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Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection (PlayStation 5)By lukezeppo At 28.09.2022 22:16

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Let's start with the good; If ever a wasted youth was spent in an arcade, all the classics are included in this bundle. The superior (controversial opinion incoming) first TMNT Arcade game is here as well as the equally enjoyable (but not as good) Turtles in Time. Flights of fancy dreaming of purchasing an Arcade Cabinet over and over again have now been squashed knowing these are available on hand, at a much lower price point. There was never a question of emulation and in all cases these are replicated perfectly, however it is strange at times to see the backloading before the title runs. Perhaps an update is needed to make that disappear.
As well as the titles most will be familiar with, for your buck you get (deep breath):
Representing the NES, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TMNT II: The Arcade Game, TMNT III: The Manhattan Project, and TMNT: Tournament Fighters; on the SNES front TMNT IV: Turtles in Time and TMNT: Tournament Fighters; mega'ly on the Mega Drive TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist and TMNT: Tournament Fighters; and perfectly portably on the Gameboy TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan, TMNT II: Back from the Sewers, and TMNT III: Radical Rescue.

Essentially, if you have heard of it, it's great. If you haven't, well, maybe just see them as needing to be added to complete the bundle. Like a Premier League sticker album. Sure you want all the Liverpool stickers but Bournemouth, although it's there, isn't necessary. Still, it wouldn't be complete without being in the book. That feeling very much rears its ugly head when looking at Megadrive and Gameboy offerings. Tournament Fighters is a pale comparison to its SNES counterpart and the Gameboy games would have been cool to have as a child cursed with total Turtle fever, but in adulthood there's little to no gameplay on either. They are mind numbing in fact.

In terms of extras, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection delivers by the shell load (All shell puns, all the time). Enhancements are available for every title ranging from God mode, perfect for completing the NES original (although some of us did it for real, once, promise!), switching between Japanese and US releases and beginning from a specific level to get a full experience of the package without feeling pegged back by some nasty difficulty spikes. As with any retro collection the option to toggle borders, filters and quicksave and load has also been implemented. Expected, but always welcome.

Unfortunately at time of review the online lobbies could not be found although with previous releases from Digital Eclipse, there shouldn't be any problem whatsoever in terms of implementation. If you can play it with friends, the online is ready and waiting, just don't let anyone else be Donnie or you'll feel cheated.
The tip of the Sai comes in the form of the Turtles Lair, A collection of fantastic fan service to keep coming back to, squeezing every bit of nostalgia out and into a perfectly formed package. From the lair you can scroll back through years of TMNT history with all game manuals lovingly scanned, scans from the many tv series, comic book covers, strategy guides, full music tests, the list goes on. My 6-year-old self would have screamed with joy for all these extra features but the 36-year-old me did it instead. It's an excellent inclusion that really rounds off a fantastic package.

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Final Score
Although inconsistent in game quality, if you are looking for the ultimate TMNT package, it's here. Excellent games with a host of enhancements to improve the experience as well as a well thought out, well researched slice of pizza in it's extras section. Online only adds to the brilliance allowing that arcade experience from the comfort of your own sewer. [i]Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection[/i] has all the T.U.R.T.L.E Power that is ever needed. Cowabunga!



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