Friday, July 22, 2022

TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist (Sega Genesis, 1992)


Wow, there really is a TMNT beat-em-up that I totally missed out on. It's enough to get one's nipples hard in anticipation.

This looks super familiar. This is basically the Genesis' answer to Turtles In Time, so I'm expecting a lot from it.

We start with April reporting live on the Statue of Liberty existing. There it is!

But wait! To the shock of all the people gathered to gawk at it, the statue vanishes!

Here's Shredder, looking way more like Super Shredder than regular for some reason. He used something called the Hyperstone to shrink the Statue down to tiny proportions and steal it, along with a bunch of other buildings. Did the people in the buildings also get shrunk? Wait a minute, this could solve like all of humanity's overpopulation issues. Just shrink everything and all of a sudden we have a hundred times more space. 2-lane streets are suddenly 200-lane streets!

Well, this is significantly less-stylish than "Big Apple! 3 AM" with the silhouette of the stage boss.

I start out playing as Leo, and beat up ninjas. This is pretty standard TMNT fare here, and feels like it's halfway between the NES games and TIT. Which I guess it is.

The bomb panel makes you spin-attack for a few seconds, annihilating everything in your path. Yeah, this is so similar to the other games that I'm surprised the stages are different.

Stage 1 is pretty long, and ends up going from the sewer to the streets and back to the sewer.



After getting beaten up by a bunch of hit-and-run Xenos, the boss is Leatherhead. Bosses have a line of dialogue in this game, and they're already weird. Is this really something Leatherhead would say? Are the Turtles really looking to "hang" with this guy?

After an easy boss fight, Stage 2 is a rad surfing level. Check out NYC in the distance there.

These Foot utilize triple-segmented nunchaku. Mike and his Old Fashioned Two-Segmented Nunchaku must feel pretty dumb now!

Stone Soldiers show up. These guys really steal all of the Foot Clan's heat, and take a lot more damage to bring down. So basically the usual. Speaking of Mike, whenever I get game overed, I need to try another character.

Rocksteady is the next boss. While Leatherhead looks like his TIT version, this guy doesn't look like he does in any other game.

He does a lot of shoulder tackles that require jumps to avoid, but other than that, another easy boss.

Stage 3 is "Shredder's Hideout" which seems a little soon. This place has lots of stage-traps that don't actually do anything to the enemies, which isn't too fair. Would have been awesome to lure enemies over the traps, but nope.

The next boss is...Tatsu? Who? Apparently he's a student of Shredder. He doesn't really do anything in the fight besides stand around while you get swamped by adds. I can totally see how this guy didn't make it into Turtles In Time. Where's Bebop?

This fight did manage to give me my first game over. So what happens is, when you run out of lives, you game over and can choose a turtle again. Each stage is divided into 3 segments: First half, second half, boss. You start back at whichever segment you were on, so if you're up to the boss, you start right back there with full lives. This all sounds great, but you also have limited continues. Five game overs and you're back to the beginning. However, unless you die a lot in the first couple stages, they give you enough to get to the end. Maybe not on the first try, but definitely on the second or third.

The fourth stage is this super-short cave area where you fight palette-swaps of all the bosses again. Weird, this seems like something that'd happen at the END of a game, not the fourth stage...

Get past the bosses, and you fight Baxter in human form and a Wily-Mobile. He flies around dropping Mousers. Turns out you can stand in this spot and just wail on him for the entire fight without ever getting hit back. He has an absolutely massive amount of HP, though. It's pretty ridiculous. I used Don here and his Bo staff seems to have better reach than the other characters, as it probably should. Not sure if anyone's doing different damage overall, though. Star ratings would help. They all move at the same speed, for sure, but I'm wondering if the shorter-reach characters might hit harder. Especially given that it took Don like 70 whacks to win this fight.

That gets us to the Technodrome. Hurry! Hurry!

Wait, what? That sounds like a final level name. Stage 5 can't be the final level, can it? Turtles In Time had a ton of levels. Especially given how short Stage 4 was. This is like Game Boy TMNT game length.

The Technodrome! Donatello is holding up his bo staff like he's holding up a cross.

I switch to Mike and immediately get ensnared by these robots. Gah, get off me!

So how's Mike? Pretty good, think he's my favorite character so far. He clobbers enemies with nunchuck swings and is just fun to use. His reach isn't as good as Don's though.

Time for Krang. But not just Krang, SUPER Krang!

This is basically identical to the TIT battle. He's only the sub-boss of the stage. Shredder won't be upstaged again after that one Game Boy snafu.

"Fear Me!" says Krang. He looks bigger and buffer than the other games. Has he been pumping iron?

We'll see about that, Krang.

...I can't believe the game is almost over already, took me like 30 minutes to get this far.

The second half of the Technodrome is just a giant elevator ride where more robots harass you for a while.

Here's Shredder! No normal version fight in this game though. Also, I somehow accidentally activated the second player, no idea how. So Donatello gets to distract him, like a taunting Boar Pet.

He goes SUPER SHREDDER as Diesel's theme plays.

What's with that super creepy background? Regardless, I expected a rough drag-out fight here, but he really isn't that bad. The boss rush in Stage 4 was probably the toughest challenge in this game.

I finally bust out Raph for the final fight. He has super-short range on his attacks, so I'm guessing he does the most damage. Seems like he'd be pretty bad for the overall playthrough since you want range, but against the final boss he's great.

Get in there and mash him with attacks, but not when he goes Kaio-Ken like this because he's temporarily invulnerable.

Annnnnd that's it for this game, as Lady Liberty is saved once again and everything goes back to normal. Wait, why is Splinter out in the open in a crowd? Are our heroes finally "out"? Unsure, but either way, that's the game.

So, thoughts? I've seen reviewers say that this game is a good competitor to Turtles In Time so I went in with high expectations, but I think those reviewers were being extremely generous. This feels more like a scaled-down Game Gear/Boy version of Turtles In, WAY scaled down. At least the vast majority of the game is new rather than directly ported over. It's a good game in a vacuum, but I can't say there's any reason to play this when Turtles In Time exists.


...there is one reason to check this out: The music is AWESOME.

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