TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES / Ultra / NES
The NES release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sold really well in it's time. TMNT was the hottest kids franchise on the planet then, and it was helped along by a lot of marketing and a big push from Nintendo Power. However, none of this means that the game was any good, it just means that the marketing campaign was extremely succesful. In fact, it's a pretty bad game. That's not to say it doesn't have some good ideas, but the gameplay is slipshod and the level design is absolutely atrocious.
The plot is the usual thing, April has been kidnapped by Shredder who also has fiendish evil plans to rule/destroy the city and et cetera. The game is broken up into levels, but some of these levels are somewhat non-linear in nature. There's an overhead map of the city that you move the Turtles through in such levels, and they can pop into buildings and sewers which are side-scrolling areas. Some of the buildings and sewers contain health refills or special weapons, and there's a couple of spots where you can recover a Turtle who has been "captured" (died). You've got all four Turtles at your disposal and can switch between them at any time, and each has a separate health bar. There are slight differences between them, in terms of the range and power of their weapons.
Handled properly, this could have been a really good game. However, thanks to sloppy play control and level design, the game is a nightmare to play. The levels are full of cheap-hitting enemies who constantly respawn when you walk off the screen and back on. There's a number of sections where you have to make some really finicky jumps over pits, and falling down them means plowing through a bunch of respawned enemies over and over as you try to figure out the nuances of how to do it. It's got shoddy hit detection - your field is a bit bigger than your character and a lot of the enemies are quite a bit larger than their sprites.
If you didn't play this one back in the day and are worried that you might have missed out on something ... don't be.
* Gameplay Video