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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Project Review

Developer: Konami Publisher: Konami
Release Date: 1992 Also On: None

They’re lean, they’re green, and they can make short work of anything that stands in their way. What are they? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of course. These four reptiles have stood against just about anything that could possibly be thrown at them, and not only survived, but won. Naturally, heroes this popular were going to get their own game eventually, and in fact, received an entire series of them. Of the three on NES (I’m not counting Tournament Fighters), the third was the best one in my opinion, and is the only one I have ever owned, although I have played the other two.

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The graphics in Manhattan Project are better than the graphics in the remake of the Arcade game, but Manhattan Project came out three years later, so that is to be expected. The turtles can be told apart, and the foot soldiers are color-coded by what type of attack style they have to let you know what you’re up against. Even though some of the foot soldier colors are close to each other, they can all be told apart without trouble. Overall, the graphics are done very well for a late-era NES game.

The sound effects from this game are basically borrowed from the second game, although new sound effects have been added for the turbo maneuvers, and the borrowed effects have been slightly updated. Most of them are appropriate and make sense. The music in this game is fairly memorable as well, although not quite up to the standard set by Capcom’s Mega Man series. Overall, sound is very good.

The gameplay is simple to understand. Manhattan Project is a pure beat-em-up. You jump with the A button and attack with the B button. The jump kick from the Arcade Game makes a return here, although you can’t’ jump as high, as does the typical B slash. Added for this game is the down-B jab and toss, and the A + B jump attack was replaced with the turbo maneuvers, different for each turtle. You also have the option of changing turtles between lives and not just when you continue.

The difference between turtles isn’t purely cosmetic in this game as it was in the Arcade Game. I think Donatello and Leonardo have slightly longer range on their normal and jab/toss attacks, but I am not 100% sure on that. I am sure that each turtle’s individual turbo attack has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, Raphael’s turbo attack is the weakest but is fairly quick and goes a decent distance while Michelangelo’s is the most powerful but is the hardest to hit with. A turtle loses a unit of energy every time he uses his turbo maneuver, unless he has only one unit of energy left on his current life though, so for foot soldiers and rock warriors you are better off beating them with the jab/toss and your physical attacks.

There are only eight levels in this game, but each level is decently lengthed and has a unique end boss. Some levels even have bosses at spots other than the end, but only one boss is ever duplicated. Some bosses seem to have a particular turtle’s turbo maneuver that he is especially vulnerable to. For instance, one of the bosses can easily be trapped at the side of the screen with Leonardo’s or Donatello’s turbo maneuvers, and one of the bosses can be easily beaten by spamming Leonardo’s turbo maneuver in the middle of the screen. Other bosses though would just annihilate Leonardo, so it is a matter of strategy to determine which turtle to use against each boss. This is the type of game that fans of beat-em-ups or fans of the Ninja Turtles can come back to for years on end, so if you are either, I recommend getting this game.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.4
Written by Martin Review Guide