My Favorite Themes In Gaming - Neon Night Riders - TMNT 4: Turtles In Time
Being born in the mid 1980s, I was exposed to a lot of entertainment milestones before I could properly appreciate them. The original Nintendo Entertainment System with its vast and, then, growing library of games, Mike Tyson's reign as the heavyweight champion of the world, Star Trek The Next Generation, and of course the phenomenon that was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
I probably saw the 1987 cartoon before I played any of the games but in actuality I have more memories of playing the games before I saw the cartoon.
There was of course the first TMNT game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. But honestly, my first memory of playing a TMNT game was the title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game. I played it in Las Vegas with my brothers, each one of us controlling our favorite turtle. I was always a Raphael kind of guy. I liked his weapons and the fact that his mask was red, my favorite color, hehe.
So you can imagine that seeing something like this in 1990 was pretty freaking amazing
About a year or two later, my family and I took another trip to Vegas, and lo and behold in the arcade, there lay a new TMNT game to play! This game, called Turtles In Time, sent those pizza dudes on an amazing adventure through space and time, and it looked and sounded amazing. I don't quite remember if my brothers and I got to the level I'm about to mention on our trip to the arcade. But I do remember, when I played Turtles In Time on the SNES some time later, first encountering the futuristic Neon Night Riders level.
There was something so captivating about it to the eye and to the ears. Having played more than a few games in the past that featured some kind of futuristic setting, it was just so amazing to see something like this but with the Turtles thrown into the mix! It combined two of my favorite things at the time; a cool sci-fi setting and the Ninja Turtles! And in that way, I felt as if I myself were being thrust into the level, having to fight off hordes of Foot Soldiers, all the while enjoying the amazing scenery and music.
This music track in of itself brings back a few good memories. It just reminds me of how much fun I had playing Turtles In Time both as a co-operative play, beat-em-up experience, and how cool it was that the TMNT games went to places that the cartoons did not (at the time). It's always my favorite spot to revisit when playing Turtles In Time. So in short, the music and the level are just a whole lot of fun. Whenever I think of Turtles In Time, I think of this track. Well, this and Bury My Shell At Wounded Knee because that one is just as fun as this one!
Later on, thanks the power of YouTube, I was able to hear for the first time in a very long time how the Arcade version of Neon Night Riders sounded. And though I was plenty used to how the SNES variation of this went, due to years of hearing it on and off again, I have to admit to being blown away by the Arcade version. This was the song as it was meant to sound. Don't get me wrong though! The SNES version was more than adaquate enough to render the track's sound and feeling. But the sound system on the arcade machine just cannot be compared to, and so I give you the original version of Neon Night Riders. I have to say, I've grown very fond of it lately!
And for those who enjoy the chiptunes quality sound that the NES can bring, here's an 8-bit version of Neon Night Riders. I think it's pretty neat actually and I might have to give this one a listen fairly often!
And finally, to round this entry off, I give you this old 90s commercial that advertised the home release of Turtles In Time and its Sega Genesis counterpart, the Hyperstone Heist, a game I only ever played once in my life. But it sure does take me back to a time when things were a little more rad...