I didn’t think they’d be able to do it, but Konami managed to pack all of the fun of TMNT II: The Arcade Game into an itty bitty Game Boy cartridge. Okay, maybe not all of the fun. Most of the fun? Some of the fun? Regardless, it’s a fun game; certainly better than most of the side-scrollers the Game Boy has to offer. I’m telling you right now, if you’re a fan of the old Turtles games, a fan of side-scrollers, or a fan of ’80s cartoons, you should just stop reading right now and pick this game up. Well, what are you waiting for? Hop to it!
You all know the story by now. Shredder captures April O’Neil, and it’s up to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to rescue her. We’ve seen it a million times over countless cartoons, many video games, and even a couple movies—and yet, we never tire of it. It just doesn’t get old, no matter how many times it’s used. Just like how we’ll never grow bored of helping Mario to save Princess Toadstool from the evil clutches of King Koopa, we gaming sheep will never stop wanting to help Donnie and the boys save April. It just won’t happen. Ever.
The controls are nice and simple. (Well they’d have to be, considering the original Game Boy only has, like, two real buttons.) You attack, you jump—that’s about it. Foot Soldiers can be taken out with only one shot, a welcome change from the console titles. You’d think this would make the game a ton easier, and you’d be right—your typical gamer might even be able to make the Foot Clan fall in his first time playing the game. Bosses are easier, too—they as well take fewer hits to defeat, though a few more than one. All in all, the game’s only five levels long, although the first stage is oddly longer than the others.
The main difference this game has over its console brethren, aside from the one-hit kills, is that you essentially only have four lives. There’s no “seven continues, with five lives per continue” here in Fall of the Foot Clan—no sir, this game is hardcore! Or, it would be if it weren’t so difficult to die. However, yes, you essentially only have four lives. You see, every time one of your turtles gets all of his life taken away, he is taken prisoner by Shredder and his gang, never to be seen again. Unlike the first NES turtles game, there is no way to free your captured compadres. Not that it really matters. Unless you suck and manage to die multiple times, you won’t get stuck playing as perennial loser Michelangelo. Just stick with Donatello the whole way and you’ll be fine.
The graphics of this game aren’t exactly the best for a Game Boy title, but oh well, you can deal. I love the music, though—Konami digitized the classic Turtles theme to perfection, and it plays during several of the game’s levels. And the sound effects aren’t too shabby, either. All told, this game isn’t gonna win any art competitions, but it’ll perk the ears of any fan of the original cartoon.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan is surprisingly good. I haven’t had much luck with Game Boy side-scrollers and I wasn’t expecting much from this title, but Konami showed me that they can work their magic on even the small screen. I already said to buy this game and there’s no sense in repeating myself; but I will anyway. Buy this game! There, I did it. Now actually go buy the game. I mean it. *sigh* kids these days, they never listen to their elders. Ah well, it’s not my fault if you miss out on this killer title. So whatever, man…whatever.
I played this one recently, and was able to beat it in a single sitting–a surprise, considering how poorly I normally do with arcade-style brawlers. You’re right about the lower difficulty, and I think that’s part of the appeal here; the controls are too sluggish otherwise for a more challenging game to be much fun.
As it turns out, it is possible to rescue your captured turtles; there are a few well-hidden minigames throughout the stages, and the reward for winning is bringing back your teammates.