Come on pizza… it’s 2022 for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans! In June, Dotemu released a title that modernized the saga, and now Konami and Digital Eclipse have introduced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection with 13 classic games from the series. It’s the same original games but with improvements.
In this review, we’ll look at the product in general as a collector’s edition rather than a game-by-game breakdown. That way, you’ll get a sense of how the kit works and whether it actually offers a worthwhile experience.
13 in 1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection contains 13 Ninja Turtles games. The start menu already gives access to all titles without any minimum requirements, and this freedom is very attractive for those who want to choose their favorite game.
Of course, there is a feeling of repetition, since many games follow the maxim: “the same, but a little different.” For example, TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (Super Nintendo) is the same as TMNT: Turtles in Time (Arcade), but with visual and interface improvements. The story, settings and bosses are basically the same.
On the other hand, the collection offers games with different proposals, such as TMNT: Tournament Fighters (NES), which uses the same fighting style as Street Fighter 2, but with characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. In addition, there are still titles that eschew the beat 100 and bet on the platform genre. It’s a trip back in time to capture nostalgia.
On a positive note, all games support local multiplayer – some for up to four players – and four titles have online multiplayer. Fighting games have the option of Versus and other cool modes for those who want to explore even more.
In addition to the well-known improvements to the classic game collections, such as the in-game 10-second scroll tool and screen settings, Konami has brought other interesting options to all titles.
Directly from the selection menu, it is possible to configure the experience in a specific way. Players can choose the stage they want to start from, disable or enable specific features, trigger new difficulty levels, and tweak other systems.
Tools help players customize titles to make them more engaging. After all, the premise of all of them is very basic: defeat all the enemies on the screen, defeat the boss of the level and reach the end. The whole sequence always follows the same story: the Foot Clan wants to destroy New York and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stop it and save their friends like April and Master Splinter.
While the added enhancements are interesting, the basic options fall a little short. The only visual setup that makes the games attractive is the original one, made for old TVs. Any other setting, monitor or wide, leaves the graphics blurry and with very little sharpness.
Lack of resources
While there are some good idea additions, others are lacking. The collection doesn’t have subtitles in PT-BR, and as the games don’t have much dialogue, menus and bonuses are lacking. For those who like to look behind the scenes, the publication offers several items and curiosities to explore, but you will need to master the English language to understand.
Also, there is no good guide for beginners. As we’ll discuss later, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection was created for fans, and thus there are no clear tips or tutorials for those unfamiliar with the franchise. It also has a very discreet “Strategy Guide” section in the options menu, but it looks like a page ripped straight from the manual without any suitability for the PlayStation.
Finally, don’t expect a learning curve. The games are linear, even in gameplay, with no extras and little appeal for engagement.
In the first titles it is possible to add lives in the middle of the game in order to remain immortal, while in other games dying means losing all progress.
A game for fans
Unlike Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, which modernized the controls, introduced new mechanics and explored more ideas, the Cowabunga Collection is content to re-release the same classic games that marked many players’ childhoods.
Therefore, the Konami title is clearly a product made for fans of the brand. It doesn’t have any grand appeal or novelty for young people to be interested.
Not that this is a negative thing, but you can see that there was a need for more relevant improvements to the gameplay and look of the games. Playing any SNES title on the PS5 is not an eye-pleasing experience.
One of the most annoying elements is the lack of exterior varnish, which prevents a good representation of the space. Because beat’em up titles follow a 2D style, it’s essential to position yourself well to land hits. Too often you think you’re in the right place, but you end up missing hits and taking damage from enemies in return.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection: Worth it?
TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection is a must-have collection for fans and fans of nostalgic games. The set brings back titles from the very distant past and it’s fun to bring them to life. However, that’s all he stands for.
While the added improvements are nice, it still lacks the interest of more players in the release. It keeps the familiar and does not bring anything new.
If you want to go back to the classic experience, editing is enough to deliver the content you expect. However, if you’re looking for a more modern take with fresh ideas, Dotemu’s title seems like the right bet.