Hurricane Games is a series of racing and shooting games, similar to the Contra games. It started in 1990. Turrican was developed by Manfred Trentz as a Commodore 64 game, which was ported to other systems such as the Amiga, Atari ST, Genesis/Mega Drive, Turbografx 16 and Game Boy between 1990 and 1991. Next up, Hurricane II: Final Fight was released in 1991 and aired on CPC and Spectrum in addition to the above platforms. In 1993, Super Turrican and Mega Turrican were released on the Super NES and Genesis/Mega Drive respectively. Fast forward to 2021 and we get an updated collection of all 4 games with Turrican Flashback.
As mentioned, Hurricane games are 2D racing and weapon games that will remind players of Konami’s famous Contra/Probotector series; going from point A to point B, navigating treacherous locations and enemies. The biggest difference is that the design level of Turkmen games is not as simple as one would think. While not quite in the style of Metroidvania, each level is a medium-sized maze where players must find their way without too much guidance. As you approach the exit, you’ll see several exit arrows that vaguely point you in the right direction and give players hope of finding the exit.
As you navigate through the levels, you’ll also come across various power-ups that you can pick up, and oh my, you’ll need them. If the weapon defends well by default, it takes forever to kill some enemies with it. Despite the limited number, the variety of additional firepower is quite interesting and useful; you’ll find a scattergun, a bouncing bullet and a super-powerful blue laser, to name a few. They are more effective, but it seems that some opponents still find them too long to kill.
One of the most interesting mechanisms of these games is that when the player is no longer healthy and dies, they reproduce in the same place they died. This is a welcome mechanism, as most games of this genre remove the bonuses/powers the player has acquired before dying.
Like other recent compilations of classic games from the golden age, Turrican Flashback contains a number of improvements over the originals. For example, there is a handy rewind button that allows the player to get a second chance and fix a mistake. Gamers can also customize their viewing experience with CRT shaders to bring nostalgia to your quirky HDTV. If you find the game too difficult, you can also find a list of cheaters in the main menu of the game.
All the games in the Turrican Flashback pack are true to the originals, but they look great on the Exchange. Although the games cover the 8-bit and 16-bit era, all four are very nice by today’s standards, compared to the large amount of retro-looking games we see here and there. In addition to meticulous graphics for modern platforms, Chris Huelsbeck’s legendary scores have been adapted to be played in the highest quality, such as Turrican 2’s The Final Fight, which was appreciated in its original quality.
Turrican Flashback is without a doubt a great set of classic games. It’s a great way to (re)visit some of the best 2D games from the 8/16-bit era – games that could have easily gone unnoticed when people were just focusing on Mario and Sonic. These are great running and shooting games, and the minimalist design of the maze levels adds an element of difficulty because you can’t just run forward looking for your way. If you want a solid and challenging 2D game, I highly recommend Turrican Flashback.
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