Featured Columns

August 25, 2011

The Comics Console: TMNT III: The Manhattan Project!

IDW’s release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 has me on another turtle high, and after reading the first issue of the new series, my craving for heroes-in-a-half-shell was only teased. So I dusted off my NES and a TMNT classic that is severely over looked.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project

Publisher/Developer: Konami
Platform: NES
Released: Feb. 1992
Rated: N/A

Some of the greatest TMNT stories ever told are some of their weirdest stories, and while a TMNT game thrives on a ridiculous premise, TMNT III sets new standards for TMNT silliness. The story begins with the Turtles enjoying a vacation on the beaches of Florida…I’m not making this up. It’s funny how a group of mutant turtle teens traveling through time and fighting monsters and aliens is 100% acceptable in our minds, but the same group of mutant turtles getting from Manhattan to Miami and working on their tan is just ludicrous.

Unfortunately, while catching April O’Neal’s news report (interesting how Florida gets a New York news broadcast), the Shredder interrupts to announce his new nefarious plot against society. Shredder not only hijacks the entire city of Manhattan by raising it right out of the Earth, but he kidnaps April O’Neal, too! Talk about salt on the wound!

Now, you and one other friend have to get back to New York as fast as possible. And what’s the fastest way to travel 1,300 miles for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Surfing!

TMNT III‘s gameplay resembles previous NES hit, TMNT: The Arcade Game, which also means it’s just as hard. But not “this game is stupid and glitched” type of hard, it’s the fun and challenging hard. Regardless of what type of difficulty the game is, it’s still really hard. That’s why I suggest setting the difficulty to easy, and setting your lives to the max number. Also, if you’re playing with a friend, choose “Turtles B”; “Turtles A” allows friendly fire, and given the style of gameplay you’ll likely be bumping into your partner quite often. But then again, maybe you have a bigger set than me and don’t mind playing the normal setting with “Turtles A.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project offers all the same quirky plots, and fun — if challenging — gameplay as top TMNT games like Turtles in Time or The Arcade Game, but for some reason this game gets overlooked. It’s not as important as the aforementioned Turtles games, but it’s absolutely worth a play through if IDW’s TMNT relaunch has you jonesing for a Turtles fix.

For more celebration of the TMNT, click here! Cowabunga!

Andrew Hurst



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