In the 90s it wasn’t hard to find people discussing a white knuckle ride known as Turrican. One of the more successful Amiga conversions it seemed like Turrican was on the up, then it just stopped. ININ Games have resurrected the powerhouse in form of a collection to introduce and remind people of just what we are missing!.
Turrican Flashback collects the following titles
- Turrican 2: The Final Battle
- Super Turrican
- Mega Turrican
The first two titles are the Amiga versions of the games and naturally the latter two are the respective Super Nes and Mega Drive versions of the games.
The U.I for the collection is brilliantly crisp and the amount of options for each title is fantastic. You can tweak the graphics to make them look more authentic, create save states, use the rewind feature to stop any mistakes and the developers have even included a Cheat screen to show you how to activate classic cheats should the games be making you cry!.
A Lot of care has gone into this collection and it is great to see it after the last collection we covered, it is very hard to find any fault with the presentation bar the fact there is no Gallery!. I would have loved to flick through artwork with the fantastic tunes of Chris Hulesbeck, seeing stuff that was cut from the games and any cancelled projects, maybe next time eh?.
So what is Turrican and are the game selected A) Any good and B) Stand the test of time?. Well allow me to gush about them for a bit but for fans of the series I’m sure you already know the answers.
Turrican is very similar to titles like Contra, you jump and shoot ALOT of enemies, where the main difference was lay in the level design which for its time was insanely open, hidden with secrets yet never too complex that would see you head scratching.
Turrican starts off this compilation and as you can expect its the most “basic” of all the titles, don’t let that fool you, for a game from 1990. Visually Turrican is still a great looking game though it’s missing alot of the flair that the later games have and the animation here though still fantastic for its time could have been a little better.
It is a tough little game, some of the bosses are just dedicated life sinks but for keen explorers there are plenty of 1ups to find! The weapon selection is quite good here but the limited “metroid” roll does mean you’ll intentionally die at times to get it back as you only have 3 uses and no way to replenish.
Turrican 2: The Final Fight, deceptive name aside is Turrican 1 turned up to 11, everything here is bigger and better, this is the title most gamers think of when the name Turrican is uttered.
Console peasants like myself may remember this having a rather “interesting” Mega Drive port, under the name and license Universal Soldier. This is that very game, only bad enemy sprites back to normal and no Dolph Lungdren based boss fights!.
My only issue with Turrican 1 and 2 is the lack of feedback when you get damaged, you can be stood on a spike and die long before you’ve seen your health meter go down, you don’t flash or anything making it a guessing game at times if you’re getting damaged.
Super and Mega Turrican close out this collection and I would wager the titles most familiar to gamers. Two very similar games in story and some of the levels, each version has some striking differences. Exclusive levels, different weapons and the SNES version has a distinct lack of boss fights, something that is a bit of a highlight in the Mega Drive Turrican.
Another difference lies within the gameplay, Super Turrican gives you a freeze ray which naturally freezes foes in place, useful but hardly essential. Mega Turrican gives you a grappling hook which is used quite a bit in conjunction with the level design and especially in 1 boss fight. A lot more thought has gone into the “gimmick” of Mega than Super and the fact Mega is actually a longer game makes it stand just that slight bit taller than its “super” counterpart.
All in all, Turrican Flashback is a brilliantly put together collection where the weakest game is fantastic, that alone should tell you what you need to know BUT if you haven’t quite gotten the hint yet, retro enthusiasts and curious gamers should take the more than reasonably priced dive and get their hands on one of my favourite gaming collections in recent history. The music, my god the music!!!
An essential collection of one of the most influential and seemingly forgotten European gaming powerhouses.
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