So I’m a first time player of these games, but a fan of retro gaming in general and love it when companies release these big collections of older titles. The Cowabunga Collection seemed right up my alley, but now that I’ve played it, I can’t help but feel a little bit of disappointment despite the goods on offer.

Like, don’t get me wrong, the games themselves are all there and I have no doubt fans may be happy with them, but so many of them are just reskins and nearly all of them have some sort of technical issue bringing down the experience. I played both solo and local co-op with a friend and noticed a variety of issues including input delay, audio glitches, and the gameplay generally just feeling “off”, particularly with things like hitboxes that don’t feel right even as someone that has played a lot of similar games on the original hardware that these come from.

I also wasn’t a fan of the cumbersome UI and the bare minimum quality of life additions for what should be THE definitive collection of these games. Like yeah, we get the ability to save anywhere, filters, and a rewind feature, but miss out on things like per-game settings, speed-up options, and actually having more than one save slot.

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Otherwise, the games themselves are fine. I don’t have nostalgia for these, so they play like any other side-scrolling beat ‘em up from the era for the most part. Not bad, not particularly good, just fine. If anything, I’m glad to finally have the ability to play them on a modern platform, but I also cannot deny I kinda expected a bit more.

I’m not even sure what my favorite would be – maybe Tournament Fighters? Then again, I’m just a big fighting game fan in general. The Game Boy games and the original NES TMNT game are probably my least favorite of the bunch.

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So that’s kinda where I’m at with this collection. I was playing it for review, but honestly, I can’t see myself getting any further than I already have, so I figured a first impressions post  was in order. Decent collection, plenty of issues, standard gameplay, expensive pricing – that’s pretty much it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection retails for $40 USD on Steam, but you can get an official Steam key for 15% off using my Gamesplanet partner link. It is also available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.

I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.