The first Turrican Anthology – as you can see from my review – was a compilation that I enjoyed enormously. Having fond memories of the original Turrican games on the […]
The first Turrican Anthology – as you can see from my review – was a compilation that I enjoyed enormously. Having fond memories of the original Turrican games on the Atari ST (though the Amiga versions, included in Turrican Anthology Vol I, are essentially the same) and the SNES, I was really keen to revisit the series.
Thankfully, my rose-tinted specs remained intact for the most part – only the brevity of the SNES title Super Turrican was a bit of an eye-opener – then again, the addition of save states and rewind allowed me to discover that and perhaps made the game feel a lot shorter than it did in the past!
So given the strength of the first Anthology, you’d think that the second would be equally excellent, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
There’s nothing wrong with the games included, in fairness – the Amiga version of Turrican 3 is excellent, as is the Genesis/Mega Drive title Mega Turrican. SNES game Super Turrican 2 is almost my favourite Turrican game of them all, given its sheer inventiveness, variety and brilliant use of SNES visual effects (which the original Super Turrican also makes great use of).
Additionally, there’s also the Director’s Cut of Mega Turrican and the Super Turrican Score Attack. Like Mega Turrican Score Attack – which was included in Turrican Anthology Vol I – it gives you a single stage and tasks you with trying to get the highest score possible before exiting.
All sounds fine, right? Except there’s a big issue. Where Turrican Anthology Vol I features massive variety in the games it includes, Volume II’s selection feels rather samey. Turrican 3, Mega Turrican and Mega Turrican Director’s Cut all feel like almost exactly the same game. Though there are differences between them, they’re minimal and certainly not the big changes in style and content that you get with Turrican, Turrican II and Super Turrican.
Visually and audio-wise the games are great. They all play well too, with that great, massively OTT, OP Turrican goodness. There’s even a grappling hook-esque addition to your character’s arsenal which adds an awful lot to your repertoire of abilities and the level design.
Yet being asked to shell out for what boils down to three versions of the same game feels a bit cheeky. It completely unbalances this second anthology, even though the brilliant Super Turrican 2 is also included. It would have made a lot more sense if the Turrican 3 and Mega Turrican games been split between the two Anthologies, evening out the selection on both collections.
As it is, Turrican Anthology II is a cautious recommend, rather than the unequivocal recommendation given to the first collection. Turrican 3/Mega Turrican and Super Turrican 2 are superb experiences – just be warned that this anthology does feel like poor value compared to the first one. Your mileage may vary depending on your nostalgia for each game of course, but for me this one feels like a missed opportunity overall.
There are of course the usual bonuses including scans of manuals and save states, as well as in-game maps and other additions. The same love and care has gone into bringing these games to contemporary players, but I only wish attention had been paid to more sensibly splitting the games into their respective collections.
Turrican Anthology Vol II is out now on PS4/5 and Switch. Many thanks to PR Hound for providing me with a code for review purposes.
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