Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. Konami (1992) Sega Genesis

The site has become a bit Capcom heavy, so I am going to try upping the Konami output for the month with Konami Month.

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-The-Hyper-Stone-Heist-PAL-Front-Cover-

Developed at the same time as the console version of Turtles in Time, Hyperstone Heist borrowed a number of features from it’s SNES counterpart to make a fairly solid beat ’em up on the Megadrive.

But, does that make it a clone? And more importantly in the 16bit wars, did the Genesis do what NintenDon’t?

Gameplay

Hyperstone is a side scrolling beat ’em up in the vein of Golden Axe or Streets of Rage. You walk left to right, and punch things, all in the 80s/90s cartoon universe of the Turtles..

You choose between the 4 Turtles, each with a slight difference: Leonardo is the all rounder, Raphael is speedy, Donatello has greater range, and Michelangelo does more damage. You’ll notice the differences when playing, but, you will probably end up picking the Turtle character you prefer regardless of their stats.

At the end of each level you’ll fight a boss, and these are made up of SOME of your favourites from the cartoon; Rocksteady, Letherhead, TatsuBaxter Stockman, as well as Krang and Shredder are featured. If you know and love the cartoon then you won’t be *that* disappointed by the roster, but if you have played TiT you might be.

Urrrm, there is somebody missing from this fight

Urrrm, there is somebody missing from this fight

Story

Errrrm, Shredder steals the Statue of Liberty Manhatten by shrinking it using the Hyperstone, a powerful relic from Dimension X, the Turtles set off through New York to get the city back.

I’ll be honest, the story doesn’t really make sense, but it makes as much sense as any Turtles TV episode, so it isn’t anything to worry about.

Side by side comparison, and pretty much same cutscene

Side by side comparison, and pretty much same cutscene

Difficulty/Differences

As the two games were developed at the same time, a lot of assets were shared. Thankfully, this didn’t mean Hyperstone was a complete reskin/clone of TiT.

TiT could become hard if you didn’t pay attention, or if you couldn’t throw an enemy at Shredder. Hyperstone is very much the same, minus the throwing enemies. But one crucial difference is the length of the levels. There are only 5 levels, and level 4 is a gauntlet of bosses. For me, this is where the game shows its inferiority.

Best level by far

Best level by far

In Hyperstone it drags because levels are simply too long. There are 5 levels, but the game is the same length as TiT. TiT also had a nice flow, it never dragged (unless you’re shit) and every level was unique. Hyperstone reuses most of the level design from TiT, but everything is kinda of pasted in, so often feels a little tacked on.The Pirate Ship is palatte swapped to a ghost ship, and levels look different but on the whole they are all thrown together. The first level of Hyperstone combines 3 of TiT’s levels, but with one boss (Leatherhead [same fight as TiT]).

Level 3 and 4 are completely new levels, and 3 features a boss fight against Tatsu: Shredders right-hand man in the movies. But level 4 is a reskin loop of the cave sections from level 2, plus a boss gauntlet. I dislike boss gauntlets at the best of times, and in Hyperstone it very much felt like padding, though you do get a boss fight with the Human version of Baxter Stockman and his mousers at the end of the gauntlet, which is a slight plus to the level.

The final level, really is too long. On a good run, it is 10 minutes long, and considering the game is around 30 minutes, it aptly demonstrates how disproportionately long the final level is. The Technodrome bits loop too long, there are too many levels in the elevator, the mid stage fight vs Krang is a bit unfairly paced, all before finally fighting Shredder in the same Red/Green/Blue boss fight as TiT.

I've seen this boss fight somewhere before...

I’ve seen this boss fight somewhere before…

Other than that, the standard enemy roster is the same, but the same coloured enemy do a different thing to TiT, this isn’t a bad thing, but it will take a moment to get used to if you play one after the other.

Also, the control scheme is a little different since the Megadrive only had 3 buttons. A does punchy things, B jumps, C is the run button, and A+B does your hard “special” move. The inclusion of the run button does actually improve the controls for me, and my play preferences, so the Megadrive does manage to get more out of the controls with less buttons.

Overall

Hyperstone is pretty much the same game as TiT so the fighting remains tight and fun, and they are equal in difficulty; though Hyperstone will appear harder due to length of levels.

The levels are the big issue in Hyperstone, there simply isn’t enough level variety to break the game up, meaning monotony can set it. As it is, Hyperstone just isn’t as good as TiT. It is still an enjoyable game, but the lack of level variety and the level length mean that side by side comparisons of the the two games makes Hyperstone come up short.

In this example, NintenDID…

Pros: Mikey is the best Turtle, 2 player mode is fun

Cons: Level length, lack of boss variety

77%

NTSC box is WAY better!

NTSC box is WAY better!

 

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