Turrican Flashback (Switch, PS4)

I love playing and writing about classic game collections and compilations.  Usually I’m pretty knowledgeable about the games on collections because I love classic games, plus I’m old.   But the games on this particular collection, I’m not as familiar with.  Mainly because these games were more popular in Europe, and originated on computers that were more prevalent over there, like the Amiga.  The Turrican series are run and gun 2-D platformer games and they were programmed by the same guy who did The Great Giana Sisters, which has an interesting history in its own right.  Anyway, Turrican Flashback includes four games: Turrican, Turrican 2: The Final Fight, Mega Turrican and Super Turrican.  The collection is available on Switch and PS4, but reviewed on Switch here.

The games play mostly the same.  You play as a robot warrior dude who shoots everything that moves.  The games have storylines, but I don’t think they’re that important.  You have a regular weapon and can pick up new guns and sub-weapons, too.  You can also roll into a ball like Samus from Metroid, but you don’t have much control in ball form and you just bounce and roll all over the place until you press the jump button.  Other buttons shoot off a screen clearing attack, and in some of the games, you can launch a grappling hook and swing to new heights.  Similar to Sonic stages, there are branching pathways that may lead to bonuses and goodies.  The music in these games are famous for being good, too.  While I didn’t find them too memorable personally, they certainly have a lot of drive and pep in the tunes.

Even though they started out on the 8-bit Commodore 64, the first two games on this collection are the 16-bit Amiga versions.  Mega Turrican was on the SEGA Genesis, and Super Turrican on the Super Nintendo.  You can also toggle various screen and wallpaper options, and there is a handy rewind feature as well.  Even though I’m glad I got to play this collection and learn more about Turrican, it was hard for me to get into because of some problems.  Even though there are sub weapons you can fire in all directions, I really wish you could do the same with the main gun as well since enemies go all over the place.  Since these games are older and originally came with instruction booklets, they don’t do much explaining of the controls in the collection.  These games also follow a lot of European game design trends, like sprawling levels and garish colors.  Sometimes it can be hard to know where to go, and these games are pretty tough.  But then, I’m not too terribly good at these kinds of games either.  But if you enjoy classic run and gun games like Jazz Jackrabbit or Gunstar Heroes, then you may want to check out this collection.

Kid Factor:

Turrican Flashback is rated E-10.  You shoot all manner of robots that explode, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

2 Responses to “Turrican Flashback (Switch, PS4)”

  1. I’ll have to check this out on Xbox.

  2. Ooohh, I think I’ve seen these games before. If I recall, I like the music you mentioned, even if it isn’t your cup of tea. Not sure I want garish colors and hard to navigate levels though. Still, I wish one of these came with my Genesis Mini.

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