#651 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters

                                      

                                                                                      Konami’s covers are always fantastic.

 

                                    

                                                                            It’s like I’m playing the end of the first movie!

 

PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous

PUBLISHER: Konami

DEVELOPER: Konami

GENRE: Fighting

RELEASE DATE: February 1994

 

A Turtles fighting game is a brilliant idea, but on the NES? With a controller that only has two buttons and a D-Pad that’s as stiff as the President’s shoulders? Konami probably shouldn’t have bothered, but I’ll give them this: compared to previous fighting game attempts on the system (like Best of the Best or Karate Champ), Tournament Fighters is among the most fulfilling. A variety of modes – Story, VS Player, VS CPU, and Tournament – keep the action alive and well. In Story Mode, you’re forced to play as one of the four Turtles, but in the VS mode, you can play as Shredder (and Casey Jones and Hothead, but c’mon… Shredder). There’s no getting around the stiff controls, but each character’s move list is surprisingly simple to execute. The move list for the characters isn’t Street Fighter II-worthy, but Konami makes the most of the limited buttons – five-to-six moves per Turtle, and four moves per VS. only characters. Learn them well: the A.I. bounces between pushover and menacing, with a healthy portion of jerkface. Tournament Fighters was Konami’s final game for the NES and they spared no expense. The character sprites are large and detailed, the fighting is smooth and fast, and the soundtrack is as intricate as some 16-bit games. If you want to play Tournament Fighters in earnest, pick up an NES Advantage. Otherwise, be prepared to wrestle with the controls, as well as your Turtle brothers.

 

B-

 

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  • Simon Demetriou

    Not sure how this game scores a grade b, its by far the worst of the 4 turtles games. Slow gameplay and terrible controls.

    • Lee Taggart

      Because, as he explained, compared to the only other two games on the NES that attempted this style of gameplay, this one did it the best. The NES really didn’t have one-on-one Street Fighter-style games, so for a kid who had an NES and no 16-bit consoles growing up, this was the only way I could get my fighting game fuckery on, and I loved it. It controls incredibly well for a fighter on the NES, and the gameplay is as slow or fast as you want it to be depending on your style. I’ve played this game with friends and it can get quite frantic.