Nintendo Archive: TMNT 3 the Manhattan Project

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: the Manhattan Project.

TMNT III: the Manhattan Project was the third Ninja Turtles game released on the NES way back in 1991. It was done as a sequel to the wildly popular TMNT II: the Arcade Game and maintained the side-scrolling brawler format of the previous NES title. The game was also released as some-what of a tie-in with the TMNT II: the Secret of the Ooze feature film which came out that same year, featuring several of the movie-exclusive characters, despite being inspired by the cartoon series.

Konami and Ninja Turtles go together like peanut butter and jelly; practically every time they come together something delicious is the result. While their most recent TMNT brawlers based on the 2003 cartoon have been somewhat lacking, their classic titles never fail to entertain (well, the first NES game wasnâ??t that great, but it was their first try). I actually prefer the Manhattan Project to the NES port of the Arcade Game, mostly due to a better selection of villains for the boss battles, better graphics and the addition of the special moves and upper-cuts. The game is an overall improvement on an already good title.

Adding some extra zing to the controls, as well as some more variety in the way you kill the endless flood of Foot Soldiers, if you press â??downâ? and then â??attackâ? you can stab your enemy in the gut and flip them over your head, killing them in one move. It was hardcore back in the early 90â??s. Each turtle has also been blessed with a special move if you press A and B at the same time. Raph has a â??drillâ? move, Leo can spin in a circle with his blades out, Don can roll through the air and Mike can kangaroo-kick enemies. Be warned, though, every time you use these special moves you lose one spec from your health bar. I found it was always best to not use them until you were down to your last spec of life (when the special moves no longer had any effect on you) and then just go crazy.

The Foot Soldiers are more varied than before. Youâ??ve got enemies that hurl sand at you, enemies with throwing knives and whips, enemies that balance on giant wrecking balls, enemies that throw barrels at you and so-on. While all the Foot Soldiers essentially look the same but in different colors, their attacks are different-enough to keep them from getting stale. You also have Krangâ??s Rock Soldiers from Dimension X to annoy you as well as some weird robots once you reach the Technodrome and Krangâ??s spaceship.

The boss battles are the BEST thing about this game, though. You have a ton of bosses to fight and theyâ??re all taken straight from the cartoons, comics and movies. They each also have cool little quirks and attacks that almost make you *want* to get hit, just because it looks so cool. Rocksteady tries to nail you with a harpoon-gun, Groundchuck rips a length of pipe from the walls and bashes your skull in, Slash spins around on his shell like one of those firecrackers that never work right, Bebop has a mace on his head, Leatherhead smacks you around with his tail, Dirtbag chops you up with his pick-axe, Tokka grabs you by the neck and hurls you into an electric billboard, Shredder stabs the crap outta you, Rahzar has ice breath for some reason, Krang separates into two forms and tries to crush you with a mallet, and Super Shredder is just all-around hardcore with his lightning attacks and mystic ninja moves. I think thatâ??s all the bosses. They all have a real dynamic flare about them (especially Tokka and Super Shredder), and thereâ??s a ton of them. Fighting the bosses really feels like a reward for putting up with a billion Foot Soldiers.

There really isnâ??t much else to say. Konami did a top-notch job on this game and it still ranks as my favorite TMNT game of all time. It could really use a re-release in maybe a TMNT collection or something (though theyâ??d have to change the music since apparently they have to pay royalties to use the old theme song or some BS). Also, a weird thing to note about the cover art; there are absolutely NO Triceratons in this game. Odd.

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