Dreaming in Digital’s Conclusion to the Top SNES Games of All Time

2 Nov

21

21: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV:
Turtles in Time (1992, Konami)

In the 90’s Konami was a powerhouse of gaming, offering incredible home console experiences and mind-blowing arcade fun. Turtles in Time was a near-perfect fusion of these two worlds. the gameplay was sheer joy, the graphics were fantastic, and the music was incredible. Turtles IV is still one of the best co-op experiences out there.

Konami had released TMNT: The Arcade Game to critical and commercial acclaim. It was a four-player simultaneous ‘beat-em-up’ like Double Dragon and Final Fight where each player took on the role of one of the four main characters of the series. But the TMNT license drew a lot more attention from the casual player as it was released in the height of Turtlemania. The Ninja Turtles were an unstoppable media juggernaut at the time, as recognizable as Mickey Mouse and probably more so than even Mario himself! The Arcade game was ported to the NES with a less colorful, lower fidelity presentation, but was popular enough to warrant a console-only sequel in the same style called TMNT: The Manhattan Project.

But eventually, Konami released a sequel to the arcades called Turtles in Time. it had better controls, better music, and the time travel based storyline allowed for an even greater variety of enemies and environments to show of. And the Super Nintendo version was damn near perfect. There were some cutbacks in the animation quality to accommodate the SNES having less video RAM to work with, but it’s nothing people would really notice outside of a side by side comparison. The SNES even improved on the arcade experience by adding more boss fights with classic villains and even an entirely new level!

The only criticism I can truly level against this game is the cutback to only being two-players where the arcade had four. It was a fair trade for the near perfection of the rest of the port, and adding more players on screen would have caused a lot of slowdown on the SNES hardware, but it is still the only thing keeping this from being the ultimate SNES party game.

This game is much harder to find these days as Konami doesn’t have the rights to the Turtles franchise anymore and can’t sell it, but it’s worth tracking down. Whether you buy, borrow, or emulate it, Turtles in Time is too much fun to let disappear into history. Just avoid the 2000’s remake, it doesn’t live up to the original’s quality in any way.

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