Boss Rush Banter: Which Ninja Turtle Would You Choose?

If you are a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you should be, you have been eating pretty good this year. In addition to the Turtles’ appearance as DLC for Brawlhalla, Smite, the announcement for a new movie in the works–Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the release of the phenomenal beat em up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, we also got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Collection. As the release of this highly anticipated collection is upon us, we shell-head veterans are rearing to kick some foot ninja butt once again to the classics we have all grown up with while the newbies can experience these for the first time. Did you have a preferred Ninja Turtle you played as? Why? Check out a quick list of my favorite turtle to choose in the first four main console classics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES1989)

Photo Credit: Nintendo (via Pixelated Pop)

So, let’s start with the step-child of the game series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The ’87 series was building its popularity, and people learning of the existence of these awesome foursome with the cartoons, comics, toys. Turtle fandom was here to stay, so of course, Nintendo had to give involved and create a video game. This game was an action platformer that introduced the story of the turtles finding out that their arch nemesis, Shredder, kidnaped April O’ Neil. You start off with Leonardo, but you can select any of the turtles on the fly, and they each have their own stats to contribute to the action as far as range and speed–with Donatello having the longest range and Raphael has the shortest range and quickest movements. My choice of turtle would be Donatello for his long range helps with certain boss battles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (NES, ARCADE-1990)

Picture Credit: Konami (via Old School Gamer Magazine)

After mixed reviews of the first game, Konami decided to change the whole formula and a beloved classic was born. Although this would be the second time around our green heroes get its own video game, this would be the first time they enter the arcade world. With these two versions of the sequel, the significant differences were the size of the sprites, the combat style, the number of stages in the game, and so on. For the Nintendo side of things, the turtles, in their 8-bit glory, played pretty much identical to one another. There was no difference in speed or range or strength, just one hit attacks from flying kicks to weapon swings. For this, I couldn’t choose a favorite turtle for the game, and that’s ok. However, in the arcade side of things, the sprites were much bigger, the turtles’ two hit combo attacks were pretty cool. Donatello’s bo staff range is on display, and everyone has the same special two button attack…all except Raphael. He does this rolling kick attack when you press the jump and attack buttons simultaneously. Not sure why the devs decided to only give Raph a special move from everyone else instead of just giving each turtle their own special move but I love him on this game so yes, I choose Raphael for this game.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES-1991)

Picture Credit: Konami (via Brutal Gamers)

The beat ’em up action continues on this one. This time Konami takes everything from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II and pushes it up a level or two. What was the lesson that was learned from the previous game? Each turtle gets their own special move–Leonardo’s katana spin attack, Donatello’s rolling attack, Michelangelo’s kangaroo, and Rapheal’s drill attack. I can truly say I love all of their moves on this, but again, I have to go with Raph on this one because his drill attack is super effective. Being able to drill an enemy from side to side looking like M. Bison’s pyscho crusher attack in the Street Fighter series.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. (SNES, Arcade-1992)

Photo Credit: Konami (via

This is the crown of the beat em up series, entering the 16-bit era while also returning to the arcade scene. The turtles are more defined with their range and speed while they learned a lot more moves. The typical range stats are there but this time, since Raph has the shortest range, his sai attacks are much faster than the rest. For the gameplay speed alone, I would prefer Raphael again.

I noticed I have only been choosing Raphael, but we all know they are all awesome in their own way. Who would you prefer on those games? Also, are you going to pick up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Collection? Let us know down at the comments below. Also, check out our Boss Rush Facebook Group and join in the conversation on our Boss Rush Discord where we discuss all things gaming.

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The Boss Rush Podcast

The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, LeRon, Stephanie, Edward, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk their week in games, entertainment, and more while also bringing topics for conversation, answer listener and community questions, and cover major news and events happening in the video game industry. Watch The Boss Rush Podcast live on Wednesday Nights on Twitch at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT or on Friday mornings at 7AM ET on YouTube and podcast services everywhere. Thanks for listening! You can also get this episode one week early on Patreon.

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Featured Image: Nintendo

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