The Cowabunga collection puts other retro collections to shame

This exoprimal state of play… well, it happened, didn’t it? Although most reptile enthusiasts found themselves shouting “Where’s Dino Crisis?!” in a well-worn pillow, fans of a certain group of teenage evolved samurai turtles had such a good night, they might as well have been told The Next Mutation never happened.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is by far one of the biggest surprises of the presentation, a compilation of 13 different games from the turtle’s past, including massive hits like the arcade original, Turtles in Time. , and even the massively underrated tournament fighters. . With that and Shredder’s Revenge, TMNT fans are eating well this year, huh?


Related: Exoprimal Looks Less Like Dinosaur Crisis and More Like Dinosaur Anthem

Far from being just a pleasant surprise, The Cowabunga Collection is a demonstration of how retro game collections can and should be made. More often than not, these collections usually feature three games that are a bit spiced up with a bit of extra art, maybe a few bits from the OST and some trivia if you’re lucky. At least that’s the Disney Classic Games Collection experience.


Sometimes they’re even worse than that and miss out on some games that really could have been included, or have next to nothing in the way of extra features. Where the fuck was Super Mario Galaxy 2, Nintendo? In fact, don’t even get me started on Nintendo, which seems keen on doing retro gaming in the worst possible way with every console generation, and has even beefed up its N64 emulation until recently.

This is not the case with the Cowabunga Collection. Rather than three titles, or maybe a cheeky four when you later add Aladdin, there are nine games here, rising to 13 if you count the various console versions. Besides some of the great collections Sega has released, this is one of the greatest collections I’ve seen in a while, and for the ninja turtles of all things.

There’s a clear effort here to get not just every game, but every version of every game into a collection, which really should be the whole point. It’s admirable too, because everyone knows that there are only two good versions of Tournament Fighters, and that Turtles in Time is better on the SNES, but the lower versions are still there to make a definitive collection. .

Konami could have easily thrown the 1989 arcade game Turtles in Time and Tournament Fighters onto a single disc and called it a day, but it really went all out and took deep dives.


When I say deep dives, I mean it too – will I be playing Fall of the Foot Clan or the NES version of Tournament Fighters? I’m a die-hard Turtles fan, so yeah probably, but I’m sure 95% of people won’t even care and go straight for the big names. It’s almost wasted energy to get into it, but it goes even further when other collections toe the line with just enough to get people in.

For something that’s been out of the gaming spotlight for as long as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (thanks, Platinum), it’s a relief to see it treated with such love and respect. Turtle power indeed.

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