Could anybody forget the indelible... um... wait a minute, it'll come to me... ah, yes, turtles! Ah yes, turtles! Just in case you have, there's a shiny new computer game featuring the fab foursome, a conversion of the coin-op which battled its way into the arcades a while back. Mark Caswell shouts "Cowabunga, dudes!" as he becomes an honorary turtle for the day...
Yes, the most excellent ninja heroes are back yet again to save the beautiful April O'Neil and Master Splinter from the clutches of despicable Shredder and his Foot Clan. There are ten levels in the game and one or two human players can compete, selecting one of the four lovable amphibious reptiles.
Set in The Big Apple, the game kicks off in a flaming corridor. Not the best place to be, especially with hooded Foot thugs attacking from all sides. Each turtle carries his own weapon - bo stick, katana sword, nunchukus and sai - and has his own strengths and weaknesses.
Each player has an energy bar that drops alarmingly as they're bashed by a thug or obstacle. Lives are limited, so wallop first and ask questions later.
The fire's still raging on level two (call Blue Watch, someone!), and with the attacking Foot Clan members is Rock Steady (Shredder' s right-hand creature). Level three leaves the burning building behind (thank goodness) and hits the streets of New York (although it retaliates with a roundhouse kick). Here the Foot Clan are better armed - especially the ones who leap out of manholes and whang the lids at you (bags of ouch!).
Bee Bop (another Shredder thug) makes an appearance, and good news for the amphibious dudes - there's pizza power-up up for grabs. You'll need them for your clashes with the Foot in the sewers and underground car parks - and especially until the final showdown with Shredder (yikes!).
Turtles 2: The Coin-Op is a darn sight better than its predecessor. The main problem with the first game is its simplicity: Nicko completed it on his first attempt. Here the thugs give you a good thrashing; I doubt anyone will complete this on their first attempt.
The sprites are monochrome, unlike the original, which was very colourful, but they're wonderfully drawn and animated, especially the Turtles themselves, who walk along with a definite swagger, kicking, punching and giving the bad guys a taste of cold steel.
Probe have given us some great games In the past and Turtles 2 is yet another winner, every bit as good as its arcade parent. All those who enjoy a birrov rip, mangle and maim should look no further than this.
MARK ... 91%
'I thought these Turtles had disappeared; they no longer appear constantly on kids' TV and those horrible slippers have disappeared from the local shops [They look lovely on you, Nick - Ed]. The first game was graphically excellent. The only trouble was I completed it first go! This game is a little harder but the graphic quality has been dropped, with monochrome throughout. The sprites and backgrounds are well drawn and animated, with plenty going on in every section of the game. The coin-op was a lavish affair, with controls for four players and a mega screen. Of course, some things have to be sacrificed to squeeze the game into a home computer - you're only allowed two players but all the playability of the arcade machine is intact. Turtles 2: The Coin-Op is a faithful conversion of a great beat-'em- up arcade game. Check it out now... dudes.'