A few months ago, I had the chance to review the 3DS version of the game where it actually surprised me and I learned not to judge a game for its trailer.
The gameplay is still the same: a horizontal platformer where you need to move from point A to B, being required to jump through obstacles and defeat enemies with your water weapon. Each level includes a total of 100 fruits that can be collected and collecting them on all the levels allow you to unlock a second quest.
Both the normal and the second quests feature a total of fifteen phases divided into five phases and a final boss stage. Still, the level design isn’t just the only difference on the second quest: its difficulty curve is noticeably higher and you only have two hearts instead of four.
Meanwhile there isn’t a life system on Turtle Tale, there are still checkpoints and a characteristic from the 8/16 bit era: if you are hit, you will be knocked back (therefore be careful in corners!). The controls are also the same: “B” button to jump and “Y” button to attack, and meanwhile it works flawlessly, I found the lack of the Wii U Pro Controller disappointing, or at least the Wii Remote for a pure retro experience (you know, like an NES controller).
The graphics again isn’t the strong feature of the title, however, there is an improvement since the 3DS version including smoother animations, a few interface upgrades and better lighting that can be easily noticed in the cave levels. The soundtrack is still great and the sound effects have been balanced, resulting in good news for a few levels like Beach-3.
The presentation also keeps being simple and meanwhile I would have loved to see more controller options, it’s a solid experience after all considering its price.
Just like the handheld version, the game offers a classic and challenging platformer experience for a cheap price and a second quest that will frustrate a majority of hardcore gamers. A fine gameplay over graphics example, still the music is quite good!