Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection Review thumbnail

TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection Review

Pizza time

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on 🍕

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is also available for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is rated Teen by the ESRB

If you're into classic beat 'em ups then I have good news because Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is now here.

│ We love to hear from our visitors even if you disagree so please leave a respectful comment after reading this review. 🤝

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection screenshot 1
Shredder's looking feeble at his old age

Arcade games

To kick things off, we have 2 excellent arcade games. In fact, 2 of the best console TMNT games are adaptations of these. First, the simply-named Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from 1989 is a superb beat 'em up that I actually haven't played before. It looks a lot better than its NES adaptation and it plays well, too, even if the bosses can be frustrating at times. Thankfully, Turtles in Time from 1991 is also here which improves upon the original in many ways from its more appealing visuals to its super-moves that make smashing the Foot Clan up even more fun. Plus, the fact that you travel to various eras makes for one varied and unconventional campaign. v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140

Game Boy trilogy

On the other end of the quality spectrum, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection includes all 3 Game Boy games which definitely haven't held up as well. I remember playing Fall of The Foot Clan constantly when I was a kid, especially in the back seat of my mom's car but memories aside, it's as clunky as you'd expect a Game Boy TMNT game to be. For starters, all 3 of these games primarily involve side-scrolling action which takes some of the fun away. Oh, and the turtles just look plain goofy in the sequel Back From The Sewers. The final game, Radical Rescue, feels more like a Mega Man game with Metroidvania elements and it's the best of the 3 for sure albeit impressively challenging. Rescuing the other turtles who each have their own abilities is certainly rewarding stuff. 🐢

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection screenshot 2
Fond memories don't always mean good games

NES trilogy

Next, the 3 games that long-time fans like myself will probably know best. The first NES game (again, just called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is a very weird and perplexing adventure that tests your ability to survive its grueling 2D stages. In between them, you navigate a world map which is nifty. Although the special weapons are neat, parts like disarming bombs underwater with a time limit will surely drive you mad. Next, there's a port of The Arcade Game which has held up as beautifully as the title it's based on, especially with its enjoyable additional levels. Finally, we have The Manhattan Project which feels like a follow-up to the arcade original and is just as entertaining. In fact, I'd say that its special moves and clever situations make it an even better game; it's a blast, dude! 😄

Turtles in Time + The Hyperstone Heist

For more retro beat 'em up greatness, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection includes a couple of 16-bit gems. Turtles in Time is obviously a Super NES port of the arcade game with the same name but it does feature its own unique elements such as the iconic battle against Shredder where you have to launch Foot Soldiers towards the screen. Last up, The Hyperstone Heist is a Sega Genesis classic that offers solid beat 'em up fun although it does kind of feel like the developers didn't try to do anything special with its gameplay. It looks great and it's fun with a friend but I just wish it was more distinct considering it's the last of the classics. 🥺

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection screenshot 3
You hit her pretty hard there, Leo

Tournament Fighters

Finally, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection also contains a few iterations of the fighting game spin-off Tournament Fighters which debuted on SNES and Genesis and was later ported to NES. To be frank, I don't enjoy these fighters as much as the beat 'em up titles but there are some good times to be had, especially considering that the Super NES version can be played online. Not only that, the SNES version is clearly the best considering the NES and Genesis iterations are rather simple. Being able to use each face button for different attacks as well as unleash a super-attack after filling a gauge makes the SNES release much better-rounded. 😊

Extras

Thankfully, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is bursting with oodles of extras. In addition to being able to play the 2 arcade games, The Hyperstone Heist, and Tournament Fighters online, you can also play the USA or Japanese region release for every game. There are also enhancements that allow you to toggle slowdown and flickering as well as various cheats and modernizations. Plus, you can remap controls and apply visual filters and zooms. Being able to rewind and create save states are nice bonuses, too.

On top of all this, there is a fantastic amount of museum-style content such as scans of game boxes, manuals, magazine ads, press kits, catalogues, and comic book covers. You also get screenshots from each episode of 4 TMNT animated TV show series that debuted in 1987, 2003, 2012, and 2018 which is great because I fondly remember some of the original series' episodes from the '90s. There's a ton of behind-the-scenes things, too, like design documents and concept art and you can even listen to each included game's soundtrack which is awesome. Heck, they even made a new retro-style strategy guide that you can flip through. How cool is that? 😎

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection screenshot 4
I wish I still had my box; why did I throw them out back in the day?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is jam-packed with nostalgia, extras, and most importantly, a baker's dozen of classic games. If you're a fan of beat 'em ups then order some Pizza Hut, invite the neighbourhood kids over, and have a blast.

  • + Includes nearly every classic TMNT game and they're well-emulated to boot
  • + Tons of extra museum-style content
  • + Multiplayer is great locally or online
  • - Only about half of the included games have held up well since they originally released
8.3 out of 10
Gameplay video for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection
The Angry Video Game Nerd Trivia

Comments for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection Review

© Video Chums 2014-2022. All rights reserved. Latest article published . Privacy Policy - Video Index - Category Index - Rapid Fire Review Index