Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ardy Lightfoot (SFC) Review

Received: August 11th, 2014 / Written: August 20th-24th, 2014
Year: 1993 | Developed and Published by: ASCII | [|O|]
Hello everyone, StarBoy91; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit... oh yay, a game that's all things 16-bit!  =D  You know, one of the great pleasures about being a retro video game collector is that I get a chance to catch up with games I may have missed out on or get to experience some classics (or cult classics) that I've been curious about for years.
One of my latest Super Famicom purchases, Ardy Lightfoot, is just one of those games that fall in the latter category.  This was a game that I've oft wanted to try (back before  I started importing Super Famicom cartridges), but whenever I checked on it on eBay the price tag drove me back.  Not necessarily because it was super expensive (it was never in the hundreds range, but at least in the late $20-30s range; I didn't want to spend too much on it,... I'm quite selective when it comes to retro purchases), but rather because there weren't many copies of it on there (the Western SNES version that would be published by Titus).  So because of that I wasn't able to play it in years past; I still wanted to try it, and I checked on it once in awhile, but aside from that I had other games to search for (being a collector is not always easy).  Weeks ago I decided to try a search for the SFC original cart of Ardy Lightfoot, and to my surprise it was there and did not require the usual price tag of the Western SNES cart.  So with glee I decided to order it, and once it came days later; well, let's just say it was money well spent.  =)
But you must be wondering: what exactly is Ardy Lightfoot, and what it is about?
The story revolves around an anthropomorphic creature with feline-like features, who is the eponymous main character Ardy Lightfoot, who goes around exploring and helping those in need.  I like this guy already.  =)  He's accompanied every which way by his too adorable to fathom round penguin-like animal friend Pec; in his recent journey he has uncovered a stone tablet with very important engravings on it in a cave.
So he takes it to his friend Nina's home, where the elder tries to translate it.  In the stone tablet it is said that there are seven gems abound, each of which is formed of the main color of the rainbow.  Should these seven rainbow gems be gathered together, the gem-provider(s) will be able to summon a spirit which will grant any one wish that they desire.  That... sounds familiar; where have I heard that before?  =<  But just as the elder finishes translating the tablet, there is trouble brewing in the village, set up by the malevolent forces delegated by the eeeevil Visconti.  See, they too want to summon the spirit by stealing the gems, but Ardy will ensure that it will not happen.  So he and his trusty Pec decide to save the day and secure all the rainbow gems once and for all.  Go, Ardy!  Go fulfill your destiny!

"Let's go!"
Controls are simple for the most part, though there is one portion of them that might take a little bit of time to come to grips with.  Ardy has a few sets of moves, for he can jump, duck, climb ropes, and he even has one move where he can avoid being damaged by incoming enemy (projectiles).  Simply hold up for a few seconds and he'll shroud himself with a sheet that renders him not only invisible but invulnerable as well (but not indefinitely, I'm afraid); it's only accessed when holding still.  How and why he's got an invulnerability shroud is beyond me.  There are two ways of attacking enemies: the first is by throwing Pec towards them, where he ends up devouring them in the process.  Pec is like a boomerang for once you throw him he'll rebound right back towards you (however proper trajectory aim is a must in order for Pec's attack to work).  If you get hit Pec will fade away, leaving you at your most vulnerable point but that's where the other attack method comes in handy.

Tree hopping, awesome!  =)
Regardless of whether you've got Pec with you Ardy's main way of attacking enemies (and boss guardians) is by attacking with his tail.  All you have to do is hold down and Y while in midair and then Ardy's tail will sparkle.  ...  What kind of creature is heo-o  When the tail sparkles it means that once it comes in contact with an enemy, you'll be bouncing right off of them, but make sure to not hold down the button too much while contact is made otherwise you might end up accidentally getting hit.  Just pressing down once will do just fine, especially when it comes to jumping enemy by enemy.  Ardy can also use his tail to launch himself up sky high in the air to gain some altitude; just make sure to let the tail sparkle once you hit the ground, and once there you can hold down until you feel that you can get up as high as you can (whether it be a second or two).  The controls are solid, and while the tail-jumping thing takes a little bit to get used to, it becomes fun once it becomes second nature.

Such level of detail on that light is exquisite =)
The visuals are really colorful, for they do good job at evoking a sense of atmosphere.  =)  There are lots of notable examples, one of them being the forest area with the light leaves all around sandwiched between the top and bottom shaded areas.  It's not often that I see forest areas like that; not to mention the foliage is pleasant to look at (complete with treehouses) with the soft green and chartreuse color schemes.  Another area takes place inside a sandworm's stomach with flashy red tissue surrounding the premises, made all the more dangerous with acid that sometimes drips in places.  That, and detailed gums with some sharp teeth in certain portions.  ={

(How do I get myself into these situations?)  =(
My favorite area, I believe, takes places inside the pyramid.  There are so many reasons for that, and for starters it's a very well-detailed area with dimly lit sections and ominously shaded bricks sometimes adorned with ancient hieroglyphics.  What impressed me about the area was the section where there were a couple incredibly bright lights that were emanating from an empty gap between bricks.  It might not seem like much, but try getting under the light.  Actual shadows!  Even when you're in the air!  =D  I'm amazed that ASCII managed to pull this off; little details are something I really like in some areas.  A few of the other areas are nice too, like the island (whether it's during a star-lit night or during the time when the sun sets gradually), one of the latter cave areas with waterfalls set in the foreground, and even one that's set inside the tree.  There are a couple cave areas early on that have got in-depth backdrops which look nice, but my video camera didn't like those.  =(

Look: Ardy's trying to become the next Sonic
(well, it's better than most of the blue hedgehog's recent
outings at least)
Animation-wise, it's not quite up there with the overall visuals, but I think they are decent enough.  And yet, despite the motions being fluid even though the animation isn't (in particular when Pec flies out of Ardy's hands) it works oddly enough.  The jumping and running animations are okay, though I do find Pec's constant jumping up and down animation for when he follows Ardy to be cute (and with that cute smile too; that is until he opens his mouth when he attacks, in which case he's scary).  One of the many things that Ardy Lightfoot has got going for it is its anime look and feel, which I feel gives it personality.  =)  That also goes for when Ardy makes certain reactions during certain moments.  The bosses are designed nicely, especially Visconti.  And when it comes to the overworld map screens the character(s) are bite-sized, slightly reminding me of my favorite Super Famicom game from 1994.  =)

Oh, no, a shark!  <=O  I hope it doesn't roar or
spontaneously explode upon being jabbed like it
did in Jaws: The Revenge >=P
The soundtrack to Ardy Lightfoot is incredibly fun and delightful to listen to, and it meshes perfectly with the surroundings.  The brief title theme alone sets the tone for the game, with a tender mix of slight orchestration with adventurous-like beats littered throughout the package.  =)  The game's music left a very good impression on me, and it has quickly become one of my favorite soundtracks coming from a 16-bit platformer.  It's just a shame that there is no in-game sound test, for many of the songs are really good.  =(  The forest theme sounds breezy but fun, the stage with the water raft sounds awesome as it imbues a sense of high adventure in such a cool way (which makes it a little epic), and the second (first cave) and sixth (stomach) stages have got a real menacing tone about them which make them sound a bit ominous at times.

Gliding on an inflatable Pec in a room full of
spikes  =|
The pyramid themes are atmospheric (almost ambient) plus the island and waterfall cave themes sound very soft yet engages on an adventurous level.  The boss theme is filled with riveting string work, but the final boss theme truly steals the show with its supercharged orchestration.  =)  The ending theme is a well-crafted remix of the title theme, and the soundtrack suite heard in the credits sounds incredible and surprisingly it's emotionally resonant.  The sound effects are good and they fit respectively, I feel.  They're fun to listen to (i.e. when you open treasure chests, when Ardy bounces on his tail), and the best part is that they don't obstruct the background music, which is always a plus.  =)
I haven't really discussed about the other gameplay elements, which I'll take a little time to go over here.  If Ardy gets hit once, then Pec will vanish; but if you get hit again, then you lose a life.  In most stages are a few treasure chests scattered about; some contain a life, some consist of stars (if you get one from a chest it counts as ten), and if you're at your most vulnerable one may even have Pec inside.  There are three different variations of Pec: there's the normal Pec (who's cyan), there's the inflatable Pec (pink), and there's the spike helmet Pec (orange).  When Pec is inflatable you can ride on him to higher places, but over time he starts to deflate so you can't stay on him forever.  Spike helmet Pec can smash through rocks once Ardy throws him, which is very helpful.  Even so, Pec will vanish regardless if you get hit with him around.  There are checkpoints positioned in some stages in the form of diminutive scribe statues which you must jump on in order to enable it (and once you jump on them they come alive scribbling the journal).
Oh, boys!  I've got a fun game for you; it's called
Pec Attack!
Ardy Lightfoot is a sidescrolling platformer that's got seventeen stages (eighteen if you count the prologue), which is a very unusual number compared to how many stages a game in the genre usually has.  Okay, they're not all equal in length, as some areas are rather shorter than others.  There's a password system, but you only see what it is when you get a game over and decide to "pass".  There are only five different bosses in the venture, and some of them have to be defeated in quite inventive ways outside of using your tail.  For example one of them involves deflecting a laser that fires back at said boss, and another involves pushing a button adjacent to the opposite corner as a punching glove from said corner punches the boss (but proper timing is important).  Some areas are more open-ended than others, which I can get behind.  =)
Aww, takes me back to Wagyan Paradise <=)
The game was released in Japan in late 1993, while Americans and Europeans had to wait until early and late '94 (respectively) in order to play it.  Even though I only played the Japanese version, I'll talk about the differences between versions (since it's more likely that you played the Western version, and because I like to be informative).  The Western version was released by Titus, which is a company that's infamous for having developed and/or published some schlock titles of yesteryear until 2005 (like Superman: The New Adventures on the Nintendo 64, the SNES exclusive Incantation, and the SNES port of Prince of Persia 2: The Flame and the Sword).  It makes me feel bad for Ardy Lightfoot since Western gamers probably thought that because Titus' name was on it that it was going to suck (when really, it's not bad, not in the slightest; it's just unfortunate that ASCII did not have publishing privileges Westside).  Not to mention they had the scariest company logo ever<=(  If I wanted to look at a foxy company logo, I'll take the pre-2006 Traveller's Tales one any day, thank you very much.
Now then, differences between regions:
In the Japanese game once you beat the fifth stage Catry glides away until she's swallowed whole by a sandworm.  Well, she's dead.  Ardy follows suit and goes after her for she's got one of the rainbow gems, but gets swallowed up as well.  As he traverses even deeper in the creature's acidy stomach he discovers...
..........  Heheheheheheh ........ Wow...... when I said that she died, that was a joke.  I didn't think that the sandworm from Dune would actually kill her.  I mean, geez, that's really dark considering its usually light (yet adventurous) tone; death by acid.  But in the Western version, she's fine; just a little unconscious is all.  =)
You see that cool Indiana Jones-like fellow?  In the Japanese original he's seen with a cigarette in his mouth, but Titus didn't feel it appropriate for Western audiences so they asked ASCII to remove it.  Eh, don't feel too bad; Sega of America and Europe had to go through the same thing as well back then .  Remember Mr. X in Ancient's Streets of Rage 2?  He actually smoked a cigar in the Japanese version Bare Knuckle II: The Requiem of the Deadly Battle, but Sega asked that they keep him with clean lungs for the localized editions.
In the Japanese version if you get a game over Ardy will escape from a cage with a banner that says "The Most Unlucky Man", while in the Western release the banner says something completely different: "Visconti's Jail".  Also in the Japanese version if you hold still long enough Ardy will crouch down sticking his tail up in the air; I guess people don't take too kindly when animals do that, so that idle pose was removed for Western versions.
And now for the most... confusing change of all: <=/
In the fourth stage that takes place in the forest there are a couple moments when you will see bears who are tied up to a tree or are crying (not that you can do anything about it).  In the Western version: they're not there!  What?  I mean: yeah, it's sad to see bears being tied up and shedding tears.  But not enough to fully eviscerate them for the Western release.  =/  What am I supposed to make out of this?  \=(
Your improv needs a little work there buddy
Yeah, it does... -_-
There is also a beta of the game which features a lot of oddities and differences before being changed or polished for the finalized version:
Screen capture of RANDOM HOO HAAS Ardy Lightfoot beta page
This page (which didn't look like a full one at the time) was how I first found about the game back in early 2009 (just once).  If I recall correctly the RANDOM HOO HAAS site runner wasn't exactly enamored of the game, but I think he must've had some fascination towards it for going all out and spotlighting every single difference between beta and finalized version dedicating a full section of his site towards it, so kudos for that.  I thought it was very interesting when I first looked it up, and it did have me intrigued, but it wouldn't be until five and a half years later that I would play it (only for the Super Famicom).  If you're curious about what changes were made go to this link here:  You would be surprised as to what you would find.  =)
The inside of a stomach is definitely not a
place I want to be in ={
Ardy Lightfoot is a platformer, and for the most part it's not really demanding in terms of difficulty, though that's not to say there aren't moments that require a bit of challenge.  A few areas actually require a bit of exploration in order to proceed; in a waterfall-filled cave for example you must search for three switches which you must pull back in order to access the exit.  In the forest there is a very steep hill which you must descend and run down towards seguing into a big leap of faith over a bed of spikes.  In one of Visconti's castle stages you must reach the top of the area through a series of shooting arrows, which is easier said than done because it can get easy to get hit if you're not well-balanced and careful.  =(  Some of Visconti's areas actually do present challenge, like trying to survive a room full of spikes by riding on an inflatable Pec, or even relying on a mirror in an automatic-scrolling stage to see what projectiles are being shot at you once you're behind a wall.  A few areas might include pushing or pulling boxes.  There might be situations when barriers might have to be destroyed by carrying a bomb there.  Either way you put it, you can't say that this platformer is fully devoid of challenge.
You can't see me, you can't touch me X3
So, onto the bosses, then.  Even though the game is mostly easy, most of them took me a while to take down, I have to be really honest.  The first one is the easiest, but the rest are not so easy to take down the first time.  Essentially what you must do is inflict damage on them enough times until they're down for the count; and you can tell when they're close once they start turning crimson red.  The fight with Catry takes a bit to get right because you must time it right as she keeps moving; some bosses require you to bounce off them with your tail while others don't.  If it makes it easier, you can pull out the invulnerability shroud for a few seconds in order to avoid sustaining damage; the only downside is that you can't do it indefinitely as after awhile it'll no longer be functioning.  Just do it in few intervals when the moment calls for it.  The final boss Visconti takes the longest to beat, and I lost count of how many lives I've lost in the process.  Even after the first time, it's still a doozy of a fight, but not impossible.
Up, up, and away!!!!
Depending on how you do, it takes about fifty to roughly sixty minutes to beat the game in one sitting.  If you don't feel you have the time nor can handle the task of beating it in one sitting, at least ASCII has got your back with a simple and not very complex password system (which I can't help but recall the one from SNES Sparkster, even though it's not 100% the same).  I didn't expect a masterpiece upon receiving this game, but I was wholeheartedly surprised at how good it was.  I liked how there were moments of exploration and challenge, as well as how easy it was to get invested in this world.  The anime look and feel really works, and it's incredibly fun while it lasts.  =)  What could possibly prevent it from being one of the best in genre?
o_O  Seriously?  Seriously??  Et tu, Ardy Lightfoot?  What is it with games (and even sequels for that matter) that feel so confident that in the end that they subtly or openly hint that they would get a sequel or follow-up when they don't deliver?
Click for full size; the upper right SFC game is Popful Mail
I don't know about you, but it really frustrates me when a game does that, especially when most of them are either underrated or are very good, but weren't successful officially speaking  You may as well say, "We could make the sequel that we promised in the end; but we won't.  Sorry!"  RRRRGH>O<  If anything, that deceit is worse than a game having no sequels at all (namely Glover, Plok, and Ristar).  And to find that Ardy Lightfoot is one of those games that fall into the category really upsets me.  =(  *sigh*
All right, let's cut to the chase.  While the game is fun (a lot of fun) there are few moments that get frustrating, particularly the upward arrow trail and trying to safely navigate around a room of spikes on Pec who gradually deflates the more you move (luckily Pec can be accessed any time in some particular chests, which admittedly does make the game easy), without touching the spikes.  The final boss takes awhile to beat compared to how long it takes to beat the others, and some areas are shorter than others.  There is a brief mine car sequence which is neat, I like how there are some puzzle moments (like waiting until a minion carries a platform, which you can use to gain higher ground with the tail jump in one area), and there is actually a lot charm throughout the game.  The gameplay is good, the various areas look great, and I have to give props: the ending/credits scene plus a brief scene that takes place before the final boss encounter are pretty emotional (at least, to me they are).  I just hate the fact that it became part of the "unfulfilled sequel bait" club, since I honestly had a lot of fun with it while it lasted.  =(
Let's fly away, Pec!
It's an easy game, but not too easy (it could've benefited from more than just one difficulty setting), and for the most part it's an enjoyable platformer; also very good to look at more often than not.  The soundtrack is well-done, and I liked it.  Easily became one of my favorites.  =)  If you're in the mood for a very fun sidescrolling platformer then this would fit the bill just fine.  If you're looking for something overtly challenging, I'm afraid this isn't what you're looking for.  If you love platformers like I do I'm sure you might enjoy this game, but be forewarned it's got one of the most strenuous upward-scaling areas ever.  Ardy Lightfoot in my opinion is a good, underrated game.  If you're curious, I recommend that you check it out.  I'm glad I did.  =)
<(^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^)>
P.S. I'm sure there are other examples than the ones I've pointed out, but those were the ones that popped into mind.  I could've included Axelay on there, but its openly stated sequel bait isn't seen until you go through Hard mode twice, and not many people would want to do that I'm afraid.  =(
P.S. 2: I'm not 100% sure what kind of creature Ardy is, but he does have some cat-like qualities so....... if that's the case, it's a much better cat game than all the Bubsy the Bobcat games (particularly the second one).  XD  I do like his winged hat, though; though I don't get his weird fashion choice: red gloves, really?
P.S. 3: Pec is so cute when he smiles... which is, a lot.
P.S. 4: Note to future video game developers: if you think your game's got the potential to have a sequel, great.  If your game doesn't have a chance of garnering a sequel, then please, for the love of all that's decent, refrain from sequel baiting>=(
P.S. 5: And speaking of Gummi Bears: boy, would I have loved to have played a video game adaptation based on that underrated Disney show.  A gamer can dream.
Thank you for reading my review; please leave a comment and let me know what you thought.  Take care!  =)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) Review

Written: August 3rd-7th, 2014
(As played on Super Game Boy)
Alternate Names: Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan [|O|] / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [|O|]
Year: 1990 | Developed and Published by: Konami
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit... unless I'm talking about something else.  You know one of the things I love?  Ninjas!  =)  Well,...
except for the ones from Seiken Densetsu 3; now they were just a pain in the ass>=(  All the other enemies from that game are awesome, though.
Seeing as we're in August, it is with a sad heart to report that Summer will be nearing its end.  =(  I've done plenty of fun things during the season, one of them being watching a lot of fun Summer movies in theatres (especially the recent Guardians of the Galaxy, which may be the best MCU movie since Marvel's The Avengers two years ago).... errm, mostly fun.
Sorry Godzilla (2014), until I see something worse you're the weakest out of the nine (so far) movies I've seen this Summer.
Yes, I'd say that 2014's Summer was full of must sees overall; but you know what I will not be watching this season?  The newest reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  And it's not because Michael Bay and Megan Fox are involved that I won't be watching it (I'm not that childish).......... rather, it's the Turtles themselves the reason I won't be watching it.  }=>
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
From the first time that I saw one of the first trailers (on my laptop) I was just grossed out by their appearance (talk about fugly).  They are humanized live action/motion captured/CGI monstrosities, and seeing the trailers in the big screen absolutely does not help its case (even the most recent ones).  This maybe would've worked if it was a movie inhabited by live action/motion captured/CGI characters (like those live action/CG-motion capture Robert Zemeckis movies), except the human characters are played by actual human beings, so it doesn't work.  And if that's not the reason, then it's because it just doesn't look good to me judging from what I've seen from the trailers.  I don't care how awesome the new Shredder looks, this one I will consider a pass.  =<
Ah, that's more like it!
If people are going to watch it, then they are entitled to do so; more power for them.  Personally I will not even bother (at least, not willingly); different strokes for different folks.  Still, it's incredible how far these guys have come in the past thirty years: from their debut in the (former license holder) Mirage Studios comics in 1984, to the animated series from 1987, to the early '90s live action movie trilogy (the first directed by Steve Barron, second by Michael Pressman, and the third movie by Stuart Gillard), to the late '90s live action TV show (including crossing over with the Power Rangers at one point), to the darker 2003 animated series, to the entirely CG-oriented 2007 theatrical movie, to the .... 2012 Nickelodeon-based ..... series?  Oh, come on, are you kidding me?!  How many reboots does this thirty-year old series need?  That's just ridiculous!  And 2014's version is not even the first theatrical reboot?  Curious.  =/
Well whatever; since the newest TMNT-based movie is coming this week, I figured I would take the time to talk about a Turtles game from their golden days..... (that is, before the '00s).  How about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time=D
Don't have it.
Oh,.... well, the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game then?  <=|
Didn't beat it.
................ 3=  The SNES adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Figh---?
Never played it.
Dammit!  I don't really have a great TMNT game with me, so I'll settle with what I've got: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan.  The first of the three TMNT games for the Game Boy, this game was one of the first licensed titles that Konami made for Nintendo's first mainstream handheld.  But has it stood the test of time well?  Let's find out as we--- wait; the third movie was directed by Stuart Gillard?  That name sounds so familiar; what other movie did he direct?
Ah, bats!
So being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game the plot is very straightforward.  News reporter April O'Neil has been kidnapped by the Foot Soldiers, and the four mutant Turtles (all named after Renaissance artists Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello) all go out to save their yellow jumpsuit-wearing news reporter friend.  Gee, didn't see that coming.  =|  Meanwhile, they must contend with the Shredder's forces the Foot Soldiers as well as other enemies out to get them, such as bats, fish, fire, secondary robots, motorcycle ambushes, Mousers, and Roadkill Rodneys.  They will also be facing their foes Bebop and Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Shredder, and Krang.  Will this quartet succeed in their endeavors?
"Good thing I'm a turtle and
can breathe underwater."
You take control of either one of four Turtles, each with their own weapons: Leonardo's got his katanas, Raphael with his Sais, Michelangelo with his nunchucks, and Donatello who has his Bo staff.  They can also walk very slowly, do midair kicks, and even throw shuriken while they're ducking.  One thing you'll find evident right from the get-go is that it doesn't appear that you have lives; actually you do.  The four individual Turtles are each worth your four individual lives, and unlike most platformers where you can get more lives they cannot be reclaimed.  Should you lose all your health the Turtle you were playing as will be captured, and you'll no longer be able to play as that Turtle.  If you lose all four of your main protagonists, the game is over; not that you'll have to worry about that happening much, but more on that later.
Roadkill Rodneys attack
The controls are fairly decent by themselves, even though the default controls might feel a little backwards at first (luckily you can flip the commands of the buttons before starting the game; that way you don't have to necessarily jump with the B button and attack with the A button).  Like the Game Boy version of Parodius Da! -Shinwa kara Owarai e- you can decide whether to jump to a later stage or play the whole game from the beginning; but if I were you I'd strongly suggest that you stick it the whole way through otherwise the full ending will not be played.  Midjumps can be controlled, and even though it may not seem likely: the midair kicks are stronger than your weapon and your shuriken.  Weird, I know.  The walking speed is slow, but that's all right since every other step the enemies will try to ambush you from both sides.  It's kind of like X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse in this regard; in that it's a sidescrolling beat'em up that is only viewed on a singular plane (even though the controls really aren't that complex for this game).
The original Game Boy wasn't known for its impressive graphics capacity, but it does have a reputation of sometimes turning in some grand visuals despite its limitations.  For the most part Fall of the Foot Clan looks really good considering it came out in 1990, for each area has got its own background décor and feel; more than half of these stages even have segments of line scrolling, which is a feat that you rarely see in titles for this handheld.  The first area takes place in very detailed slums with the skyscrapers looming in the background; then there are the sewers which have got heavily bricked walls and sewage (the sewage even scrolls, which is neat).  Another example is the fourth stage where you're perusing above or below the river, and when you're above the river you see a nice mountain in the backdrop (and when you're below the river the breath bubbles will sometimes emerge from the Turtle's mouth; you can't help but appreciate small details like that).  Another high point is the cutscenes, which look faithfully replicated from the animated series at the time (albeit as still shots).
Oh no, my kick made part of
Rocksteady disappear! O=
But with the good must also come the bad.  =(  As nice as the visuals look, you find yourself appreciating the amount of detail that Konami put in there (in particular the wall décor in most areas); but when it comes to the couple sections that just have a solid blank background (with no detail given it whatsoever), it leaves a lot to be desired (the framing foreground is fine, but you wish that they could have come up with more backgrounds).  Another aspect is the characters and enemies; they all look fine (even though the four Turtles are one big palette swap, save for a few animations signaling they're not the same), but the animation is really stiff (still, slightly less clunky than ActRaiser's character and enemy animations).  Even the bosses don't display smooth animation when they perform their actions, which is very disappointing, because their designs are very nice (and the bit for when they get damaged is priceless, but it's solely one elongated flashing frame).  Another issue with the visuals comes from the fact that there are cases of flicker from time to time (sometimes coming from the enemies or even you, usually when a lot or little is going on), and while it doesn't break the game by any means, it can be distracting.  These low points end up making what is otherwise a good-looking game into something that fits in the line of adequate.
"The enemy must be near.
April is screaming."
Despite its limited capacities, the Game Boy has been known to turn in some very memorable and quite good soundtracks (mostly).  Fall of the Foot Clan is one of them, and the tinny composition sounds don't detract the quality really.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme has been replicated faithfully in the transition to the Game Boy, and the melody sounds just right.  The other songs are spot-on too, especially the third stage with the truck which is my favorite in the game.  =)  The music was done by two composers, one of them being Michiru Yamane (yes, the same Michiru Yamane that would eventually craft the fantastic music to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night), and I must commend these composers for doing a job well done.  If you've played Detana!! TwinBee you'll recognize some similarities in terms of composition, and that's no coincidence as she's contributed some music for that game as well (along with two other composers).  The boss themes are all right, though I wish I could hear them in their entirety because by the time you're done with the boss fights the music is still in its loop (especially the final one).  =(

Crap, I'm surrounded!
The sound effects are serviceable but they're nothing to write home about.  Each Turtle's weapon makes different sounds when they're being used, and fortunately for the most part while the music and sound volumes are about on par with each other they don't do anything to obfuscate the music or the melody much, so that much is a plus.  Fall of the Foot Clan is a very straightforward game in that exact sense of the word.  The paths are linear and do not deviate to alternate ones, and each section is quite short.  Along the way you'll fight enemies that come at you left and right, usually after every other step, and while there may be moments when the enemies will seem to overpower you, it's not as overwhelming as it sounds (and I'll explain why soon).  In most areas there are secret bonus games that can be accessed (either by walking towards one wall, jumping in the upper left corner in the in-door area, or even jumping on either corners of certain solid spikes coming down in one area).  Once you've found it, the Turtle will flash and will be taken to any one of three bonus games.

In the first bonus you'll be given ten chances to correctly guess the number that Master Splinter is thinking of between zero and nine-hundred ninety-nine.  You'll be given hints as to whether you've gone bigger and smaller.  The second game requires you to go against Krang as you pick up as many shuriken as you can; the game is over when the winner gets the sole remaining shuriken.  The third and final bonus is a more interactive oriented one as you guide the crosshairs and shoot the balls that are being thrown in the blank field; you must get as many as Splinter tells you in order to qualify, but there's no shame in getting all of them for a perfect score.  These are completely optional bonuses, but if you do manage to win any of these bonuses you'll get a real big score and your health will be replenished in full.
A kick to the face oughta do it
Your health is comprised of eight squares, which can be replenished through the pizza power-up.  Some pizzas (whether slices or full circles) will appear through small winged aircraft or some may show up after having defeated certain enemies.  Aside from that, those are really the only power-ups you'll find in the game.  I said the overcrowding of enemies as you peruse is not as overwhelming as it sounds, largely because they're easy to get rid of.  Another reason is because they have their own patterns which are easy to avoid, and several of them you'll be wanting to get rid of with your midair kick attack (since it's twice as strong as the Turtle's main weapon, which doesn't really make sense).  And that's the key term about the handling of their demise: easy.
Truck ridin'
Fall of the Foot Clan is a very easy game that poses little in terms of challenge, which is especially true for the boss battles.  And that's a shame because the final one Krang actually has got a cool entrance, but since he's not that challenging the battle is over as quickly as it got started.  =(  The pattern against them really is just attacking them (with your kicks) and then moving out of their way once they attack, up until they're down for the count.  It's not exactly exciting, and the lack of challenge really hurts it.  But what really drags it down is that aside from the fact that are secret optional bonus games and the fact that you can play as any one of four Turtles, there's no replay value once it's over.  Sure the Turtles have different weapons, but enemy patterns are not random, and with each replay you know where they're coming from.  Very experienced gamers will be able to beat it without losing a single Turtle, but even if you flub once in that regard it's not a difficult game.
I first played this game with a couple other Game Boy titles after I bought them at former retro game store GameCrazy back in late 2006.  Having enjoyed Turtles in Time on the SNES a lot when I was little, I wanted to try another game based on the old animated series.  It's not quite as good as that classic, and technically speaking Fall of the Foot Clan isn't really all that good, but despite the grievances I've given it it's actually a very harmless game.  Yes, it is short (takes about eighteen or twenty minutes without accessing the bonuses, a few minutes longer if you do), it is easy, and it could've benefited from much substantial replay value.  But I'll give it credit where credit is due: as a visual and sound tech demo it's really good.  =)
Cool cave, boring background
For being the first Turtles game that Konami made for the Game Boy, they did a fine job capturing the look and charm of the series.  I appreciated all the detail they tried to put in to the areas to give them their own distinct feel, it's too bad that they don't pull through for every area (specifically the ones with the blank backgrounds, plus all that flicker).  The Turtles look fine, even though they have the same expression on their faces (unless they're hit).  The soundtrack does a good job of capturing the spirit of the series, and gameplay-wise it's okay.  It's clear that Konami wanted to aim bigger here, I just wish they could've made it more enjoyable in the process.  Still, at least it's not a cheap cashgrab like some of their last Turtles games from over a decade ago for the Game Boy Advance (it was clear at that point that Konami truly gave up on them).
Turtle (sorta) Power
I know some hold this game in high regard (partly due to nostalgia for some), and I understand why.  There's nothing wrong with liking Fall of the Foot Clan, as it's got a lot of likability going for it.  While I don't quite think it's great, I do appreciate some of its qualities.  While there are much better games you could be playing on the original Game Boy, you could do far worse than this as it's harmless to play in short bursts.  I don't hate it, but I don't regret playing it either.  =)  If you're curious about this game, you may want to give it a go to see what Konami could pull off in terms of visuals and sound for the Game Boy at the time; if you expect this to be awesome, you're bound to be disappointed.  If you want to play a game with replay value, try something else; if you want to play a game that takes about a half hour to beat, then this is not a bad choice.  If you're a Turtles fan there's a chance that this game might be right up your alley; just don't expect too much of it and you'll be fine.  It's likable but not without its flaws.
But hey, if you didn't like Fall of the Foot Clan, there's the Turtles' second Game Boy venture Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Back from the Sewers, which was..... oh wait, I never played that one either.  .....  Crap.  -_-
<(^.^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^.^)>
P.S. I know what you're thinking, and no I didn't select the green color scheme on the Super Game Boy due the fact that this was an early monochromatic Game Boy game.  That is just coincidence.
P.S. 2 Screw you, Harland Williams, you profaned "When You Wish Upon a Star" with your ceaselessly annoying stupidity; emphasis on annoying.  God, I hate Rocket Man!
P.S. 3 Thus far the only movies I saw in the Summer of 2014 are The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla (2014), X-Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent, Edge of Tomorrow, How to Train your Dragon 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Hercules (2014), and Guardians of the Galaxy.  Hey, at least all those other movies had characters I actually cared about more than the ones from 2014's Godzilla=<
P.S. 4 At one point I would've given this game a much lower score, but I decided to be generous towards Fall of the Foot Clan in the end as you could do worse.  And besides, it's bound to be better than the Michael Bay treatment we'll be given this Friday anyway.
P.S. 5 I like how in the river stage any time a Turtle jumps in or out of the water there is a neat splash effect.  Where were all those neat splash effects in ActRaiser, hm?  I swear that game deserves its nines and tens as much as Ecco Jr. deserved that 2 on NintendoLife; in that, it doesn't>=P
Thank you for reading my review, please leave a comment and I hope you have a great day.  Take care!  =)
In speaking of Konami, recently the European version of TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventure, Pop'n TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventures, has been rereleased for the first time ever on the European Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console.  That's great news, and I recommend you Europeans play it.  =)  Of course by that I mean: buy yourselves a Japanese Nintendo Wii U, download the game, and you'll play the superior version of this fun platformer.  Go TwinBee!!!  =D