Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade

OH NOES!  APRIL'S IN TROUBLE!Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Release Date: 3/14/2007
Genre: Beat ’em up
Players: 1-4

When I was a mere eight or nine years old I remember begging my mom to take me to the local mall just so I could play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I even went so far as to pick her a bouquet of dandelions to convince her to make the five mile trip one day after school. Hey, in my adolescent mind I thought it would get me some free games and I was right. I was excited when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game was released on the NES, but I knew deep in my little heart that it paled in comparison to its big brother. So when Konami brought the original arcade game to the Xbox 360 Live Arcade last week, I woke up at 6am that morning, fired up the machine, and spent the next hour reliving my childhood memories.

Many youngsters may not realize it, but TMNT 1989 Classic Arcade is from the age when the Turtles ate pizza and said “Cowabunga” on a regular basis. Honestly they were more of a good-natured goof than the action-packed version that you’ll find on Fox (and in movie theaters on Friday). Regardless, this Xbox Live port is dead on, allowing up to four individuals to play as any of the four teenage turtle brothers either locally or even on Xbox Live. It’s a beat ’em up in the truest sense, quite similar to Final Fight which was also in arcades around the same time.

Really there’s not much to controlling a turtle other than lining up horizontally with an enemy and jamming the attack button as rapidly as you can. While this eliminates much of the Footclan with ease, you’ll have to work with your teammates and develop a new strategy against the bosses as they become much tougher with each level. Speaking of levels, you’ll find only seven and they’re a bit on the short side meaning that you can probably get all the way end in 30 minutes or less.

Level 1The most interesting part of TMNT 1989 Classic Arcade has to be the four-player Xbox Live play. Getting to the end and beating Shredder is much more challenging than when playing locally as you’re limited to only 20 lives each. Hopefully you’ll hook up with some smart players as not playing conservatively in the beginning will have detrimental effects towards the end of the game.

And yes, as with other Live Arcade games you’ll find the typical 200 achievement points but many seem that they’re added on just to fill in gaps where the developers ran out of ideas. Beating the game with only 20 lives is definitely achievement material, but falling in a manhole five times? I’m surprised I didn’t get any points for moving my character around the screen and jumping.

In the end, if you like fighting games and have an extra 400 Marketplace points ($5), then give Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade a go. It’s a perfect price to experience a game either alone or with your friends that is simply fun in the purest sense.


About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including