Developer: Factor 5
Platform(s): Switch, PS4, PS5(Reviewed)
Publisher: Inin Games
Release Date: 29/01/2021
Turrican Flashback is a collection that comprises Turrican, Turrican 2: The Final Fight, Mega Turrican and Super Turrican. Turrican is the classic 1990s shooter, platformer and adventure game. It combines several retro genres into one superb game. It’s this mix that makes this a fantastic game to revisit.
Design-wise it compromises the classic side-scrolling levels of a 2D retro platformer but has all the action and mayhem of a shooter. The visuals have that classic 2D feel, with multi-tiered levels, Turrican’s level design is excellent. The level designs have the traditional element of going from left to right linearly, however, levels go underground, into the water and the sky. The levels keep you guessing in terms how to progress through them, the designers have also managed to keep a sense of uncertainty as you progress through the levels. Other techniques such as environmental factors like wind, asteroid\meteor storms, ice and water affect the levels as you play through them. The levels have a really rich depth and lots of enemies hidden around each corner. The platform elements are superb but also frustrating (in a good way) at times. Game difficulty is high throughout. There is one retroelement of timed levels which are in Turrican which add another level of difficulty. Turrican managed to make all these elements work seamlessly together to produce a brilliant rich gaming experience.
Controls and game mechanics are spot on, the controls feel tight, intuitive and responsive. The power-ups allow for you to choose different guns and the power gets ramped up. Your gun can match the type of style you want to play through levels. Players also can leverage bombs, rolling and powered attacks too. The soundtrack (Chris Huelsbeck) is superb for a 90s game, the music and sound effects stand out and lend another dimension to this game. It reflects what is going on in the game, the change in weather and level too. It all adds to the sense of this ever-changing game.
Modern-day updates include the ability to rewind, save the state and load the state of the game. The rewind features allow you to replay any point that you may die at, this will happen often, this is very useful due to the difficulty of the game and probably is the only way to finish the game! If you don’t use the rewind feature, this game reminds of the super arcade games with limited continues. If you want a challenge try without the rewind.
Turrican is the original and sets the basis for all the other games, it’s build and level design lay the foundation for the other 3 games. I found this to be the toughest and as it’s the oldest, the visuals are lagging behind the others.
Turrican 2: The Final Fight has some extra guns and I found it not as tough as the original but the look, feel and the gameplay is similar. I would class Turrican and Turrican 2 similar in a lot of ways. Minor gameplay improvements and animations.
Mega Turrican and Super Turrican are very similar in look and feel, they look the best in the series and it’s a toss-up between these two as which is my favourite. The graphics do the best they could in terms of 16-bit graphics. They both extend the complex level design and possibly get close to perfection for Turrican.
Turrican flashback contains 4 superb retro games to play, control-wise and gameplay-wise they play similarly. The later version of the games do boast better graphics and textures. The gameplay is superb throughout though, an amazing array of well-crafted platform levels mixed with a shooter. The mix of gameplay is chaotic, challenging and tons of fun. I don’t remember playing the original but the games do show a level of polish for a game that is 30 years old. The modern-day features of rewind and saving game state take the edge of the difficulty of the game. A fantastic game to revisit or experience for the first time.