Turrican Flashback offers four games in the franchise in a single package. Read our thoughts about this collection in our Turrican Flashback review!
Turrican Flashback brings together 4 of the greatest titles in the series with Turrican, Turrican II: The Final Fight, Mega Turrican and Super Turrican all in one package! Developed jointly between the original team at Factor 5 and preservation specialists Ratalaika Games, Turrican has never felt, looked and sounded better! New reworked controls makes the classic home computer classics an ease to pick up and play, welcoming new and old fans to relive the classic with the touch of a button.
Turrican Flashback from Factor 5 and ININ Games is composed of the four Turrican games, that released between 1990-1994 on different systems. If, like me, you have never played a Turrican game before, then you need to know these games are non-linear platformer in which you play as a metallic robot named Turrican, and the main goal of every game is simple: destroy every enemy in your path in order to save the universe.
Before you dive into any of the four games in this collection, the main menu will show each game along with its description and even tells you about the cheats that can be used to make your life easier. There is also a save state feature, as well as an instantaneous rewind option you can use by pressing the R2 button to help you fix any mistakes you make as you play each of these releases. There is, however, one catch: using any of those helpful options will lock your game out of trophies until you restart from the beginning – more on this in a bit.
The original Turrican released on the Commodore Amiga home computer back in 1990. It’s the first release of the franchise, and you’ll take the shoes of Turrican for the first time. The gameplay is simple and to the point, asking that you shoot at everything you see. You have only three lives, and you’ll soon notice that your health bar depletes very quickly if you’re not careful! You must run, shoot, and jump to try and avoid enemies and their attacks, using the items you collect to deal a ton of damage.
The non-linear level design rewards exploration, but there’s one issue with this game: the camera. As you move in any direction, Turrican will always be in the first third of the screen instead of being at the center, like in other action platformers you might have played. This means that you don’t have much room for maneuvering when you notice an enemy in front of you. Because of this, and due to how the health bar depletes quickly when in trouble, the game is not going to be for everyone.
Being a game released late in the 8-bit era, each level you take on is colorful and detailed, with a good variety of enemies and bosses to battle. The soundtrack is definitely a highlight of this game, and it’s just the beginning because the soundtracks for the other games expand and improve on what the first game in the franchise has to offer.
Turrican II review
Turrican II released on the Commodore Amiga home computer in 1991 and follows after the events of the first Turrican. This time, humanity is in search of new lifeforms in unexplored galaxies. The ship is attacked, and a single human survives. He then takes the armor of Turrican and goes on to seek revenge over “The Machine.”
This game is really similar to the first installment, using the same game engine and setup, which at times makes this one feel more like an expansion of the first game. The level design still rewards exploration, and there is a slight visual upgrade over the previous title that can be experienced in later days. The issue I mentioned for the first game about the camera is still here, so that’s something to consider.
As I mentioned before, the soundtrack for this sequel looks and feels great, with a very catchy set of tunes that sound awesome when blasted from the TV’s speakers. All in all, it’s a better experience when compared to its prequel, showing some improvements to the formula here and there.
Mega Turrican review
Mega Turrican released on the Sega Genesis in 1994, so it’s a more modern title. After the fall of “The Machine” on Turrican 2, a few peaceful years have passed, but The Machine returns once again to wreak havoc on the planets. The hero takes the Turrican suit once again for a new confrontation.
This release moved to a 16-bit console, which is easily noticeable as you start to play. The backgrounds are packed with details, and I liked how some effects that emulated a 3D perspective were added. The gameplay still requires you to explore the levels to find some secrets that will reward your curiosity, but it’s a bit more linear when compared to the first two games in the series. At times, it had a feeling similar to the beloved Contra series, A grapple is also introduced early in the game, and this allows Turrican to reach new heights, with the level design taking advantage of this without taking things too far.
The difficulty felt more accessible, and there’s even an option that allows changing the difficulty of the game. The soundtrack has some amazing tracks, and the way the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive renders sounds makes for a different take on some classic tracks. Oh, and the issues I had with the camera in the first two games are gone for this one!
Super Turrican review
Super Turrican was actually released on the Super Nintendo in 1993, a year prior to the Genesis version. Once again The Machine has appeared and is up to no good, and the peaceful world of Katakis is under its threat.
The very first thing that I noticed as I began playing the game is how good this game sounds. The soundtrack is amazing, and the SNES’s sound chip – manufactured by Sony – makes everything land with a big oomph. The areas you’ll explore and the enemies you’ll fight against also pop nicely on the screen, thanks to the jump into the 16-bit era. This SNES game is also more focused on the action when compared to the two first games in the franchise, and since it was actually released before the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game, there’s no grapple to use.
Now back onto the subject of trophies: this is not a list that will be easy to complete as you try to add a new Platinum to your collection! It requires you to master each and every game in the collection, demanding pixel-perfect precision for every one of your jumps, as you memorize enemy placement and where each of the bonus extra lives and power-ups is located. The trophies are locked if you use cheat codes, save states, or time rewind, which is definitely going to keep many gamers from unlocking all the trophies on this particular list.
If you’re a die-hard fan of the Turrican franchise, then this release will be a no-brainer for you. If you’re new to the franchise like I was, then you’ll need to be ready to dive into four hardcore old-school-to-the-core 2D action platformers. The first two titles in this collection might be showing their age for some of you, while the 16-bit entries offer a considerable boost to the graphics and sounds of Mega Turrican and Super Turrican. Turrican Flashback is out on PlayStation 4 with a $29.99 price.
This Turrican Flashback review is based on a PlayStation 4 code provided by Factor 5.