Turrican is an often overlooked series of classic run 'n' gun action games and you can now play 4 of them in a brand new compilation.
I've been gaming since the late-'80s but I've actually never played any of the Turrican games. However, I've always been interested in checking it out and now that this compilation exists, I'm glad that I can now enjoy a chunk of the franchise in one convenient package. For starters, the included games are Turrican and Turrican II which released for Amiga back in '90 and '91, respectively, as well as 1994's Mega Turrican for Genesis and Super Turrican for SNES from 1993. Unfortunately, some games are missing such as Super Turrican for NES and 1995's Super Turrican 2 plus the different console versions of each included title. Nevertheless, the collection still showcases what the series is capable of quite well so if you're a fan or merely want to check out the Turrican series, this is a solid compilation.
For the unfamiliar, the Turrican games generally have you control a mutant cyborg warrior dude who is capable of unleashing several cans of whoop-ass via a massive arsenal of weaponry. As a result, the controls and gameplay systems take a little while to come to grips with because you'll be doing things like shooting, jumping, ducking, firing grenades, unleashing screen-clearing blasts, transforming into an unwieldy spiky ball, controlling a multi-directional laser, planting bombs, grappling ceilings, and much more. Learning what each weapon and power-up is capable of will help you deal with the large variety of enemy types as well as traverse environments like a pro. Speaking of which, a large part of the gameplay involves exploring stages because they're rather intricate and large thus making figuring out how to progress sometimes feel like a maze. It all comes together to make a solid retro formula that'll take you back to the '90s.
Turrican Flashback Collection doesn't include many bells and whistles in the form of museum-style content but it does have a substantial amount of configuration options. For starters, you can save your progress whenever and rewind time which is great for modern gamers who don't appreciate a good old-fashioned challenge. You can also customize the controls, change the zoom, scaling, and wallpaper, apply CRT filters and colour schemes, and read about cheats for each game. There's also a trophy challenge mode that disables cheats and modernizations so if you want to show off your Turrican skills then acquiring the trophies will definitely be a hearty challenge.
One aspect of these classic Turrican games that I wasn't expecting is just how awesome their music is so if you enjoy gritty Genesis tunes and rockin' synthesizers behind computerized voices and gunfire blasts then your ears will love what they hear in this collection.
With all of that being said, some aspects of the Turrican games definitely haven't aged well. The most infuriating part about most of the included games is that as you run forward, the camera doesn't pan far enough ahead so you often can't see what's in front of you until it's too late. I wish there was a fix for this patched in. I mean; can you imagine playing Super Mario Bros. with Mario constantly being at ¾ from the left of the screen? It would make it nearly unplayable. Another element that forces you to memorize stages is the exploration component which is novel at first but as you play, it quickly starts to become annoying, especially with the timer constantly ticking down. Finally, enemies can easily gang up on you and drain your health in almost no time with very little opportunity to recover.
Turrican Flashback Collection includes 4 undeniably old-school run 'n' gun games that genre fans may want to play but be warned; there are plenty of aspects that haven't aged well at all which makes playing this compilation quite annoying at times.
- + Contains 4 distinct games in the action-packed Turrican franchise
- + Substantial amount of configuration options
- + Each game has unique and excellent music
- - For most of the games, you can't see far enough ahead while running forward
- - Having to explore stages can be irritating
- - Health can deplete way too fast