Turrican, the classic run and gun platforming shooter from the ’90s makes a fantastic return with the Turrican Flashback collection. A curated assembly of four classic Turrican games, snuggly tucked into a neat retail package for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Turrican Flashback PS4 Review – Retro gaming at it’s finest
A Collection of four of the greatest games in the Turrican series is what Turrican Flashback is comprised of. Turrican, Turrican II, Mega Turrican and Super Turrican. The classic retro games have been lovingly remastered to include reworked modern controls and various display options. However, the games remain true to the originals and the same action-packed gameplay is present through all four of the games.
Get that Retro CRT Look
In Turrican Flashback tehre are a ton of different display options that you can mess about with if you want to go all-in with the retro look and feel. There are options to change screen colours and even an option that replicates the curvature and scanlines of old-fashioned CRT screens. This is a retro gamers delight.
If you prefer a more modern display option, there is a great full-screen option that looks great on PS4. This was my preferred display option, the image fits great on a 4K TV and doesn’t look stretched. It’s hard to believe that these games where made in the early 90s. That’s how good a job developers Factor 5 and Ratalaika Games have done bringing this classic series to modern gaming platforms.
Runnin’ and Gunnin’
The Turrican games included in the Turrican Flashback collection can be described as run and gun action-platformers. And there is certainly no shortage of shooting and platforming action. There’s plenty of enemies to blast as you traverse your way through the massive levels of each of the four games. Thankfully, there’s a great range of weaponry available right off the bat.
From your standard laser shooter to a beam-like weapon which is very handy when dealing with pesky flying enemies there’s plenty of options available for disposing of the various machines and flying critters that come at you. There is also a ‘wheel’ attack which you can activate by pressing R2. This is similar to Sonic’s Spin Dash or the Morph Ball in the Metroid games.
In addition to the weaponry, you have available at the start of each life, there are numerous power-ups that can be collected throughout the huge levels. Power-ups can range from health replenishment to upgrading your main weapon. Changing it from a pea shooter into a weapon of mass destruction.
All four games are very similar in gameplay style but each game seems to improve upon the last. Each game changes things up a little bit in terms of gameplay and graphics but the same great core gameplay is still present throughout. For example, there’s a couple of levels in Turrican II that put you into a spaceship and the gameplay changes from platforming into a pure side-scrolling shooter.
In Mega Turrican, your beam weapon (L2) is replaced with a grappling-hook. This was very useful for getting to hard to reach places in the levels.
Definitely Not Linear
One of the many things I had forgotten about my original time with the Turrican games was just how big the levels are. The levels aren’t just a linear, head to the end and shoot things on the way type of deal. They are like a labyrinth with many secret areas to find. In fact, you’ll probably end up discovering some of these secret areas just trying to find the exit and get to the next level. It is quite easy to get lost in some of the levels and I found myself backtracking quite a bit trying to find my way out.
Definitely not easy either
You might think that since Ratalaika Games have been involved in the development of this collection that an easy Platinum might be up for grabs. This is not the case with Turrican Flashback, but that’s a good thing. Turrican Flashback provides some old school retro gaming complete with the challenge that made older games so appealing.
These games are no walk in the park, there not Bloodbourne levels of difficulty but they absolutely provide a challenge. If you’re looking for a less challenging time, however, the developers have included a few options to make life a bit easier. You can opt to play in Standard Mode, this gives you the ability to rewind time. So, if you die by falling into a giant hole, for example, you can press L1 to rewind time and take another shot at making that jump.
There is also some old school cheats you can use that can give you infinite lives, etc. But using any of these methods to make the game easier will exclude you form earning trophies.
Some final thoughts
Before I got a chance to play Turrican Flashback, I had forgotten just how enjoyable old school games where. The Flashback collection from ININ games brings four amazing Turrican games together in an awesome, retro-infused package that is a must, not just for retro game lovers but for gamers who want some good, old-fashioned platforming and shooting action.
I’ve come to realise that I don’t need 4K graphics, massive open-worlds, complex mechanics and narrative cutscenes to enjoy a game. Simple, enjoyable gameplay is really all you need and Turrican Flashback has that in abundance.
Don’t be put off by the retro graphics. There are plenty of modern games out there that mimick the retro look that the Turrican games have. Turrican Flashback is simply some good old-fashioned fun.
Turrican Flashback is due out on Friday, 29th January. The physical copy is available for only £24.99 form Amazon UK.