Turtles in Time Re-Shelled: Heroes in a Half-Assed Remake
Re-pugnant, Re-sented, time for Re-stitution
Crappy birthday to Ubisoft's piss-poor excuse for a remake, Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled. I realise this is a very negative start to the post, but my loathing of this game is borderline comical in its extremity. It's one of the very few games to - admittedly pathetically - make me genuinely angry, alongside the likes of the point-missing, avowed waste of time that is Rocket Knight. Though at least Rocket Knight is merely a bad Rocket Knight game as opposed to a bad game, period. Re-Shelled is bad in every possible way, and the fact it purports to be a remake of the glorious masterpiece Turtles in Time is grounds for the electric chair as far as I'm concerned. I try not to get like this, dear readers. I really do. I like every video game. It's right there in my author bio. But I don't like Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled.
I won't talk about Re-Shelled. I can't bring myself to. It's ugly, slapdash garbage based on the inferior arcade version of the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game ever made. The original SNES game is what's worth discussing, and I'll take any excuse to do so. Excuse me while I play the soundtrack.
Well, it's just majestic isn't it? BIG APPLE, 3AM and you're straight in. You've only really got the two buttons - jump, and attack. They're all you need. Unlike most belt scrollers (which outstay their welcome, big time), Turtles in Time is breezy and perfectly balanced. None of the main enemies - a succession of multicoloured Foot soldiers - require more than a couple of hits to take out, and the Turtles' grab moves can wreck them in one hit. Using the side-to-side slam can clear rooms faster than lightning, and throwing enemies into the screen is always amusing (and memorably crucial for a mid-game boss battle with Shredder). It's all so eminently fair in a genre that traditionally loves to kill you.
Of course, it's aesthetically marvellous. It looks superb to this day, a gorgeous platonic ideal licensed videogame where everyone looks like they're supposed to, but with just a little anime flair. And the music, as I've already implied, is endlessly listenable. Sewer Surfin', for god's sake.
No, I won't be celebrating Re-Shelled's bastardisation of the best licensed game on the SNES. But I will take the opportunity to once again say "Ooh, Turtles in Time is a bit good, isn't it?"