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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection
  opened by paleface at 21:58:22 08/30/22  
  last modified by paleface at 12:27:18 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS4; cat=Fighting; reg=NA]

Emulation seems solid, up to Digital Eclipse's usual. Being able to remove NES slowdown and flicker is good.
The extensive gallery ("Turtles' Lair") is nice, as is having the Japanese versions of the games.
Leonardo's attacks cause him to do a really annoying neutral jump in the original TMNT arcade version--that was wisely removed in the SNES version.
SNES Tournament Fighters does feel like an actual fighting game, but also kinda slow and punishing. For my actual play of it I'll have to mess with the speed and difficulty options.
Credit limits in the console versions... The collection's "Extra Lives" enhancement says it gives you up to 10 credits in the games' option menus...but I didn't see that option appear in SNES Tournament Fighters when I turned the enhancement on.
The Anime/Comic color option ("Comic" is slightly less bright colors) in some of the SNES/GEN games is kinda funny.
GEN Tournament Fighters feels real bad. Real bad. Feels like Eternal Champions, which is NOT GOOD. = o The NES Tournament Fighters feels (and kinda looks) a lot better. (The NES one did come out a while later than the other two, curiously enough; think I read it was the last Konami NES game.)
The first NES game (platformer) really blows. : P Well, just not my thing. I'm not into most platformers, I suppose. The two NES beat-em-ups seem really good though. The first hallway is DEFINITELY longer in the NES version of the arcade game! ; D
First GB game feels good, second and third look and feel progressively worse. = o

- Can't remap the R1 (pause menu) and L1 (rewind) buttons; this is a huge no-no, especially for FIGHTING GAMES where you might want to be able to set attacks on any of the EIGHT FACE BUTTONS on your ARCADE STICK. Sheesh! Hopefully they'll fix this in an update...but probably not. Argh.
- No in-game most lists for two of the three fighting games (the SNES one has pause menu access to an old strategy guide showing the moves).
(The video thumbnail is from The Manhattan Project opening cinematic, but flipped horizontally so YouTube wouldn't overlay the video duration over the reclining turtle. : P)
  paleface 23:40:15 08/30/22
(Bah well I swapped out the video thumbnail, now it's the fancy illustration of the four turtles from the game launch screen, which nobody else seems to be using, maybe because it's hard to capture unless you want to start recording on the XMB, which only unprofessional slobs like me do. : D Also now I can use that thumb for the The Manhattan Project episode. ^ _^)
  paleface 13:14:43 09/01/22
Playing through the 1989 arcade game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as Michelangelo:

The boss fights are almost all just back and forth slap fights, ugh. (Admittedly there are almost certainly techniques here for not sucking that I don't know.)
Overall, yeah maybe this isn't the greatest arcade beat-em-up--at least not single-player. I suppose back in the arcades in the day I only played it co-op--drained too many of my quarters otherwise! ; D The animation is a little slow compared to, say, Capcom beat-em-ups, and the boss fights are pretty boring. Nice art, though!
  paleface 21:06:07 09/01/22
The 1990 NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game as Michelangelo (slowdown and sprite flicker reduction options are on):

I'm such a chuckle-head that I forgot the Stage Select cheat was available as a toggle option under Enhancements--I read the actual cheat code for it off the Pause menu Strategy Guide and entered it manually (used the combo one because I'd already enabled the 10 Lives cheat, via Enhancements):
I had thought at first that using a Continue made you restart the whole stage, and was worried I'd need to use the God Mode cheat in order to get through the last stage, even with 10 lives--fortunately, Continue restarts you at a mid-stage checkpoint, so I didn't *quite* end up needing to resort to God Mode. ^_ ^
I like the combat better than in the actual arcade version because it makes me feel like I actually have a chance, if I get the inputs right, to get away without taking a counter-hit every time--except maybe against the later bosses who just hit you when they want to with an instant counter-attack. : P Final boss Shredder actually *doesn't* do that so much, making him one of the easiest bosses in the game--aside from the time or two he's gonna get an insta-kill with his devolvo-ray, and as long as your hands and brain don't get numb from constant quick jump-kicks.
The turtle's move speed here is SLOWER than the regular ninjas, unlike the arcade version, and feels really bad at first--and those purple regular ninjas end up being pretty much the toughest enemies in the whole game--aside maybe from those new "A6 Annihilator" (that's what the Strategy Guide calls them) robots, whose rays you can't even SEE against the light gray background of the final stage ; P (1:57:15). But the jump-kicks are a lot faster. I probably overused them a bit. : P
The limited lives/continues, longer stages, and extra stages do make this version kinda more excruciating to get through, though. ; ) The bosses of the new stages are a little extra tough, too! I was out of it enough to think that the "Mike" in the upper left of the screen was the new park stage boss' name, when it was actually my own turtle's short name. : PPP
  paleface 15:09:58 09/02/22
Oh also, I'm an idiot: I think I said somewhere in here--or was it in the next episode, on the NES one--that Konami should've taken a clue from Capcom's Final Fight or something and made the action snappier. But TMNT came out on Oct 11, '89--and Final Fight didn't come out until a month and a half AFTER that: Nov. 25th, 1989. So...I guess Konami can't be blamed for not copying Final Fight. = P
  paleface 16:04:39 09/02/22
There's no in-game volume adjustment. What is this, a Dreamcast game? ; P
  paleface 21:31:55 09/02/22

Playing through the 1991 arcade game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time as Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection on PS4!
You feel a bit more in control while fighting the regular baddies in this second arcade game--it's kind of possible NOT to take a counter-hit sometimes. However, the enemies are now REALLY fast at surrounding you, and then you can really take a pasting, which is frustrating. The bosses fights are more varied and less boring this time around; they still tend to have the "the boss will just hit you whenever they want" thing, though--especially the final showdown vs Shredder, who is maybe trying to get his revenge for being a pushover in the NES port of the first arcade game.
Speaking of which, this game actually takes some of the new elements introduced in the NES port of the first arcade game! Namely, the blue ninjas with swords, and the small roundish robots who shoot energy hoops--versions of those two things first appeared in 1990's NES "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game."
The pixel art is quite nice!
Overall, probably an improvement over the first arcade game, but still doesn't feel like a classic, at least not in single-player. Has some really obnoxious bits, like the scrolling levels with weird exploding yellow Geiger rip-off Aliens, or helicopters, or laser turrets, or all the new lightning flashes, especially the huge lightning flashes in the pirate level. And the time jumping makes the game feel a bit scattered; when the credits rolled after an extremely brief ending scene, I found myself feeling a bit like "did I just play a whole game?" The first game IS more cohesive. Hm. And I was really surprised that Bebop and Rocksteady don't show up at all in this one!
  paleface 17:23:01 09/03/22
Don't know if I knew that a somewhat butchered version of the arcade Turtles in Time was unlockable in the PS2 game TMNT 3: Mutant Nightmare. Or did I know about that back in the day but passed on it because I'd already got a similarly butchered port of the first arcade game in the PS2 TMNT: Battle Nexus (see entry 688)--which had taken 4-5 hours of slogging through the PS2 game to unlock? : P
  paleface 17:32:14 09/03/22
Apparently the original TMNT theme music was replaced in the Collection's version of the first arcade game.
  paleface 00:21:09 09/04/22

The SNES Turtles in Time changed most the boss fights, added a stage or two, Mode 7, more bosses, and altered the fighting mechanics. Fighting the regular guys feels better than the arcade version; sure the animation isn't as nice, but they don't surround you immediately. Uh except for those darned boomerang frisbee guys, a single one of which can surround you, effectively--two can juggle you to death!
Some bosses, like Leatherhead, have almost proper boss patterns now--although his is probably too easy. Robo-Krang's is WAY too easy; flying-car-Krang's too, maybe.
Other bosses, like the new "Slash" in the dino stage, and the sorta-new final boss, can kill you whenever they feel like it--sort of like the arcade version bosses, only worse.
Except when I was at the Shredder Tank boss, using a Continue made me replay the entire stage.
That Shredder Tank boss... He's in the foreground, and you're watching over his shoulder as he targets your turtle with his tank; he's blocking most of the screen, constantly hitting you while you're trying to fight off the endlessly respawning enemies, and, on Hard, all the enemies are the type that block nearly all attacks; to damage the boss--Shredder's Tank--you have to throw an enemy at the screen by hitting them at close range while they're keeled over from a previous hit, but you can't do it if they block all the hits.
Couldn't figure out how to get them to keel over. Checked the FAQs, which said to use a dash attack to stun them--but I couldn't seem to dash while the Collection's "Button Dash" "Enhancement" option was toggled on. (In the arcade version of Turtles in Time, too.) And Enhancement settings save with the save state, so I had to quit, turn Button Dash off, and restart from the beginning.
Update: Found the answer: "Button Dash" maps dash to R2. Problems with this:
- The game doesn't tell you dash gets mapped to R2
- The game lets you map other functions to R2, which kind of breaks the button dash a bit
- Button Dash doesn't work if you set the SNES game's Dash option to Manual
I sent that ( and a tweet about Stage Select not working on Hard to @DigitalEclipse -- and actually got an encouraging reply from their President, @MikeJMika -- so I tweeted them two further input suggestions:
- Let players map single controls, rather than having to reset d-pad and all buttons just to set one button
- Let players remap R1 & L1 (but force mapping Menu to SOMEthing):
- stick players expect access to all 8 buttons
- accidental R1 (Menu) would DQ player in a fighting tournament
And the Stage Select "Enhancement" doesn't work when the difficulty is set to Hard. So I had to take my save state, some three stages back from where I'd run out of continues against the final boss, and save scum through.
Michelangelo's name is misspelled "Michaelangelo" in the cast roll at the end.
Update 2: OH that's how it was spelled until 2001.
  paleface 00:34:08 09/05/22

Trying and failing to play through Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (an NES game) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hyperstone Heist (a Genesis game), then managing--thanks to save-scumming the final stage--to get through the refreshing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (a Game Boy game).
I kinda burned out on the TMNT beat-em-ups. ]_[
I thought The Manhattan Project was gonna be a breeze what with the simple controls and the infinite lives "Enhancement" the Collection has, but every fight is a slap fight (you hit them, they hit you) and it got to be a drag real fast. Sucks 'cause I LOVE the graphics in this one, they're just about perfect.
Hyperstone Heist feels like a remix of Turtles in Time. I think I'm overloaded on Turtles in Time. You can hit most people easy with Dash,Jump,Attack, although I kept screwing it up and doing the flying kick that costs some of your health. OH! Also I accidentally quit and restarted at the beginning and forgot to go back into the game's options and set my lives and continues to 5 from 3 again, so I was finding it hard to survive through the back to back bosses in Scene 4: The Gauntlet. Urgh. Wasn't into it enough to keep re-trying, or to do save-scumming.
Fall of the Foot Clan feels real easy at first; difficulty ramps up in stages 4 and 5 though! So I resorted to save-scummage rather than learning the last stage properly, wheee! Don't like a few of the obstacles it pops on you here and there, but otherwise it's a lot of fun. Final boss ISN'T Shredder for once, and it turns out you just stand there and jab him instead of like, trying to dodge and jump over him. Lovely cutscene pixel art, excellent sound FX. Fave game in the collection so far!
Next up are the fighting games!
  paleface 21:29:56 09/05/22

These are not very good fighting games. But they were early in fighting game history--late '93, and early '94 for the NES one--and probably the only thing that would have felt better at the time would have been Street Fighter II...maybe the first Samurai Shodown as well (I'm thinking of the arcade versions, because I haven't really played the old home ports much, and also I'm quite possibly mostly confusing SamShoI with SamShoII). And for Turtles fans, maybe especially vs other humans--which I have not done--they could've been a hoot.
The AI is bad in all of them: sometimes it will go on a seemingly unstoppable killing spree; other times you can hit it with the same move until it dies. The final boss in the SNES version was brain dead, the difficulty and weird fighter strength settings in the Genesis version (I got "bad" endings in the Genesis and SNES versions for playing them on the easiest difficulty : p) seemed to make no difference, and I kept one AI twitching in the corner for almost a full round--until I intentionally "let it out" by backing away--in the NES version--although that one I could actually play on the default difficulty, albeit with save scumming...because these games just didn't feel good enough to try to play for real, and because they had limited continues, ugh.
Backgrounds in all three are decent, and some in the Genesis version are even rather cool. Character sprites aren't bad--I really like the NES sprites--but the animation in the Genesis version is terrible.
Throws in all versions do too much damage--although I suppose even SFII had that--and are worst in the Genesis version, where the AI seemed able to counter-throw ANY move on block, or after its own moves; heck, in that version, the AI could do any of its other moves while its own fireballs were only partway across the screen!
In general the fighting doesn't feel good. Pushback is wildly inconsistent--although in the NES version, basic footsies and blocking actually feels kind of good. In fact, once in a while something that seemed almost like a cool fighting game thing happened in the NES version, like when I would make a last second comeback on one pixel of health with a super move--and the shtick there of picking up a bouncing ball to do a super move, only your opponent can knock you down and take the ball for themselves, is SORT of interesting.
Playing on an arcade stick, it doesn't help that you can't remap R1 and L1; this was particularly annoying for me in the SNES version, with four, KOF-style buttons, where I would normally have HK on R1 (my stick buttons are re-wired for a Brook NEOGEO adapter), but here had the buttons together in the center of the stick--and you're still at risk of accidentally triggering the R1 Pause menu, DQ-able in a real tournament.
Static SFX in the Genesis version appears to be a shortcoming of the emulation: it wasn't a problem in the other Genesis game in this collection, Hyperstone Heist, and is better in this non-Cowabunga-Collection of Genesis Tournament Fighters by Loading Geek , and much better in this one by NintendoComplete .
Hit another input bug that I reported to @DigitalEclipse:
PS4 Tournament Fighters (Genesis): If you map Taunt (C) to Circle, then load a save state saved in neutral during a match, when you hit Circle to back out of the R1 Pause menu, your character in the state you just loaded will be taunting.
In the Genesis version, I missed that when your health is low, Taunt will do a super move! Wasn't in the Strategy Guide. Move lists period would've been nice--only the SNES version has them.
Maybe coming out later than the others helped the NES version; it ended up being my favorite. None of them feel like games I'll want to come back to for gameplay.
  paleface 11:39:04 02/06/24
Download added: 33_ff_mes_ges.png (2150 bytes)
  "FF guessing minigame (Mesen): "BIGGER/SMALLER" = YOUR number, not Shredder's"
Tried a couple via Mesen:
II TAG (NES): Regular ninjas & robots a slog 2 fight; bosses still a slap fight
FotFC (GC): Movement slow & clunky; feels like more ticks in main theme looping constantly; screwed up guessing game ("BIGGER/SMALLER" = YOUR number, not Splinter's : P)
· Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus (PS2)

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