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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Konami’s Turtles cabinet certainly cut an imposing presence when it was released in arcades at the backend of the Eighties. Turtle fever was at an all-time high, every other arcade release seemed to be a scrolling fighter of some description, and clever Konami decided to combine the two and reap the generous rewards.
Featuring a graphical style that was based on the popular TV series, Turtles oozed charm and character and immediately became the fighter of choice whenever I headed off to Poole arcade, which was virtually every weekend. One of the biggest draws of Turtles, was not just the superlative cartoon visuals, a kicking rendition of the TV theme tune and intense, button-mashing combat; no, it was the fact it was one of the few fighters at the time that enabled you to team up with three other friends.
Once the argument over who got to play as Donatello was decided, you could simply concentrate on hammering away at those two fire buttons and laying waste to any foot soldier that was stupid enough to stumble into your path. Yup, Turtles may have been relatively simple and had about as much depth as a Smurph’s swimming pool, but when you were playing with a group of friends its shortcomings didn’t matter in the slightest. Imagine my disappointment then when I downloaded the lag-fest that is Turtles on Xbox Live Arcade.
While Digital Eclipse has created yet another stunning arcade conversion that’s neigh-on identical to the original coin-op, its online multiplayer is a stuttering mess that leaves a lot to be desired. With the friends I had at the age of 16 now scattered to the four winds, my only chance of reliving the glory days of old is online and that’s where the Turtles dream becomes a nightmare and a precious memory that I’ve harboured for a good 18 years gets cruelly shattered. With its heart now ripped out, Turtles has become an empty husk of its former self and will no doubt have a new generation of gamers wondering what all the fuss was about. What a shame.