TMNT 3: Radical Rescue
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue was released for the Nintendo Game Boy back in 1993. It was one of my favorite games on the Game Boy, and I played it for countless hours. Throughout the years, I would often think about it and wonder if I would ever get the chance to play it again, as I never was able to actually finish the game. The final boss was just too hard for me, and after some time, I either lost the game or moved onto the Game Boy Advance.
This year, I'll finally be able to play that game again, thanks to the upcoming Cowabunga Collection. The Cowabunga Collection will feature 13 TMNT games from the classic era, including games from the Arcade, NES, SNES, Genesis, and even the Game Boy. This is my chance to finally beat the game!
Radical Rescue: A Metroidvania Before Metroidvania was a Thing
Radical Rescue is notable for being one of the first ever Metroidvania games. It released on the Game Boy in 1993, six years after the release of Metroid. It was also released a full year before Super Metroid, which is a game notable for refining the nonlinear 2D gameplay of Metroid. Back when the game was released, Metroidvania wasn't a thing; Castlevania: Symphony of the Night wouldn't be released for another 4 years. In fact, there were few games that Radical Rescue could be compared to, with the only direct competitor on the Game Boy being Metroid II: Samus Returns.
When I was playing it, I first thought it was an action game. Then I got lost. There wasn't a name for this type of game, and I didn't have the Internet at the time, so I just had to figure out what to do as I played. I figured out that if I just push myself a little farther into the dungeon, I'll discover something new. Eventually, I found a boss, and then another Turtle. I slowly became more powerful as I collected new abilities, extra lives, and health upgrades, and although the gigantic level was difficult to navigate, it was thoroughly engaging.
Radical Rescue deserves a place on the Metroidvania Hall of Fame. It was not only exceptional for achieving what it did on a relatively simple platform, it was also one of the games that helped define the genre-to-be. Even though I never beat the game due to the difficulty of the final boss, I will always remember it fondly. And later this year, I'll be able to finally finish it!
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