the epitome of classic arcade gaming. With the multiplayer options it really is a fun and great buy, even if you only play it once a month or so. It was a classic then, and it’s still worth playing now. Glitched and difficult achievements turn quite a few people off, and the replay value can deteriorate, but for $5...
    But that's your call of course. I've seen quite a few people who regret this the most out of all their arcade games, and I can understand why. It's opinion of course.
  • BillyKlydeBillyKlyde149,099
    02 Jul 2009 15 Jul 2009
    15 4 2
    If you were a kid in the 80's or 90's chances are you were into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And if you weren't then there is something wrong with you. I think we can all agree that TMNT is widely acknowledged as some of the greatest characters ever created. Making the move from comic to cartoon to video games was inevitable. With a team of four turtles they were perfect for a very popular gaming genre back in the day, side-scrolling brawlers. Like others at the time, Streets Of Rage, Golden Axe, etc. TMNT was suppose to played with multiple people. And there is nothing more fun sitting with a bunch of friends and battling your favorite enemies. BeBop, Rocksteady, Shredder, all the classics.

    This was the first TMNT game, based on the original cartoon series that started just two years earlier. The gameplay is simple. You have a jump and attack button, and a special attack if you press the jump and attack button at the same time. Although it doesn't make a sound when you hit an enemy so it can feel weird, sometimes you think you're hitting an enemy when you're not. The combat is easy with most general enemies. There are a few annoying ones though, like the foot ninjas with guns or spears. The bosses are most annoying, if you don't know the strategy to beat them. A lot of them you just have to keep hitting and moving. The game still has all the classic iconic music from the original and the graphics are just as they were 20 years ago.

    The achievements aren't that fun to get and one of them is glitched so it's like... what the fuck. Most of them are defeating each boss while retaining a certain amount of health. I mean they're easy for the most part if you know what you're doing. There are two messed up ones. One is called Turtle Soup, this is where you have to defeat Shredder without being turned into a normal turtle. That's hard enough, but this achievement is glitched so you won't get it if you do it. You have to use two controllers, and die with one player at a certain time and defeat shredder with the second controller in order to get the achievement with the first controller. Stupid shit. The other achievement is beating the game online, which is hard because not many people play it online and even if they do they usually suck.

    Still this game is fun to play with other people, even if they do suck. This game is all about multiplayer action. However most people forget this game because one of it's sequels is revered as the greatest TMNT game ever (Turtles In Time, which is being remade with updated graphics for the XBLA, which I can't wait for). But I still think this is a great game, it set the ground work for future games. Besides it's only $5.00, how can you not buy it?

    Graphics/Sounds: 3/5
    Story: 3/5
    Multiplayer/Online: 4/5
    Achievements: 2/5

    Replay value: Moderate
    Final rating: 3 stars
  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    8 3 1
    An amazing classic arcade game definetly worth purchasing not for the achievements but because of how great the game is. I found everything amazing and brings back loads of memories of playing this as a kid. I always found this to be a fun game to play, i've replayed the game many times just because i found it fun and enjoyable to play over and over. The levels are fun, and are different each stage, Well worth the 400 MSP. Also great that it has 4 player co-op. Even better about that is that it can be played on xbox live or locally. Solo or with friends its a great way to spend an afternoon or a few hours.
    Sound: 4/5
    Gameplay: 5/5
    Achievement difficulty: 4/5
    Overall: 5/5
    An amazing classic title.