Developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Konami, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a title that will send most retro-specialists into hyperdrive.
We Are In A Sewer! I Am Gonsta Talk About The Turtles!
The moment I saw the release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection I knew it had to be a title I owned. Primary school me would have gone absolutely crazy for a title like this! I am not going to lie, I did a little dance knowing I would finally get my hands on it. Grab yourself a pizza and read on!
Growing up with TMNT felt like a right of passage when I was younger, everyone talked about them, created their own little adventures with the action figures and even listened to the OST on vinyl. Back in the day, I would be getting home from school, grab a snack and run up to my NES to play the same levels over and over again. After that, I would jump into my turtle pyjamas and jump into my turtle duvet getting ready to shred the next day on my skateboard. I had no idea that over 30 years later they would still be with me.
As mentioned earlier I was pretty stoked about the announcement and here it is. A retrospective look/compendium of 13 TMNT titles from various years across various consoles. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to own all the consoles so checked out most of them as a kid. Without further ado here is a list of the titles that form the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection:
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)
On playing through the titles one by one (not to completion, just until death) they played just how I remember them. Having a PS5-compatible controller for each of the consoles would have been amazing. However, the Duel Sense controller felt great and didn’t limit anything when it came to playing. Within the titles you could also load up the strategy guides, these would have massively helped back in the day. However, if you didn’t manage to complete the TMNT you had, now you can. The guides are super helpful and do get you past tricky parts. Whether that be using a map or learning a new move to take down your opponent.
Starting with the arcade titles at the top of the list. You can work your way through to the Game Boy titles which didn’t appear on everyone’s radar but are definitely worth checking out. Each title brings something that awakens new memories, from arcade trips to couch co-op and getting angry at your friend for using the same move over and over again to beat you.
Online play is also available across 4 of the titles in the collection. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the one that I imagine a lot of people will opt for an online experience with. As not everyone enjoys a beat ’em up. It felt a little slow for matchmaking to start off with, however, there were no other major issues to report.
For those looking for some extra digital loot. The Turtles Lair is where you need to be heading after you have checked out the titles available as part of the collection. Here you can check out boxes, manuals and the regional variants, along with ads, catalogue entries, strategy guides and comics. Obviously, these would have all been physical print but it’s awesome to have these little digital snippets to look back at. Aside from the above, you can also check out some behind the scene industry documents, music and shows. It would have been awesome if the shows were full episodes, but I suppose we can’t have everything.
Graphics & Audio
I was pleasantly surprised with the number of options available when it came to graphics for a title like this. The reason I say this is because usually there is just one option and usually it means playing bordered, which I know a few people dislike. I personally do not mind it at all you can go borderless in if you prefer. However, in-game you can change the screen size to start out with. Which are, original, full and wide. On top of this, you also have the option to use the inbuild filters. These can help when playing on larger screens.
For me, an audio track can bring back a lot of memories. From the opening menu hearing the intro to TMNT to the in-game music, there is something to tickle your inner Mikey! I was taken back as soon as I loaded up the NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle title and it was epic!
With the thirteen titles included in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection. There is an abundance of gameplay to be had. Obviously, if you aren’t that nostalgic this title will come across just as well as any of the other compilation titles out there. Meaning you might pick it up when it’s cheap but not actually get much from it.
Having said that, for any Turtle Force Members out there, in one game there is a plethora of titles and bonus content to be had. These games are even challenging for someone who has run through many of them as a kid.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is, without a doubt, a fantastic title. The nostalgia that oozes out of this title is unreal for hardcore fans. There is so much content to be had. Having said that I personally think if you aren’t a TMNT fan from back in the day then this title will not hold you for long. I also think for the casual TMNT fans who just love a quick trip on the original Turts arcade title. Then unless the price drops drastically you are probably better off having a quick trip to the Arcade Club for some IRL arcade action.
For me personally, this was a treasure trove of titles. It even gave me the chance to play some Game Boy titles that I never had a chance to pick up back in the day. I award Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection a Thumb Culture Gold Award
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.