We've been somewhat spoilt when it comes to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles recently, what with the superb Shredder's Revenge giving us an all-new side-scrolling brawler to enjoy.
Alongside that, we've also got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection to look forward to – a pack which includes some of the half-shelled heroes' most notable video game adventures.
The collection includes the following titles:
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade), 1989
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Arcade), 1991
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES), 1989
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES), 1990
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES), 1991
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (NES), 1994
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES), 1992
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (SNES), 1993
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (Sega Genesis), 1992
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Sega Genesis), 1993
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of The Foot Clan (Game Boy), 1990
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back From The Sewers (Game Boy), 1991
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue (Game Boy), 1993
Reviews are now in for this new collection, and here's what the critics think:
Our friends over at Nintendo Life gave 9/10, saying:
TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection is indisputably the best thing Konami has released in a long while, meeting all expectations and then some. Bar absent difficulty settings for the arcade games, it’s an anthology that finally gets it totally right. Digital Eclipse and Konami have done the fans justice, offering a comprehensive library that doesn’t hide content behind a paywall, while going above and beyond in terms of features and bonuses. With online functionality and rollback netcode being the icing on the cake, this is now the gold standard for retro collections. Capcom, pay close attention.
One of our other sister sites, Push Square, gave the game a more cautious 8/10 score, saying:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a great package. While not every game is a winner — and a lot of them are variants of other games in the collection — there's still lots here to love. It brings two of the most beloved beat-'em-ups in history to modern platforms, and is host to some hidden gems like Radical Rescue. This is all polished up with a host of great enhancements and the fantastic Turtle Lair gallery, which — for any TMNT fan — may be worth the price of admission alone.
Our friends over at Pure Xbox also handed it an 8/10 score, with the following verdict:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is lean, green and totally not mean. This is a wonderfully thorough compilation of the glory days of 8 and 16-bit Turtles beat 'em ups. There's thirteen games here, covering everything you could possibly want from the glory days of TMNT side-scrolling action, alongside an exhaustive array of extras that goes above and beyond what we've seen from most retro compilations of late. Turtles fans and beat 'em aficionados, get that pepperoni pizza order in, kick back and prepare to relive some of the true greats of the late 80s/early 90s era. Over 30 years on and, as it turns out, we still love being a turtle!
Ars Technica was more downbeat, highlighting some issues with the collection and claiming that the cheaper Shredder's Revenge has stolen some of The Cowabunga Collection's thunder:
TMNT fanatics with big gaming budgets can look forward to a competent and content-rich Cowabunga compilation, and we generally recommend the new collection to that crowd, despite some issues. But for fans with more limited time and money, Shredder's Revenge is the better '90s-styled arcade brawler by far—and it shows that The Cowabunga Collection's games have aged somewhat poorly. If Digital Eclipse addresses even half of my nitpicks in a future patch, that would take this collection past its current state of "good enough" to "easily recommended" territory. In the meantime, weigh your own particular nostalgic appetite before reaching in for a slice of the Cowabunga Collection—or order a tastier pie from the competition with Shredder's Revenge.
Gaming Bible also went with an 8/10 score, saying:
If you’re planning to pick this up after Shredder’s Revenge expecting more of the same, please, allow me to pause your purchase for a second - these are bare bones indeed after that moreish delight, so buy knowing that you’re getting improved-feature-set versions of much older games, with save-anytime (one slot per game) functionality a real plus, but they are still much older games. Then again, if you’ve the truest Turtle power in your veins, you already know what this is all about and you pre-ordered it ages ago.
Destructoid also points out that some of the included games aren't that great but still awards a very respectable 8/10:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a great repackaging of a set of uneven classic games. I’m in no rush to play Turtles NES again, for instance, but I can see myself diving into the extras menu and breaking out any number of the beat ’em ups with friends and family at pretty much any point. With the amount of care put in by Digital Eclipse, this is one of the best ways these games have been presented since they were released.
Will you be picking this one up? Let us know in the comments below.