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Jul 062011
 

TMNT is the latest installment of the movie franchise. In this CGI animated adventure, the turtles are up against some ancient monsters. But first, they each must overcome difficulties within their own family before facing these dangerous foes.

Master Splinter had sent Leonardo to Central America so he would grow into a better leader. This causes trouble with the others. Donatello struggles with his job in tech support and Michelangelo entertains at children’s birthday parties, where kids like to beat him up for fun.

Here is an ornament of Mikey’s vechicle.

Raphael is the most affected because he knows that a crime fighter’s work is never done. So he secretly goes out at night as a vigilante superhero called the Night Watcher. When Leo returns he tries to get the team back together, but fails. It’s mostly because of Raph’s rebelliousness.

Meanwhile the Foot Clan, led by the Shedder’s adopted daughter Karai (voice of Ziyi Zhang), gathers the 13 monsters that are running loose in the city in order to complete a ritual to open a portal to another world and revive a group of stone Generals of their immortality. Apparently the Generals really want to dominate the world.

Soon, Leo goes after the Night Watcher. It gets real exciting as the chase goes on and the two of them fight each other, even after Leo reveals Raph’s identity. Although Raph wins the fight, he feels like he had lost, big time. Raph realizes the error of his ways and goes through a self-doubt phase. After a pep talk with Splinter, the team finally comes together.

With a little help from Casey Jones (voice of Chris Evans) and April O’Neil (voice of Sarah Michelle Gellar), the turtles fight their way past the Foot Clan and confront those stone Generals. Who’d have thought that April knew how to fight with a samurai sword.

This was a great film with a combination of action and redemption. How interesting that the big stars voice the supporting roles instead of the turtles themselves. Of course, this movie still would have done well either way.

Feb 212011
 

Those turtles are at it again in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. It turns out that the Shredder really is gone for good. However, a new adventure occurs. A time travel adventure, that is. After the turtles finish a rockin workout session in the lair, April (Paige Turco) pays them a visit bringing gifts. One of those gifts happens to be a magic scepter, which sends April to Japan in the year 1603.

Once Donatello figures out how the scepter works, the turtles use it to go after April. However, for each person who goes back, someone else from the past comes to the present. Since that would be a problem, the turtles bring Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) to help Splinter keep the strangers out of trouble. Casey is disappointed at first, but he gets through to them… with pro hockey on TV. Well, that’s one way to make friends.

When the turtles arrive in ancient Japan, Mikey gets separated from the others and loses the scepter. Leo, Raph, and Don manage to rescue April from a dungeon, but they face a new threat from villains, Walker (Stuart Wilson) a British gun master and Lord Norinaga (Sab Shimono) a top Samurai.

The battle scenes are more comedic than ever. I find it very interesting that they take place in such an amazing setting. The turtles mention quite a few pop culture references throughout the movie. It just shows how witty they all are.

April and the turtles soon find the rebellion, which is led by the beautiful warrior Mitsu (Vivian Wu), and join up with them. They also enjoy a peaceful time in the village and find Mikey, but still need to find the scepter and stop Walker and Norinaga from conquering Japan.

Another flaw in the scepter is that it only works once every 12 hours over a course of three days. The turtles and April have to get back home, or risk being stuck in the past forever.

This third installment is terrific. It has great ninja battles, a rockin soundtrack, and witty humor. The turtles sure know how to embrace their heritage in this adventure.

Nov 252010
 

 

In their first exciting adventure for the Super NES, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4: Turtles in Time, Shredder captures the Statue of Liberty and the Turtles have to get it back. I’m surprised he didn’t capture April this time. It starts with a few levels in New York and you fight Shredder in the Technodrome by throwing Foot soldiers at him. Afterwards, he sends the turtles into a time warp. Now they have to fight their way back to the present with other old enemies who were waiting for them.

The new graphics are incredible and the fighting moves are more varied than before. The Turtles can now throw Foot soldiers at the screen or smack them side to side to take out other surrounding enemies. Even their jump kicks and rush attacks are new and come with battle cries. Now that’s how a ninja fights.

Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Project, each turtle is different. They have a different special move. Leo swings his swords, Mikey does a flying rush attack, Don does a flying pole-vault kick, and Raph has a spinning power kick. Each special attack uses energy again, but it’s only affected when you hit an enemy this time. Now that each turtle can vary in speed, strength, and defense, I think Mikey is the best one to rely on in this game.

The points are fairly standard to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game with an extra life for every 200 points, but they do vary depending on the attack you use. The points also increase after you defeat a boss, based on your life meter.

The bosses are very recognizable. This time they’re a bit tougher and each have something to say before battle, but it only shows in subtitles. I’d have to say that the hardest boss is Slash because he blocks all frontal attacks.

After defeating Krang twice, you get back to the present and face Super Shredder. I found this final battle more exciting than ever. However, to win you have to beat the hard mode. Otherwise Splinter will tell you off.

There were some other TMNT games for the Super NES back in the day, but this is the classic I remember well.

One last item: Not too long ago I found out about an updated, but still nostalgic, version of this game for the X-Box 360 called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-shelled. Here’s a YouTube video I found that shows some of the highlights.

Nov 202010
 

 

These old TMNT games keep getting better and better, but here’s something new. The third installment, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Project, actually has a story to it. The Shredder captures Manhattan Island along with April. The Turtles are in Florida on vacation when they hear about it and they must fight their way back to New York. No, not through airport security.

The game play is the same as in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, but with new special moves. Leo has a spinning sword attack, Raph is a human drill, Mikey has a powerful donkey kick, and Don summersaults with his Bo staff. The only downside is that using a special attack lowers your life meter. Must be for the sake of challenge, I guess.

There is an option to switch turtles now that they’re all different, but only if you lose a life. An extra life is gained every 50,000 points. At least the enemies are worth more this time, and as challenging as this game is, you’ll need all the points you can get.

Old bosses return along with new ones like Slash the evil turtle, Groundchuck the bull, and Dirtbag the rat. As for enemies, Krang’s stone warriors join in with the multicolored Foot soldiers and mousers that cleverly pop out from many different places.

You have to defeat Shredder twice in this game. The first time is in the Technodrome, without the holograms. Then you fight him in a spaceship as Super Shredder. He’s not as fearful as he was on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze, but at least the fight scene is longer this time.

Nov 132010
 

Based on the original arcade version, the NES sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game has a new option for two players at once and the game play is so much simpler. You can gain extra lives, but only once every 200 points. Each enemy and boss is worth only one point. Rip off!

All of the turtles have the same skills and strength. In a way, it seems like Raphael’s weapons aren’t so wimpy anymore. However, there are only three moves, weapon attack, jump kick, and jump & attack. That can get a little boring after awhile if you think about it. On top of that, you can’t switch turtles at all in this game.

The enemies and bosses are much more recognizable from the 80s series. Not only the old ones like Rocksteady and Bebop, but also new ones like Baxter Stockman, Krang, and top stone warriors Granitor and General Tragg. Speaking of Tragg, I can remember the TMNT episode from season one of the 80s version when Mikey broke his nunchukus on Tragg’s abs. Yet in this game, they work well against him. Isn’t that strange?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game is also the first TMNT game to feature multicolored Foot soldiers. It makes you wonder how many the Shredder has. At least there are a set number of enemies per area. In the two-player mode, the numbers increase in most areas and the bosses are stronger.

Oh, I almost forgot. The mousers are different because they bite when you get too close. I always found the mousers more amusing in the first TMNT game when they were easier to fight off.

The Shredder is cleverer this time. He uses a holographic device to double-team the turtles. It’s so much more exciting for the final battle. Don’t you think?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game is so much better than the first one. It’s simpler and more fun, despite how much different this game is compared to the original arcade title.