We're a fickle bunch aren't we, pop pickers? One minute we're tearing round town with a plastic shell on our back and a green mask, waving a sword and shouting "Cowabunga!" The next minute we're dying our face yellow, buying a skateboard, instructing people to consume our trousers, and whispering "Who were those reptiles sitting opposite us in Pizza Hut, I'm sure I've seen them somewhere before?"
The Turtles, as everyone knows, were last year's things. Today they're just a bunch of saddos who live in a sewer, and probably smell of wee. So has Mirrorsoft missed the boat then? Possibly. Last Christmas, it gave us the first Hero Turtles game, a passable little shindig it knocked up itself. This time, we get a conversion of the popular Konami coin-op. And it's not at all bad, actually, thanks for asking.
It's a sideways-scrolling, horizontal, ninja beat-'em-up sort of thing. You take command of either Titian, Botticelli, Giovanni or Macaroni, and kick, jump, jab and skewer your way through streets, houses, sewers and car parks, killing all the dayglo villains that cross your path.
Each hero has his own weapon, be it a sword, a stick, a trident, or, er, another sword. (It would be a nunchucka, but they've been banned after loads of kids wiped out their neighbours with homemade ones!) All the weapons work in exactly the same way (i.e. skewering the opponent and throwing them over your shoulder). They just, er, look different, that's all.
Now, fact fans, take note: There are precisely five reasons why Turtles 2 is a brilliant game (a Mastergame, in fact).
Firstly, the graphics. The sprites might not be a match for Final Fight in the massiveness stakes, but are certainly large enough to satisfy all but the most maniac of appetites. The back-grounds are suitably detailed atmospheric and varied, and the animation is very smooth and cartoon comical.
Then there's the variety of moves. In reality, there's only three or four different moves you can make to actually cause any damage, but in between them you wave your weapon round your head, leap through the air, and do all sorts of other stuff that looks really good (but does bog all).
Thirdly, there is such a lot to do. There's fifteen sub-levels to work through, and, even when using the patented AA cheat (pressing Fire to bring the second player on to screen just before the first one dies), it's still going to take a lot of waggling and burning of the midnight oil before you get to finish it (if you ever do!). But hey, remember, that ever-so-interesting chemistry homework comes first...
Reason number four - the end-of-level guardians. In most games nowadays these are crap. Complete flipping wimps. In Turtles 2, they most certainly ain't. They start tough, and get tougher. The machine that poos aliens out of its bottom is a particularly nasty specimen.
The final and most important reason for Turtles 2 being so fab? The two-player option. This really makes for corking two-player action. Take control of a green 'n brown one each and double team, to really give those bad-guys something to think about (except there's more of them than usual, the swine).
The Commodore 64 version doesn't have a two-player option, so when that obnoxious C64 owner in your life starts prattling on about how much better than the CPC their machine is, instead of thumping them in the eye as usual, just offer to give 'em a game of this on your Amstrad instead. Then watch them crawl away, blubbing like a baby. Ha ha ha.
To sum up, Turtles 2 is brilliant. If you don't buy it, you just don't deserve to own a computer!
There's not much variety and there's not much gameplay - but here you don't need it! Incessant action and terrific fun, especially in two-player mode.
Oh look, just enjoy yourself!
Very lovely indeed. You can tell these green chaps are painters.
Not much going on here, really. But who cares?
Grab Factor 87%
Just fly in, and start jabbing those bad guys.
Staying Power 93%
Two-player option for a fun-packed Christmas Day.
Turtles 2 has everything - graphics, gameplay, fun, and a full-size model of the Eiffel Tower. (Erm, the last one was a lie.)