Review: Turrican Flashback (PS4)
Turrican Flashback brings the classic Turrican series to the PlayStation 4. This collection includes: Turrican, Turrican II: The Final Fight, Mega Turrican, and Super Turrican, but what the heck is Turrican?
Turrican is a classic action game series originally released in the early 90’s on the Commodore 64, Amiga, and other obscure retro consoles you’ve probably never heard of. It was a technical achievement at the time and managed to gather and maintain a cult following to this day. The series has been dormant for a few decades now; can this love letter to classic action gaming entice a new audience?
As far as remakes go, Turrican Flashback is as barebones as they come. The new features added to these classics are what you would expect. You got filters and aspect ratio settings, save states, as well as a rewind feature. With the latter two disabling trophies, arguably the biggest addition. You’re not gonna find any fancy behind the scenes features or art gallery in this one. At least a music gallery would have been nice, the music was, and still remains, a highlight of the series. Your love for this collection hinders on your enjoyment of the original games, not any additions made in these ports. So do these games hold up?
The Turrican series holds up surprisingly well. The games are less linear than other games in the genre from the 90’s. But the level design can sometimes have you running around lost without direction, making the timer on each stage actually relevant. Each subsequent entry in the series works toward rectifying these issues. At times this makes the levels feel more linear, which takes away from what made the series stand out in the first place. It’s a delicate balance that will play a role in deciding which game in the series is your favorite. The games are classic gaming levels of difficulty. Each new entry is more accessible, with Super Turrican and Mega Turrican having difficulty options. You’ll naturally get better at the game and this’ll make the next installment easier by design. At some point they added a grapple hook, which I’m not a fan of. It sounds great in theory, but by the time it was introduced, I was an old dog trying to learn new tricks. Having the series all together helps you see the changes made with each entry and appreciate the series’ growth. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see where the series ended. For some reason, Super Turrican 2 was omitted from this collection. I couldn’t find a good reason for its absence, so I’m just gonna smh and count it as a negative.
If you’re a long time Turrican fan, the addition of trophies gives you incentive to play through these a couple more times. Maybe you remember the game from your childhood, this is a good convenient way to replay these classics. If you actively hate the Turrican series, why are you even here? To everybody else, it’s hard to recommend jumping into these games at the asking price. No noteworthy new features and the exclusion of Super Turrican 2 don’t take away that this is a fun collection. But the $29.99 price point makes it a hard sell for new comers.
Developer: Factory 5
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Release Date: January 29th, 2021