It’s another Game Boy Log, and this time we’re throwing pizza parties and scraping with shinobi
(and before you say anything, yes I do know that ninja and shinobi are not the same thing, but scraping with shinobi sounds good to me). It’s Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan, developed and published by Konami, and published by Ultra (read Konami) in North America.
Konami have made a host of Turtles games over the years and this one was their first attempt on the Game Boy, but how did it turn out?
It’s an action game with some platforming elements that will have you controlling one of the four turtles: Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo or Donatello through stages filled with enemies from the Shredder’s Foot Clan, as well as robots of one type or another. Anyone familiar with the cartoon series that ran from the late 80s through to the mid 90s will instantly recognise a lot of the material in this game, with the art, sprites and music in the game faithfully following the game’s source material. The Turtles each carry their signature weapons to do battle with enemies in the game and bosses that you’ll encounter at the end of each stage.
The entire game plays out in a familiar manner; pick one of the four heroes to make your way through each stage from left to right. As you progress an enemy, or enemies, with pop up from one, or both sides of the screen, where you will be expected to dispatch them. The Turtles can perform a simple swipe with their weapon, throw a ninja star while crouching, or kick while jumping to deal with enemies. There are pizza pick-ups that will restore a portion of your health and dangers like pitfalls that you’ll have to avoid if you expect to make it to the end of the stage, and some bonus mini games hidden for you to find. Gameplay is simple stuff, maybe too simple for some people. The first time a Foot Clan ninja jumps onto screen it can be dramatic, but after the tenth time you defeat him with the slightest wave from your bō staff it starts too feel a little underwhelming. One interesting idea is that each turtle in the game acts like a continue. When one is beaten you’ll be shown a picture of them being captured, and that turtle won’t be usable for the rest of the playthrough.
On the plus side of things are the visuals. As I wrote, things are very recognizable in Fall of the Foot Clan. The character sprites are nice and big, and are a very good representation of the Turtles and their villains on the Game Boy. This carries over to the scenes in the game in between levels, and these help to link up the stages and the story, thought there isn’t much of a story. April O’Neil has been kidnapped by Shredder for undisclosed reasons and it’s up to you to save her. Music is good and the attempt to recreate the Turtles’ theme is a nice inclusion.
Now onto the game’s biggest problem; it’s too short. When I say short we’re dealing in minutes here, around 20 minutes if you breeze through the game like I did on my first attempt. That’s short, too short if you ask me. On top of that, the problem is compounded by the fact that there’s little reason for most people to replay the game. If you enjoyed it like I did then maybe in a few months you might revisit the adventure when the memory of it’s faded a bit, but realistically, the really simple and repetitive gameplay will probably mean most will have had their fill the first time around.
Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan is like eating a tasty sandwich that you only get a quarter of, if you’ll excuse my clumsy analogy. You like what you’ve eaten, but you wanted the whole sandwich, and that that’s the problem here. The game is certainly not bad, there’s just not enough there to really excite anyone but the older Turtles fans out there. The good thing is this game’s not expensive. I Picked up a loose cartridge for £5 and for that I can’t really complain, and it’s not uncommon for copies to be sold on ebay for under £10.
When it comes to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan I enjoyed what was there, I just wish there was more of it.
I give Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan a 6 out of 10.
For Stage – Select, this has been Ed, signing off.