#650 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project


                                                                            Psst! Raph! The war is in the opposite direction!



                                                              Tonk and the Tonk-ettes come to croon – and bludgeon!


PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous



GENRE: Beat-em-up

RELEASE DATE: February 1992


Here’s Manhattan: home of the brash, outrageous, and green. The Turtles are back to curb-stomp Foot Soldiers, grow large with pizza, and prevent themselves from becoming soup for Shredder’s army of nightmares. In that regard, Turtles III is the best of the trilogy. The Turtles’ are lighter on their feet, their nerves sharper. You’ll still get thunked in the head (usually by girder-wielding Stone Warriors) but it will occur less often than the cheap back-and-forth pugilism found in Turtles II. The Turtles have a new valuable throw move which eliminates Foot Soldiers in one swipe. Since the move doesn’t take many frames of animation to perform, it’s easy to spam frequently. The environments are more varied and colorful than the previous two games. Turtles III begins on a beach in Florida, moves to the ocean where you’ll surf and fight atop a battleship (Baron Von Spleen’s Battle Barge!), then to Manhattan Bridge, the sewers, and back to the Technodrome. The levels don’t drag on needlessly either. Right when you’re beginning to grow wary of an stage, you’ll fight a boss or move on to the next area. Downside to the Turtles lovefest: every Turtle plays exactly the same. One would think Don would have a longer reach with his bo staff, Mike would be faster, Raph stronger – anything to distinguish the four. Not a game-breaker, but no excuse for lack of distinction. Turtles III is short, quick, and mean, and all the better for it. Giddy Manhattan.




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  • Sleepyweasel

    I always loved brawlers and the Turtles always seemed to do them justice. The quality only got better and better and the NES had Turtles in Time too. It is a shame this format of game is somewhat unheard of these days. I miss these old games.

  • Mike

    Great game, I still play it. Love that box illustration!
    And 3 enemies on screen at a time, wow. It seems little, but is 50% more than Double Dragon games offer, for instance. 😛

  • Arindam

    Leonardo's special attack was awesome; I wish they would carry it forward to Tournament Fighters as well, instead of the weak Spin kick they alloted him there.