Making The Case For A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fighting Game

It wasn’t long ago that a trailer for DLC caused me to rethink my stance on a game, and that sentence alone still causes me pause, because it rarely happens. I had beaten Injustice 2, finished the storyline, and thought that everything I could want to do was behind me, but then images of an alleyway street fight and four mutant turtles left me shell-shocked and wanting to yell COWABUNGA, had my wife not been standing beside me—she would have understood, but I didn’t want to make it any more awkward—resulting in the only reasonable thing: my going out and buying a brand new copy of the game the next day. Now I’m sitting here just waiting to drop more money so I can play my favorite green heroes, but it has me wondering why there hasn’t been a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fighting game.

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Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego: A Masterclass in Crime

Like many kids at that time, I didn’t need much of an introduction to Carmen Sandiego as a character. I had grown up playing the computer games at school and absolutely loving her game show, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (1991). The idea of an animated series of adventures, focusing more on the action and characters, was a huge draw, and Fox Kids made that a reality in 1994 as a part of the network wanting to meet the Children’s Television Act, which required all major stations to broadcast educational programming for at least three hours, and the original parent company that owned the IP, Broderbund Software, had to approve each script ahead of time to make sure it was suitable and living up to the franchise standards. With these restrictions and the required focus on education, it would have been easy for kids to lose interest in this show quickly, but this is a cartoon that stuck with me and many others throughout the years.

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Also, I have this one in video form, after collaborating with The Dali Popka.

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The Plight of the Blind Gamer

I remember when kids first started showing up to my elementary afterschool program with the marvel that was the Game Boy. One of them finally parted ways with his for a moment and let me have a turn at Super Mario Land. I had never experienced anything so cool — the Game Boy was like my prized NES at home, except it was portable. But I quickly realized the game was noticeably harder than anything I had ever played. The enemies in the foreground blended in with the background. The dot matrix screen was blurry. And everything was just so small. I squinted at the motion on the monochromatic green screen, which was not even three inches wide, trying to discern which blob was Mario and listening to the audio cues, but playing was nearly impossible.

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Mischief Makers: Trouble Comes in 2D

I loved getting my Nintendo 64, but only had a couple of titles for it in those early days, so I did my part to help keep Blockbuster open by renting a lot. This game is another that shows why that model of brick and mortar rental stores worked for a while though, as Mischief Makers was rented and eventually picked up so I could have a copy up of my own, when there was a good chance it may have passed me by unnoticed otherwise. That seemed to happen to a bunch of people though, as this game didn’t attract a lot of attention at first and is now considered to be incredibly underrated, but is finally picking up the attention it deserves, so I’m here to hopefully tell a few more people about it.

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Punisher: Cutting into Frank

Most know that I’m a huge Punisher fan. He’s one of my favorite Marvel heroes and I’ve been reading the books off and on since I was quite young, but once Garth Ennis took over the character I made sure to read almost everything I could get my hands on. I was immensely excited when we heard that Frank would be entering Marvel’s Netflix universe, and his parts of Daredevil’s second season were truly fantastic—show-stealing. It was no surprise Castle would be given his own adventure, and the wait for this show was long but felt like an old friend returning home.

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Super Mario Odyssey: You Can Almost Go Home Again

Much like the great traveler Odysseus, who spent so many years from home, I have also been on a long journey back to that place. No, not Ithaca—for me, the Mushroom Kingdom, and my passion for exploration. I just finished my first of what will be many playthroughs, and I did not want it to end. Nintendo wanted to send their hero on a far reaching adventure as he sought to reclaim his bride—again, like in Homer’s Odyssey—and some will boil it down to an attractive looking collect-a-thon—attempting to separate pieces of a wholly blended experience—but for me it was a joyous epic that came close to recapturing more than just what I could throw my hat on. Mario’s next great experience is here, and it is time to dive into the craziness, mustache first.

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30 Days of Games | Day 30

 

Day 30 | Super Mario Bros. 3

This is a hard one to write about because I can’t always find the right words to explain the things I like about this game, mostly because there is so little I dislike. I remember buying Super Mario Bros. 3 for $80 plus tax before church one Wednesday evening. Once the service was over I had to wait for my mom’s choir practice to end, so I sat in one of the classrooms reading every page of the manual and just admiring that amazing front cover. It was simple, bright and energetic with the yellow, but Mario having his leaf power-up and flying made it seem so exciting. Each of the different kingdoms is wonderful with their own environmental gimmicks and various enemies. I love the Koopalings as bosses, with each having a distinct enough look that they had a little bit of personality without ever saying a word, and I wish they had been in Odyssey. Experiencing everything for the first time was incredible. Nothing had been spoiled for me and it was all so different from the first two games, but still took place in the Mushroom Kingdom. The first time I hopped in a boot or stepped foot in giant world was eye-opening, but getting the Tanooki suit or hammer brothers outfit was purely exhilarating and I remember thinking those would never be topped. My first time beating the game was memorable as well, staying up past my bedtime and hoping mom wouldn’t make me shut it off as I went into the last few chambers. My blood was rushing as Bowser appeared, but this time there was no ax to kill him easily, and my fear almost caused me to miss what I was supposed to do, but I quickly realized what was needed to dethrone the evil king. The ending is simple but still rewarding, and now I complete it again without whistles regularly, as it is one of my favorite feel-good games. One of my favorite things though is that I remember playing this game while watching the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon and being engulfed by both in an amazing world, or a play about its events.

 

A big thanks to everyone who read each of these entries. This has been a great exercise for me and hopefully a little insight for the readers. I’m not sure I’ll do this type of thing again, but it showed me I still have a ton of games I want to write about and many more lists I’d like to do.

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