A recent TMNT video game was released for PS3 and XBox 360 (I will write about those at some later date). I want to take this time to acknowledge the fact that the TMNT game series was involved in breakthrough in 8-bit gaming. 1989 saw the release of both an action/adventure TMNT game for the NES, as well as a hit arcade fight action (in the traditional Double Dragon format) game. In 1990, this game would be ported to the NES. This porting would entail developing a 16-bit game on an 8-bit gaming system, so some sacrifices in the graphic and sound departments are apparent. But what’s noteworthy here is that the multi-layered scrolling (the background scrolls along slower than the foreground does) was kept intact.
This may be taken for granted today, but this was unheard of in 8-bit gaming (at least on the NES) at the time. Generally, there was no differentiation in scrolling on NES games–the background and foreground scrolled at the same pace. Multi-layered scrolling would be common in 16 games (Sega Genesis, SNES) and is no more than an afterthought in today’s 7th generation gaming systems. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that it was a TMNT game that was part of this breakthrough/transition.