You may remember we covered a title called Turrican Flashback a while ago, a compilation of 4 Turrican games for those who didn’t want to drop big money on the two physical compilations of the titles put out by Strictly Limited Games. Well, Inin Games have struck again and released those two compilations digitally so now you can get all the Turrican you could ever need spread across two hefty games.
Turrican Anthology Vol 1. Contains the following games.
Turrican II: The Final Fight
Super Turrican: Directors Cut
Mega Turrican: Score Attack
Turrican Anthology Vol 2. Contains the following games.
Turrican 3: Payment Day
Mega Turrican: Directors Cut
Super Turrican 2
Super Turrican: Score Attack
Each title contains the various quality of life improvements you have grown to expect from re-releases such as CRT Filters, Save States, and even a handy rewind feature but thankfully Turrican Anthology 1 & 2 go a little beyond what the standard re-releases usually offer. The games contain achievements for you to work towards which in turn unlock the bonus jukebox and gallery full of concept art for the series and the brilliant music which permeates throughout the games.
Multiple covers to cycle through, cheat hints and a host of other extras really help these compilation titles go that extra mile and give you even more incentive to work through this plethora of explosive titles.
Turrican is very similar to titles like Contra, you jump and shoot ALOT of enemies, where the main difference lay in the level design which for its time was insanely open, hidden with secrets yet never too complex that would see your head scratching.
Turrican starts off this compilation and as you can expect it’s 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 a lot 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
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.
Turrican 3: Payment Day
Turrican 3: Payment Day is the Amiga version of Super/Mega Turrican, it offers different visuals and a different soundtrack but plays nearly identical to the other versions sans stuff like Mode 7 and the colour pallet of Mega. While I wouldn’t suggest this version over either of the two mentioned it is fantastic that it’s available here and well worth playing potentially after Turrican 2: The Final Fight before you leap into the console versions.
Super & Mega Turrican
Super and Mega Turrican are titles that 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 have 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 that 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.
Both games feature a Score Attack mode which features dissected versions of levels to get you straight into the action and build high scores to brag to other Turrican fans just how well you can hang. While not quite an alternative to just having the other title, an issue if you only buy one of the Anthology titles, it is a great way to experience the SNES or Mega Drive version if you don’t own them.
Again both games feature Directors Cuts, which includes different enemy placement, cut content such as effects and cutscenes, and even cut stages, originally being stuck on the Analogue Super NT and exclusive to the physical versions of the games it’s a fantastic addition for any fan familiar with the games in that they want something familiar but a little different.
Super Turrican 2
Super Turrican 2 closes out the anthology and is the most “Console” of all the titles, featuring brand new sprite work and abuse of Mode 7 this title feels closer to titles like Contra 3 and Hard Corps than the previous titles, stripping away the giant levels for a more linear and explosive experience, riddled with set pieces and more enemies than you’ll know what to do with.
While not a bad game at all it does feel the furthest away from the formula laid down across the previous titles and maybe a little jarring at first but if you stick with it you’ll find yet another classic title that ranks quite highly amongst the Super Nintendo and its collection of run and gun goodness.
While Turrican Flashback was a fantastic title, the anthology titles just blow it away in terms of extras and additional titles, at £29.99 per title it is a much pricer ask than the Flashback collection but if you are a fan of the titles it’s much easier ask considering the amount of game on offer here.
I couldn’t be more grateful that I can now play every Turrican title back to back on my Switch, the pickup and play gameplay of the series has never shined brighter and if I find myself getting frustrated at the difficulty of Turrican 2 I can always switch over the cathartic blast-a-thon of Super Turrican 2 or into the familiar warm arms of Mega Turrican, easily one of the best compilation titles I have had a pleasure of owning and the fact it’s not restricted to a physical only, a limited run is even better!.
Near perfection only hampered by it being split into 2 titles instead of one. An essential purchase for fans of 90s shooters