Saturday, January 21, 2012

Favorite Video Games: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES) 1990

I too enjoy video games, sexy babe
Sorry about the lack of updates lately.  Normally I spend what free time I have updating this blog and watching Doctor Who, but I got Resistance 3 and Batman Arkham City for Christmas and I’ve been enjoying the hell out of them since then.  It’s been a great reminder of how much I love video games, and in that spirit I’ve decided to start a new section of this blog documenting my favorite games of all time.  I don’t claim that they’re the necessarily the best games of all time; in fact I think Portal 2 is by any objective measure (writing, controls, graphics, fun and shear creativeness) perfect, but for whatever reason I don't consider it a “favorite,” at least not yet. 
Actual screenshot of Arkham City

In general my number one criterion for determining favoriteness of  a game was “how many hours have I spent playing it?”  As a general rule I just don’t play games that suck for very long (with the exception of the Braveheart PC game.  I must have put 10 hours into that piece of shit.  10 hours I’ll never get back for the rest of my life.) Time was the most empirical barometer I could think of to differentiate between games I loved and games I merely liked a lot.  Games like GoldenEye and Mario Kart 64, although awesome, were eliminated because I never owned a N64 and didn’t play them very much.  On the other hand although I’ve spent countless hours playing Fursuit and Nazi dungeon mods for The Sims 2 as the sole designer of said mods I should probably recuse myself.
 "Player 1, do you enjoy eating feces?" (y/n)
 
The first game on the docket is:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II the Arcade Game 1990 (NES)
No caption necessary.  This is awesome

As a child of the 90’s I would be remiss if I didn’t kick things off with a Nintendo game, and the Nintendo version of the Turtles arcade game is probably my favorite game I owned for the system.  It might not be considered a “classic” of the system like Megaman 2 or Super Mario 3, but I kind of suck at those games.  Anytime I have to jump from platform to platform in a game the odds are pretty good that I’m going to fall into a pit of lava, spikes, and/or burning acid and die.  In fairness to me, most Nintendo games are fucking hard and a lot of classics like Contra are completely unplayable without cheat codes or Game Genie.  To get any good at most Nintendo games you had to play them all day every day, and my mom insisted that I “go out” and “do stuff.”  Jokes on her, twenty years later I’m wasting time writing about games I played when I was a kid. 
"Quit fucking killing me!"

Sweet!
Arcade games were different most console games, in that they were designed to keep kids popping in quarters and not quitting forever when they realized they were never going to get past the first level (Beetlejuice was a shitty game.) The NES version of the Ninja Turtles Arcade Game was exceptional because it was one of the few arcade ports of the time that didn’t fucking suck in comparison the cabinet version.   Although the arcade game may have had superior graphics and the ability to play as all four turtles at the same time I didn’t have $5,000 or whatever for the arcade cabinet when I was 8 years old.  Anyway when I was at the arcade I always ran out of quarters when you had to fight Bebop and Rocksteady at the same time, whereas at home you only had to fight Baxter Stockman as a fly.  The NES version also had that foot clan dojo level and the awesome winter in Central Park level with the bouncing snowmen. 
Danny Penbnington was noticeably absent from both versions of the game

Also the Ninja Turtles were and always will be awesome.  Before my brain became clouded with constant images of naked ladies about the only thing I thought about was the Ninja Turtles beating people up, and on that level Turtles II delivers.  Actually that’s all the game is.  There are no puzzles or dialog or anything, just a lot of whacking people over the head with nun chucks.  In level 2 you can even use your ninja weapons to scare the shit out of a lady on a skateboard.  In short this game was everything an 8 year old in the 90’s could look for in a video game.  Except for free pizza...Oh wait...
Due to a marketing tie-in the game came with a coupon for a free Personal Pan Pizza. 

This was originally going to be another just another top ten list, but my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade game ran kind of long.  At the end of the day, I didn’t feel I could do games like that justice in my standard “one paragraph per item on list” style you’ve all come to know and love in a Dan for All Seasons top ten list.  Instead I’m making diamonds out of lemonade and adding a new feature to my blog.  Check back between beer reviews for more.   
Heroes in a half shell indeed

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