Pizza time! Turtles return in The Cowabunga Collection
It's a shell of a time! Wait, that was the 2003 series.
Digital Eclipse and Konami have pulled a turtle out of their hat here. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga Collection is coming to basically all formats from PS4 onwards, and it's a doozy. I'm not going to try and hide my fanboyish enthusiasm; this rules. It's the kind of retro collection that dreams are made of, and I cannot believe that it exists. It is insane. Let's just take a look at the contents:
- 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 (SNES)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (SNES)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters (MD)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (MD)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of The Foot Clan (GB)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Tutles II: Back From the Sewers (GB)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue (GB)
Yes, that is all of the classic Turtles games remotely worth a shag. I mean, my god, it would be worth it just for the SNES Turtles in Time, which is one of the best games ever made, but worrrr, bloody 'ell, look at all that turtle action. The original NES Turtles, aka the game that made me so angry I briefly became somewhat racist. The classic knockabout fun of the original arcade game. Every version of Tournament Fighters, with online play. Okay, I don't care about that, but my fighting game friends insist it's a pretty interesting game! Hmmm.
Some of the main events for me, though, are those Game Boy games. For a start, I love it when people remember that the Game Boy exists. Furthermore these games are wicked badass, if a little simple - Fall of the Foot Clan and Back From the Sewers are two sides of the same Kung Fu-ish coin, but executed wonderfully. Hot take: I slightly prefer Foot Clan despite being mechanically about as complex as a Slinky, because the turts themselves look a little too goofy in Back From the Sewers. Radical Rescue, though? First off, a legitimate copy costs a million pounds, secondly it's a flippin' Metroidvania, you fools! And it's a pretty good, fun one too!
Facts: they could have just included SNES TMNT and I would have paid full price for this. The inclusion of all that gravy - including Hyperstone Heist, which isn't as good as TiT (chortle) but is still marvellous - is just sweetening an already particularly spicy gumbo. Christ, I made a meal of that metaphor. I'm not sure it was even a metaphor. I'm a games writer, not a writer writer.
The usual Digital Eclipse treatment beckons, promising a dream compilation that I cannot wait to get stuck into. This and the upcoming Shredder's Revenge mean that us fans of classic TMNT games are rather spoiled. Downers? None, really, though I'd have liked the GBA games thrown in there even though they wouldn't really have fit the 80s-style remit. Turtles in Time is more than enough for me and I'm absolutely chomping at the bit to get that diamond onto my Switch.