Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (SG)
I didn’t even know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist existed until Matt gave it to me as a birthday present last year. He didn’t even know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist existed until he saw it for sale at GameStop last year, and decided to give it to me as a birthday present. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, on the other hand, we had been playing together for years. To me, this begs a couple of questions: How could a Ninja Turtles title for a major console have slipped by the radar of two video game fans who were just as obsessed with TMNT as the next 80’s born boy? Could it be because we knew that Nintendo is what Segain’t, or could it be that there is something terribly wrong with The Hyperstone Heist? The truth lies somewhere between these two choices.
Turtles in Time (which has the unfortunate acronym of TiT; please don’t hold that against it) is one of my favorite titles of all time, ranking with such gaming luminaries as ToeJam and Earl, and Secret of Mana. (That should give you an idea of how this article is going to end, but please, don’t stop reading now!) I was frothing at the mouth to get my grimy little hands on this title when it was released in 1992, and to this date, it’s yet to disappoint. I’ve beaten the game over and over again, on all three modes of difficulty, with a friend and by myself. With its awesome time-traveling plotline and it’s classic side-scrolling gameplay, Turtles in Time is truely timeless.
Which is perhaps what makes it unfair to compare The Hyperstone Heist with TiT. In a world without Turtles in Time, THH could perhaps be a timeless classic itself; but in comparison, The Hyperstone Heist has nothing on its Super Nintendo counterpart. Its storyline is ripped almost entirely from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III on the NES (bad stuff happens to New York City, Turtles must fix it), there are far fewer levels and bosses than in TiT, and the sound effects… well… don’t sound as good. The Super Nintendo game is audibly a lot less fuzzy. Also, THH has an inherent problem in being a Genesis title — the three button standard controller just doesn’t work out as well for nearly any title as it would for that same title on SNES; the layout is awkward, and there aren’t enough things to push to make gaming for the SG feel intuitive.
Given all of that, I’m sure the winner in this matchup is obvious. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Hyperstone Heist is a fine game in itself, and I completely recommend it for any fan of the Green Machine; but it, like most other side-scrollers, doesn’t hold a candle to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. And, to be honest, I don’t think that any Ninja Turtles game ever will.
Winner: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)