Posted on October 14, 2011
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES)
TMNT III tweaks the formula used in TMNT II, but I have my reasons for enjoying II more than III.
If you had played the NES version of The Arcade Game, then you pretty much knew what The Manhattan Project was all about. The action was still great, the controls were tight, and the graphics were well done. While Bebop and Rocksteady came back as bosses, the cast of opposing characters was quite different – Dirtbag, Leatherhead, and Slash all made appearances, which was quite the treat for a Turtles fanatic like myself.
Still, there was one thing about the game that irked me to no end. Oh yes, I’m talking about the most-talked about addition to the gameplay; the “super moves”.
Each Turtle has their own unique attacks that can be performed by pressing A and B simultaneously. They work incredibly well at disposing enemies, but I was so annoyed that using them depleted a small part of your health bar. Since the attacks were so cool, and you would undoubtedly want to use them as much as you could in dire situations, why couldn’t they just have another meter of some kind? Something like a “Power” bar that would replenish over time… as it was, I felt I needed to conserve my energy, and using the special attack was counter-productive.
It’s all good, though. The game plays great, has a nice variety of levels (surfing from Daytona Beach to New York City only takes a few minutes, apparently) and more than satisfies that Turtle-geek in me.
On the night we first rented The Manhattan Project, there was a Kevin Bacon movie on cable. While playing the game in the living room that night (with the lights turned off for heightened awesomeness), my parents and sister were downstairs in our unfinished basement watching the movie. I could hear them laughing, so it had to be good… right?
You know how you could leave your game console turned on, but change from channel 3 or 4 and see other (static-filled) channels without disrupting gameplay? Well, I was too curious about this apparently hilarious movie, so I paused my game and flipped over to watch the most confusing thing I had ever seen.
To begin with, the female lead character finds out she’s pregnant… wait. What? How is she pregnant and not have a huge belly? That doesn’t make any sense.
Somehow, the male lead character (Bacon) is quite disturbed and confused with this news, and even faints some time after hearing it. Why isn’t he happy? Why is he worried? It’s not like he had anything to do with it.
During the commercial breaks, I’d flip back to playing TMNT III. I really don’t remember much else about the movie itself other than thinking the female was beautiful… looking back, she was cute, I suppose.
Seeing as how I understand that “process” a lot more (I sure as hell hope so, anyway), I just may go back and re-watch the movie with my wife. I’ll leave my NES off for it, though.
As an interesting side-note, TV series creator Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Dharma and Greg, among others) co-wrote the theme song for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. As you can see in the intro to this game, they’ve re-created it as best as they—OH MY GOD, SEIZURE FLASH.
(The few times I am required to say the word “seizure” out loud, it often comes out “ceasar”. You really do have to watch out for those epileptic ceasars, though. They can be deadly!)
There still isn’t a whole lot happening between levels, so once again, I had to include the beginning and end of boss fights to make a more-or-less cohesive story out of the movie.