TMNT: Tournament Fighter



I sincerely believe in a few things in this crazy mixed up world; that Love really does make the world go ’round, that Steven Avery is as guilty as OJ was, and that every young gamer has 1 Fighter that they just can’t conquer; for me, it’s the one with green hardback shells.  This was a game I rented (always the SNES version) as a kid a few times and yet, always took it back to Blockbuster disappointed.  Why was this trumped , sound effects laden Street Fighter ripoff my Achilles heel?   Gamers often try to relive their past glories, or in this case failures, so I decided to try it myself, but I wasn’t going to start with my dreaded enemy first; Oh no, there were a few more versions of this game out there to conquer first.


Yep this is TMNT Tournament Fighter for the original NES.   Anyone think the graphics look a little familiar?   Isn’t that same logo on the screen during TMNT II: The Arcade Game as well?


Yes it is; just in case you forgot what franchise you were playing.   This fighter game sports graphics in the fighter displays that are ripped right from the original big screen movie, with the more sloped heads and slimy looking skin.  The controls are akin to any fighter but there’s one glaring omission: the Turtles aren’t using their classic weapons during battle!  Am I supposed to believe this is honorable combat?  I mean Shredder is in the game.  And so is this thing!



Yikes.   I will give more bonus points for having a story mode that’s rather lengthy as you face off against “dark” versions of your Turtle brothers (they are the only characters available in that mode).  But, this game is rather easy  , employing some tried and true fighting game techniques (leg sweep, leg sweep, leg sweep, high kick, leg sweep).




We move to the Sega Genesis version; an upgrade by double in bit graphics and even though the backgrounds look more fleshed out and layered, the graphics really aren’t that much better on my HD tv screen.   This version was a strange animal; no story mode to choose from but it’s tourney mode makes available a wide array of combatants not useable in other verisons, such as Ray Fillet, Sisyphus (?) and even tournament-trained April O’Neil.   The tournament is long and grueling but the difficulty again is not too high; even the final few “boss fights” including this lone random Triceraton that I guess got abandoned on Earth during one of their invasions.  As always, the Sega offers a unique version of a game ported all across the game stratosphere  and it still provides a bit of fun.

Now onto the big daddy…..


The Super Nintendo version.  This was the game I have been trying to topple since adolescence.  10 fighters, both a story mode and a tournament mode, April O’Neil commentating, what looks like Guile and Barbie at the Analysis desk and hordes of TMNT side characters filling up the exotic backgrounds of each character’s individual stage.  Let’s just the art direction of this game was off the charts awesome.


What is it that’s plagued me since childhood?   I know every CPU blocks endlessly but is there more to it than that.   I started with my child hood favorite Raph (you know, cool but crude!) and got to the 2nd match.   The 2nd match!!!   That Damn Aska!   Okay, I’m a huge shark fanatic; let’s go with Armaggon.   3rd match, Aska strikes again and I lose on time because I’m behind in health.   Okay, stepping up my game.  Who do the pros suggest I use?  Cyber Shredder?   Let’s roll with it.   As in any fighting game, diff. characters have diff. strengths and weaknesses.  Shredder’s strengths climb vastly above his weaknesses. This guy’s reach is crazy, his throw is great and his special saved me more times than I can count.  But, again 6 matches in and I’m done for.  Stupid Raph and his Sai energy power.



Well, let this be a lesson to any and all gamers out there: don’t stop trying to beat that game that plagues you night and day (unless it’s Ghouls n’ Ghosts; then just give up)



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