It’s no secret that I’m a fan of both the original and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. There’s not too many of us in existence, you know; most people who have followed either series fit into one of two categories: they either hate the new one from being different from the old one, or are too young to know that Baxter Stockman is supposed to be a mutant fly, not a human head with robotic legs. I am one of few who can watch both series without being overcome with nausea, and thus I feel it’s my obligation to bring to you:
THE BATTLE OF THE TWO NINJA TURTLE GAMES THAT ARE NUMBER TWO IN THEIR RESPECTIVE SERIES
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game (NES): A huge step-up from the original Ninja Turtles NES title, The Arcade Game originated the side-scrolling gameplay that would go on to define the series in later years. For the first time in the series small history, two players could join in the action at once, making this game a hit with those who have friends. Although toned down graphically from the actual arcade version, The Arcade Game stands out as one of the more enjoyable titles for the original Nintendo. Your plotline is much simpler here than with Battle Nexus: shock of shocks, April O’Neil has been kidnapped by Shredder, and it’s up to the Green Machine to rescue her. Along the way you do battle with Beebop, Rocksteady, the aforementioned Baxter Stockman, and various other of the Shredder’s henchmen on your way to rescue the yellow-clad news reporter.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus (GCN): Battle Nexus lives up to the standard of suck suck set by the previous Turtles title for this console generation, and its only saving grace is that it actually features a version of The Arcade Game as unlockable — a better version, no less. The one that was actually IN the arcades. The fact that Battle Nexus offers this puts it a few steps ahead of The Arcade Game — not only is the classic here more visually impressive, but it’s also four-player. The main game itself is also four-player (a feature inexplicably left out of the first one) but once you put the time into this game that it requires for you to unlock The Arcade Game, you’ll never go back. If Konami is really serious about gaining a new fanbase for their Ninja Turtles franchise, they need to pay attention to this — the gameplay of The Arcade Game outshines the gameplay of Battle Nexus in every way.
It would appear as though the most logical decision here would be to give the win to The Arcade Game — after all, I’ve seemingly had a much more fun with that than I’ve had with Battle Nexus. But that’s not entirely true. Despite that the main game of Battle Nexus is horrendous and in desperate need of alteration, it offers a more fun version of The Arcade Game than does the NES cartridge. It seems weird, I know; but the driving force behind Battle Nexus is an unlockable, and the basis for my decision here is that the unlockable, and the unlockable alone, provides more fun than the entire NES game.
Winner: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus (GCN)