Known for their comics, but especially for their appearance in various cartoons, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had their heyday in the 80s and 90s. Not surprisingly, this has given rise to several video game adaptations, whether either in the arcade or for our home consoles. And what better than a compilation such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection to get a good dose of nostalgia.
Image credit: Konami
It’s not so bad to be a turtle
We must not hide it, when a publisher releases a compilation of games, it is often to take the easy path. Especially when the games in question do not benefit from any improvement and are made available in almost the same state as when they were released. However, it must be recognized that with TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection, Konami did not make fun of the players, offering us not far from 13 games from the arcade, but also home consoles like the NES or the Super Nintendo, but also laptops with the Game Boy. And 11 of these titles are also available in their Japanese version, which is always good to take.
We still need a little enthusiasm, because if the quality of Turtles in Time on Super Nintendo and in its arcade version is no longer to be demonstrated, it is already much less the case for games like Tournament Fighters, a bad clone of Street Fighter and which for once is available in three different versions in the compilation. Excellence is accompanied by a few hiccups, but also by curiosities like the three Game Boy episodes. These last three do not revolutionize anything and their interest is not equal from one game to another, but it is still pleasant to see the course that our knights of scales have had in video games.
Most of the titles are beat’em all, sometimes with a hint of platform like with the essential Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on NES. A cult game whose difficulty is the nightmare, but also the joy, of a large number of children on Christmas Eve. Fortunately, it is not necessary to be patient to play it again, because it is possible to go through the “cheats code” menu to activate various options, in order to make the experience easier. The choice will depend on the game, but it is for example possible to do more damage, choose your level or even to make yourself almost invincible. It is even possible to watch a video of the game and at any time, catch the game in progress or rewind a bad action.
TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection is therefore far from being a simple compilation of games that we would have mixed together. This is evidenced by the surge of nostalgia gamers will be able to feel when playing games available in their native 4:3 aspect ratio, even though they can be zoomed in or played in 16:9 as well. . An option that we do not recommend, unless you want to play with a distorted image. Added to this are the usual “TV”, “LCD” or even “Monitor” filters, options that can be activated if you want to find the impression of playing on a good old CRT television. It is in particular the Game Boy games that benefit the most, but it is also possible to deactivate the flickering of the sprites on most games, in order to gain in visual comfort.
Even if you’re not a big fan of the source material and you want to dive back into cult Ninja Turtle games, it should be noted that great care has been taken over the content of this collection. . Because in addition to having a superb interface that highlights the games, it is also possible to play some of them in an online multiplayer mode. The icing on the cake is nevertheless the archives that can be consulted and which contain a wealth of information. Whether it’s game covers and manuals, developer design visuals, guides, promotional posters or even comic book covers and OSTs, there’s enough to wander through the menus for long minutes. And we must not ignore our pleasure in doing so, especially since the majority of the documents have been translated.
TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection is very much driven by nostalgia and it would be a lie to deny it. However, whether you are a player of the time or an amateur of discovery, the compilation is rich enough to find something to satisfy yourself. Most fans will see the opportunity to replay Turtles in Times or the NES episode, but it’s also a good time to dive into titles that we do not know. And to this is added an impressive documentation for Ninja Turtles fans, in which it will be possible to find some nuggets. It may just be a compilation of games, but the wrap and the multitude of options available are sure to increase the interest of the collection.