Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Review of the Cowabunga Collection

While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Having not made any waves on the big screen since 2016, the franchise as a whole has grown greatly with a new show and brand new games. Hot on the heels of success Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revengeimmersed the series in its arcade and home classics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection.

Porting many classic titles from the late 80’s and early 90’s to modern consoles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection contains a huge amount of game history in a single package. However, in order to maintain the classic experience of the games in this collection, some titles are showing their age without making enough improvements to bring them in line with modern releases.


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The crown jewel of Cowbunga Collection is easily the original TMNT Arcade Cabinet titles as well as the SNES port of the second of these two games, turtles in time. Those special rates were incredible then, and they’re still true today, with improvements like increased enemy density and faster movement speed.

Each entry in the Cowbunga Collection contains an upgrade menu that allows players to make changes to the game. For the two arcade titles, these expansions are incredibly extensive, with a “God Mode” that makes players nearly invincible, a “Nightmare Mode” that fills the screen with enemies, and a “Turbo Mode” that makes the Increases the speed the Ninja Turtles move. Each of these upgrades can completely transform the game, especially Nightmare Mode and the absolute mayhem it brings to every playthrough.

In addition to the new improvements, the most popular titles on the Cowbunga Collection are also among the most influential games of all time. While individual enjoyment of these games in 2022 will most likely be influenced by personal experience and nostalgia, TMNT: The Arcade Game and turtles in time are already icons of side-scrolling beat-’em-ups. So when it comes to how impressive the collection itself is, it can be hard to beat a lineup with so many games that have been defining genres for decades.

To the same extent as many of the games in the Cowbunga Collection are iconic, however some of the weaker inclusions in the bundle can trip things up. This is most notable for titles that appear to have been added to fill out the list of available games, made worse by very small improvements. Considering this collection hails from the era of “Nintendo Hard” titles with punishing resets and clunky controls, there’s still room for improvement in port quality.

The most notable point of contention on the Cowbunga Collection‘s list comes from the three installments of TMNT: Tournament Fighter who appear. While it makes perfect sense for a classic collection to have one of these titles, especially the SNES or Sega Genesis versions, the original Nintendo Entertainment System version of the game is unnecessary. With two vastly superior games to choose from for both online and offline gameplay, it’s odd that the worst of the three is included. That being said, the differences between the SNES and Genesis versions are big enough to potentially justify both.

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The same criticism exists for two of the three Game Boy titles, TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan and TMNT: Back from the sewers. Both are incredibly short and feel like an attempt at a 90’s port of arcade games to mobile devices. Aside Back from the sewers A perfect example of old-fashioned “Nintendo Hard” punishment, there’s nothing negative about these titles. Still, their inclusion seems more in case to fill out the list and include the first two games before the much better one Radical Rescuewhich honestly could have stood alone as the sole representation TMNT on GameBoy.

Of course, even if there are a few games that don’t contribute to excellence, they can’t bring the quality of the collection down too far. Also, the list of games is only half the equation for a package like this. What brings development to the Cowunga Collection The focus is on the exhibited emulation software. While the emulator built into the collection isn’t as extensive as some software available on PC, it includes a decent amount of quality of life improvements not typically found on console.

Follow in the footsteps of emulators like the one developed for the Nintendo Switch Online virtual consoles Cowunga Collection offers the possibility to save immediately and at any time and to rewind a few seconds. These can go a long way in curbing issues players may be having with the difficulty. In particular, the hard resets to either the start of the game or the start of a level can be mitigated by careful use of rewind and save states. However, allowing only one save state for each game will limit the functionality of these quality of life improvements.

In the end, the quality of life improvements from the emulation and the expansions make the collection a brilliant way to play a classic TMNT Titles on modern consoles. Nothing has been “ruined” by being tweaked for modernization purposes, and the emulation only improves games to make them more manageable. Combine this with the Cowunga Collection‘s local and online co-op, and there’s never been a better time to be one Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gaming fan.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is now available for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. A PS5 code was provided to Game Rant for this review.

MORE: Digital Eclipse and Konami unveil the Cowabunga Collection’s treasure trove of TMNT content

https://gamerant.com/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-the-cowabunga-collection-review/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Review of the Cowabunga Collection


TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: tarasubramaniam@interreviewed.com.

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