Truth be told, I had the first three Ninja Turtles games for the NES, and each had some nice features, but #2 was my favorite. From the basic side-scrolling original (with top down views when you went outside buildings), the game designers added several features.
- There was the three-quarter view, which gave a sense of depth to the levels, since you could dodge attacks by simply moving towards the top of bottom of the screen, depending on where you were.
- They added the jump kick attack. In the first game, you had your weapons (bo, katana, sai, nunchuks), and then you could pick up other weapons as you went along, like boomerangs, shuriken, grappling hooks, etc. In this one, they removed the extra weapons, which were limited use anyway, and gave you an attack you could start from a distance (since you could jump, and then launch the kick, while out of the enemy's range). Plus, the enemies often didn't seem as able to defend themselves against the jump kick, compared to charging up to them and smacking them repeatedly with your weapon.
- They gave you a level where you cruised down the freeway on a rocket-powered skateboard, fighting ninjas on skateboards, and helicopters (how awesome is it that you could jump kick a helicopter into oblivion?). Much like the bungie-jumping level in Earthworm Jim, that was one of those levels I would play the game for hours, specifically so I could reach that level, and have some fun.
- They made it co-op. That was a totally new idea to me at the time, being able to actually play simultaneously with one of your friends, whomping the bad guys from two directions at once. Granted, the game added twice as many enemies to compensate for there being twice as many turtles, and my friends were rarely on the same level as me, meaning they died a lot, and took advantage of one of the game's other features, wherin a defeated player could get back into the game, provided their partner had a spare life. It was only really a problem when I only had two bars of my current life left, and the spare they took was my only other life, so suddenly I'm the one facing imminent demise.
That occasional annoyance aside, it was still an intensely fun game, and it's the first game I got my dad to play with me, and that counts for a lot with me.