Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist was Konami's way of getting around Nintendo's demand that Turtles in Time be a Super Nintendo exclusive; they took Turtles in Time, made a new story, switched some levels around, and tweaked some animations, and then they released it on Genesis as The Hyperstone Heist. It is, in my opinion, a weak, gimped port of Turtles in Time (though there are a couple new levels, making that not an entirely fair assessment), but with a game as amazing as Turtles in Time, even a truly bad port would still be a good game, and this is definitely still a good game.
The story is that Shredder has used the Hyperstone to submerge Manhattan Island underwater as a demonstration of power and then took over the world, so obviously the turtles have to go stop him. Generic as TMNT plots go, but with TMNT, that's not a bad thing. The game is your classic Turtles beat 'em up, and it most respects, it plays pretty much the same as its superior and more popular brother, Turtles in Time. The biggest difference - and one of the few ways IMO that Hyperstone Heist can claim a superior feature - is the dedicated dash button. Otherwise the combat controls and feels pretty much the same with a few subtle differences here and there. The only other big gameplay difference is that Hyperstone Heist has fewer levels than Turtles in Time, but the levels are much longer. All in all, the games are roughly the same length with Hyperstone Heist coming in maybe a little bit shorter.
With regards to graphics and sound, a lot of that comes down to personal preferences between Genesis and Super Nintendo in terms of whether Hyperstone Heist or Turtles in Time is superior. The music in Turtles in Time generally sounds a bit smoother to me with more emphasis on treble whereas Hyperstone Heist has much inferior digitized voice samples and music that sounds rather tinny to my ear but features some kickin' bass. With regards to graphics, Hyperstone Heist is a brighter game with greater use of contrast, but Turtles in Time has more special effects, a superior color palette, and more detailed sprites than Hyperstone Heist, although it's also worth noting that those difference are exacerbated by the SNES's superior image quality over composite; I'm using HD Retrovision's component cables on my Genesis, and the difference is much more minor than over composite. It's definitely a subjective toss up with regards to visuals and sound between the two.
Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist is an excellent beat 'em up and - at worst - a great consolation prize to Genesis owners over the SNES's Turtles in Time exclusivity. With a different story, rearranged or entirely new stages, and a soundtrack with a very different feel, Hyperstone Heist differentiates itself from Turtles in Time enough to be well worth owning on its own. If you're a Genesis fan, you need this in your collection, and if you're a TMNT fan, you DEFINITELY need this in your collection.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.