Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters (SNES - 1993)


I will only be reviewing the Super Nintendo version, for I vaguely know about the NES and SEGA Genesis versions. Apparently there are major differences between all of them.

      Soon after the beginning of the Fighting Arcade video-game boom, Konami delivered its contribution to the genre with a TMNT fighter made for home consoles. While I was still a young'n and my older cousins were playing the ultra-violent Mortal Kombat 2, I was sitting in the other room and rocking "TMNT Tournament Fighters," ultimately defining, along with Street Fighter 2, my respect and passion for fighting games.

      The Super Nintendo version box-art included a mugshot of Donatello, which is pretty neat, since he's the most underrated fighter of the four, as well as some action between him and Armaggon as well as some smack talk against "Street Fighter."

Gameplay            [7.5]

- The "Tournament Mode" behind the game revolves around a fighting tournament, the turtles find out about it while munching out and watching cable. They also discover that Shredder is one of the participants, the turtles sign up for the tournament so they can best Shredder once and for all. In "Story Mode" April and Splinter are kidnapped by a mysterious "Karai" after the event of the turtles signing up for the tounament. In this mode you can only choose from the Ninja Turtles as playable characters, and you interact with each of your opponents before the fights, adding some suspense and a point behind the entire game itself, all while tracking down "Karai" and still competing in the tournament.
Now... This game is HARD, Not Mortal Kombat 3 Hard, but difficult enough. The default difficulty is 3 out of 7, and you need to play on difficulty mode 3 or higher to get the character ending, thus truly beating the game, so hopefully you can manage to beat your first opponent. If you don't know your special moves or your "Fierce" attacks... you're screwed. Be sure to practice on an idle 2player in versus mode, since there isn't a "Practice" or "Training" option on the main menu.
Like the game Power Rangers Fighting Edition, I question the choice of playable characters. Baxter, Bebop, Rocksteady and POSSIBLY Casey Jones are only seen in the background, all who would've made great additions to the roster, since they've already acquired a strong character presence within the series.
Yet I have to admit, The current characters are each unique and interesting enough, but a bitch to take down as an opponent.

Control                 [9]

- For a fighting game, the handling is simple in Tournament Fighters. Special moves are easy to maneuver and Ultimate moves are only a combination of a few buttons. The game lacks finishing moves, which used to be the selling point of all fighting games at the time, but also lessens the frustration of landing those hard to accomplish finishing button-config combos. It's not hard to master the controls of each character, the only control "problem" is getting knocked the F%$k out all the time. When using a special move, the other character can use a special projectile to cancel you out rendering you defenseless. It's a quick counter-reaction that is deservedly fair, but the CPU always knows when to use it.

Graphics              [8]

- Well done backgrounds and tough looking fighters, Turtles in Time would've been more badass if they used Tournament Fighter sprites.

Sound                    [9]

- The music doesn't contain Bleeps or blips... It has clear instrumentals. You can hear drums and distorted guitar to many of the songs. Some licks can be compared to Industrial rock and speed metal, while others tunes sound somewhat goofy depending on which stage you're fighting on...  The Keytar Lives on! - Lack of Main Menu Music, I find that it's somewhat needed to pump up the player.
- Check out tracks 5,8,9,10,11, and 20 in the sound-test menu.

Overall: Every stage has a different music track, and that's radical.

Replay Value      [6.5]

- Depending on how good you are with avoiding attacks and staying on your feet, Tournament Fighters is either enjoyable or frustrating. Beating the game with each turtle was a good challenge, and I still want more... Personally bringing up the replay value for myself. Eyeing up the Ultimate Gauge and unleashing the special attacks are always a moment of awesome.

Final Comments:

- If you're into fighting games, give it a try.  It's not my favorite fighting game, But I'll pop it into the console from time to time. Sadly, the only way to play it is to get the original cartridge.. Tournament Fighters isn't available on the virtual console, XBLA, or PsStore... I DO have an extra cartridge, since I bought another one just for the box and manual (scan below)
If you're a Ninja Turtles fan, check it out... It's not a disappointment to the series.




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