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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Konami Digital Entertainment, is full of wonderful nostalgia and heaps of TMNT games, and releases on August 30, 2022 (midnight AWST August 31 for us Aussies).

Donatello all the way!

If you’re currently selecting the 35-45 bracket when filling out an insurance form, then the Cowabunga Collection is for you. It has 13 games developed between the 80s and 90s which was the golden era for TMNT. The games that are included in this collection are from the old arcade and console releases. These are now playable on all major platforms: PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and Steam, and this review focuses on the PlayStation experience. This is excellent news because you’re covered no matter what platform you have to play games.

An old man yells at the insurance premium cost

I know what that burning question is in your heart: Will this series operate like the old arcade games that you spent so much time playing at Timezone, or attached to an old console? Yes and no is the answer. Yes, these games play like the old arcade/console games but now it’s different. You’re in front of a much larger screen and your mates are probably not standing next to you button mashing and forcing the joystick to its limits.

There’s an online component to The Cowabunga Collection that allows you to either play the “versus” game, or team up to slice things up shredder arcade style. For now there are only four games available which I hope is expanded to more. At the time of this pre-release review I was unable to tee up any games to test the multiplayer connectivity. The games are self-hosted by the gamer, so I hope there are some geo-styled ways the developers match gamers to a nearby host.

Death Star Mordor Combo?

When selecting games, you’ll need to scroll through each game to get to the one that you want. Plus, there’s a small delay while loading which is annoying. In some of the quite old games, like TMNT: Fall of The Foot Clan and TMNT III: Radical Rescue, there’s a large lag between moving forward on the PS4 D-pad and it actually moving in-game. But hey, the generation that played these games is quite aware of the dial-up days, so we’re used to lag, right?

They haven’t tried to improve the graphics of the games, it’s still pixelated in all their glory. When you play this on a 1080p 55-inch screen it looks great. There’s no buffer time and dodgy screen freezing that can accompany bringing back old games. It’s an ok release from that point of view, apart from the movement issue.

Old school

The sound is the same as in the games of yore. That distinct midi-ish blocky sound is the same as it was, in some cases 20-odd years ago. Also, listening to the theme “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” playing each time a game is loaded, takes you back to the original time you played it.

I’ve really enjoyed picking these games up again whilst being able to play on the PS4. If you enjoyed these games in your childhood, or even now using MAME or old retro consoles, this collection is for you to re-live old memories and create new ones.

Here’s a full list of games available in the collection

• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles* (Arcade)
• TMNT: Turtles in Time* (Arcade)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (N)
• TMNT II: The Arcade Game (N)
• TMNT III: The Manhattan Project (N)
• TMNT: Tournament Fighters (N)
• TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SN)
• TMNT: Tournament Fighters* (SN)
• TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist* (SG)
• TMNT: Tournament Fighters (SG)
• TMNT: Fall of The Foot Clan (GB)
• TMNT II: Back From The Sewers (GB)
• TMNT III: Radical Rescue (GB)

*Online Titles
TMNT (Arcade)
TMNT Turtles in Time (Arcade)
TMNT The Hyperstone Heist
TMNT Tournament Fighters

There are also a few extra features:

Save Anytime and Rewind
Eleven Japanese Regional Version Releases
Button Mapping
Unique Development Art & Sketches
Historic TMNT Media Content

This review utilised a PlayStation key provided by Five Star Games and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection will release on August 30, 2022 (midnight AWST August 31 for us Aussies) on PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and Steam.


Written by: @L33tBruce

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