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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 09:29 GMT
Ninja Turtles return for battle, dude
By Neil McGreevey
BBC Northern Ireland

The 80s are coming back to haunt us and it seems all the cartoons that kept me glued to Saturday morning telly as a kid are returning in a new form.

Screenshot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Guess who's back?
He-Man, Transformers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are big business again, and all are getting the video game treatment in the coming year.

First out of the blocks are the pizza-munching sewer-dwellers, with an old-school beat-em-up from Konami, who developed the brilliant Turtles arcade games of the early 1990s.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is chock-full of arcade-style kick-butt action, as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael take on Shredder and his foot clan over 35 levels.

Leave it to the youngsters

Each turtle has his own special moves to help slice and dice his way through the game, while two players can either battle together or square up against each other in the versus mode.

This gnarly beat-em-up may not be sophisticated, but it looks totally bodacious, erm, dude, and the cel-shaded graphics make it indistinguishable from the new cartoon series.

Screenshot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Still, today's gamers will find Turtles shallow and dumb, with wave after wave of silly enemies to trounce ad nauseum, and only the boss fights presenting a challenge.

Younger fans of the cartoon will no doubt find plenty to love here, given that it features the original voice cast and loads of unlockable goodies.

For more mature joystick junkies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is bland, repetitive and boring. The fact that the 10-year-old arcade game is miles better speaks volumes.

All-in-all, the salmonella-ridden heroes in a half-shell just don't cut it in this reincarnation.

As for the Turtles' TV stable-mates, He-Man looks set to be just as mindless, although Transformers: Armada is shaping up to be something special when released this spring.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Konami is out in February for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube and the PC.

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