Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection review – A great pizza with a taste of nostalgia

Konami draws from its catalog to offer a compilation of 13 games entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, particularly well cared for.

Created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in 1984 in comics. For the record, a rat who became an expert in martial arts by observing his master pupil in turn raises turtles – Leonardo, Donatello, Michel-Angelo and Raphaël – in the sewers of New York. A mutagen is responsible for explaining the transformation of this panel into anthropomorphic creatures. At the time, I had a relative attraction for this license, having followed the entire cartoon, seen the films at the cinema, collected the Panini image album and incidentally played a few video games.

We can therefore say that I am in the target audience of the compilation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, which plays the nostalgia card to the fullest. From the introduction and presentation of the various titles on offer, we feel a dose of passion and particularly careful work from the studio. Digital Eclipseon behalf of the Japanese publisher Konami. It’s like the borders that can be displayed around the game to keep the period format, even if I personally switched back to the sobriety of the black bands so as not to be too distracting.

The addition of an online mode for certain games, saves, key mapping, development sketches, period media including advertisements and notices, OSTs, help in the form of walkthroughs such as in magazines of yesteryear, the choice between Japanese and North American versions — failing to have the PAL –, optional improvements for each game whose cheat codes are part of the list illustrating the care taken by the studio to this compilation.

For games from the 90s, we know that the eyes will sting with very coarse pixel shots. The possibility of applying a filter makes it possible to attenuate the massacre while experiencing a certain nostalgia when one finds the visual of cathode-ray televisions. Regarding Game Boy games, starting with Fall of the Foot Clan (1990), it is truly a visual experience to indulge in on the big screen. We can only be admiring in the face of the decorations made up of shades of gray, which we discerned at the time through a magnifying glass for the best equipped while carefully orienting the screen according to the light. The slow and jerky movements of his character filling the screen strongly limit the playful interest, but the compilation does not stop there.

A compilation of thirteen games

If the list of thirteen games constituting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection may seem plethoric, it is also because it plays on the variations of the same game on several media. The iconic Turtles in Time is thus offered both in its Super version nintendo and arcade machine, while Tournament Fighters (1993) comes in three versions. The panel is nonetheless varied, bringing together Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games released on Game Boy, NES, Super Nintendo, Mega Drive and arcade machine. They can be grouped into three categories: action-platforming, combat and beat ’em up.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection

It is especially in this last genre – playable with several people locally – that TMNT has made an impression and it is particularly interesting to see how the recipe has improved over time, with its myriad of small details and touches. of humor. The title Turtles in Time (1991) is an apotheosis, to be reserved for the end so as not to spoil the other mouthfuls. It is also more accessible, some bosses of beat ’em up older ones being incredibly long and tedious, all the more so in the absence of a life bar. The ancestral difficulty is however relative thanks to the possibility of rewinding, which has become a norm with retro games. With one touch, you go back in time for a handful of saving seconds.

Moreover, the traumatic difficulty of the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989) in the action-platform category will require rewinding countless times. Like a Zelda II, you browse the map from an aerial view and dive into the 2D action. You can change turtles at any time, each with their favorite weapon and a short life bar. The quest for pieces of pizza to raise his life bar becomes providential. The developers behind this compilation offer in the options to remove the jerks and disappearances of pixels from the original version, an optimization model at the time and I am obviously ironic, even sarcastic.

Conclusion

We understand that the real defect of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is simply found in the games it offers. They had their share of faults that nostalgia partly erases, while questioning new players about the masochism of the old ones. But when you were a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, indulging in licensed games was priceless.

With a little hindsight today, we can see that Turtles in Time and The Hyperstone Heist have aged very well, while the packaging offered by Digital Eclipse admirably defines the current expectations for a compilation. For the other titles, it’s more about curiosity and video game archeology, made accessible by the possibility of rewinding the course of the game. And you can just watch a game by joining when you want for players in a hurry . However, I did not dwell on Tournament Fighters, a copy of Street Fighter II whose interest today is minimal to my taste.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is available on nintendo-switchPlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series X/S and PC.

Test carried out by Agahnon on PC from a version provided by the publisher.

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