TMNT: Turtles in Time Erased from Existence! [Warning: Rant Ahead!]

No digital game is safe from expiring licenses. While the unfortunate expiration of Brave Story for the PSP (on PSN) hasn’t been wildly reported in the mainstream gaming media, Turtles in Time Re-shelled is getting a significant amount of press coverage due to the high-regard of the classic arcade/SNES game and the whole franchise in general. It’s true; Ubisoft’s pulling this one off XBLA and PSN on June 30th, which implies that online multiplayer will no longer be supported after that date. Obviously, this is due to the Ninja Turtles’ franchise being sold to Nickelodeon in late 2009. Having this game up for around two years since that acquisition is a pretty good trade-off. I’m surprised they didn’t pull it off earlier.

I’d like to say that I’m saddened by this loss, but to be truthful I’m neutral on the matter. I own this remake on XBLA…and while the multiplayer and gameplay are just as fun as the arcade/SNES version, there was so much potential for it to be a much better reimagining. The visual style for Re-shelled is questionable at best. Believe it or not, but the sprite-based original version actually had better facial expressions and animations from the Turtles and enemies alike….while the remake is completely devoid of life. Moreover, not including the additional levels from the SNES version is just plain lazy. But the worst offender of the bunch in my opinion is the new soundtrack. You don’t mess with the music of Turtles in Time and expect to get away with it, Ubisoft!

Listen to these awesome tracks! Insanely catchy stuff. The beta version of the remake actually used the original SNES music. Of course, I would’ve at least expected a modern retake on the tracks themselves with live instruments and such. Instead, the Ubisoft development team had to screw that up too by composing a completely new soundtrack for reasons unknown.

Aren’t the new versions some of the most bland music you’ve ever listened to in your life? This change alone almost completely killed this game’s nostalgic factor.

With my rant out of the way, it’s unfortunate that Re-Shelled will be pulled despite my dislike of some of its features…because for better or for worse, this TMNT game will be the last of its kind. Since Nick owns the franchise now, it’ll be years until they discover the huge fanbase behind the classic games. Indeed, I would’ve loved to see any developer revisit other classics such as TMNT III: Manhattan Project for the NES (one of the most addicting beat ’em ups for the NES), TMNT IV: To the Rescue for the Game Boy (an excellent Turtles take on Metroidvania), and TMNT: Tournament Fighters for the SNES (the closest competitor to Street Fighter II back in those days). Instead, we get crap like the notorious first installment of TMNT NES shoved down our throats via Virtual Console. Like any other franchise owner, it seems that Nick’s mentality is to try and cash in with new projects instead of revisiting the old, which is wrong in the Turtles’ case. Name me one successful modern TMNT game. That’s right: nothing comes to mind! Perhaps the closest game which tries to ride in on the nostalgia are the two recent beat ’em ups for GBA and DS released years ago, but I digress. Modern TMNT games suck compared to the awesome classics of yesteryear!

Source: Destructoid

6 thoughts on “TMNT: Turtles in Time Erased from Existence! [Warning: Rant Ahead!]”

  1. I won’t really miss it. Re-shelled, in my opinion, is awful. It is nowhere near as good as the SNES game. The visuals are just bland and unappealing…the 16-bit SNES game at least pops out thanks to a flashy color palette. The music is far better in the SNES version too. Re-shelled can disappear and never return. Rather than download this, just play the SNES version.

    I agree with you on the trend though. Now that Nick has it, we’re not going to see anything good from it. Konami made awesome games in the series, I wish they could work with them again. Reminds me of the Capcom Disney-licensed games from the 80s and 90s: Little Nemo, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, Aladdin, etc. Those are awesome too.

  2. I won miss this game to be honest. As for the future of the franchise we’ll just have to wait and see.

    It sucks that this can happen with digital downloads because at least with physical copies you could hunt them down on eBay and whatnot.

  3. Yeah I was going to buy this game, until how bad I heard the port was. Won’t be missed here as well

  4. Some things just need to die, this included. I’m glad I never picked this up, because while my memories of the SNES game are vague, they’re special for me. I’m surprised I’m not the only one that knows about Tournament Fighters as well. I hesitate to compare it to Street Fighter, but really enjoyed the game. I thought it was well-balanced. Turtles II remains my all-time favorite though. I can’t count how many times I finished it with a friend or relative. I don’t know if I ever beat the first NES one, but will never forget how difficult it is. The van in that game was super cool, and I always wanted that toy but never got it :( Ah well. So yeah I agree, all the modern games are embarrassing, especially the Smash Bros top-off.

    1. Heck yes! A fellow Tournament Fighters fan. I’m so glad I bought the SNES version back in the day because it’s basically the definitive one. It pains me to look at gameplay from the Genesis and NES versions because it’s obvious that they absolutely suck. The only reason why I’m comparing it to Street Fighter II is because there’s no other decent fighter for the SNES other than these two games. And its soundtrack…man, oh, man…you should look up the tunes at YouTube. They’re insanely good!

      Turtles II for the NES was sweet! I never played the Arcade version until I downloaded it off XBLA. Very cool stuff. And yes, I actually had the Turtle Van and Blimp toys back in the day. I was such an addict to this series its embarrassing. You guys should see my kid photos wearing Turtle Pajamas taken by a Turtle disposable camera (yes that actually exists, watermark TMNT logo and all).

      Can’t really pick a definite favorite in the series. Turtles III NES, Turtles in Time, and Turtles III for the Game Boy are all equally great. The latter is especially unappreciated since it’s a single-player venture with the style of Metroidvania.

      That Smash Bros. rip-off was so disappointing, especially since they were hyping the heck out of it. Having Rabbids as unlockable characters just killed the vibe for me. Seriously, Ubisoft?

  5. I’m a little older than you guys so I missed most of the TMNT fun, but I enjoyed the NES Turtles games and Turtles in Time like no tomorrow. Tournament Fighters was just a bit too late in the game for me, but it’s nice to see people are still passionate about this series.

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