Written by Layden
Sunday, 19 September 2010 19:06
Release date: 1992
Review machine: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Grrrrr!!! Who wants a fight?
I've just completed Super Turrican on the NES. Yes it was damn tough, but I'm tougher. OK, on with the review. Super Turrican is an arcade-style platformer/shooter. Assuming the role of Turrican, the player must navigate their way through 5 worlds, all filled with a multitude of enemies.
Of course, Turrican has all sorts of weaponry available such as multi-laser, beam laser, bounce laser, surround laser. Lots of lasers! Turrican can also roll himself into a ball. While in this mode, he is invulnerable but the ball has limited movement (player cannot jump or use main weapons). Most levels feature multi-directional scrolling, but there are a small number of levels which scroll only vertically. These vertical levels require Turrican to jump on exploding platforms in order to ascend. Bosses do not necessarily appear at the end of levelsl.
Turrican fans on 8 and 16 bit computer platforms will of course recognise most of the description above. Super Turrican on the NES is essentially a remix of graphics and gameplay from the first two Turrican games, with one or two new bits thown in. The game was written and designed by Manfred Trenz, who also created the original Turrican game on the Commodore 64. This was the final Turrican game to feature any direct input from Trenz.
Graphics and audio
As well as being a genius programmer Manfred Trenz is also a first-rate graphics artist. Super Turrican showcases his abilities well, offering a stark contrast to the cutesy style often found in other NES titles. Many of the graphics in the game are recoloured or redrawn from the graphics found in the C64 and Amiga versions of the first two Turrican games. Not surprising as Trenz also drew much of the graphics in those games. World 3 has the same eye-catching parallax layer found in C64 Turrican. The sheer imagination and variety in the background graphics is astounding, as hopefully the screenshots shown here will help convey. Enemies are also well drawn and animated. The bosses are a bit small and perhaps not as impressive as those I'd expect from Trenz.
Sound is OK. The sound effects are rather weedy, but each level is accompanied by a pleasant piece of music. Most of the tunes are lifted from the first two Amiga Turrican games. Although, there is the odd tune lifted from Trenz's epic C64 shooter, Enforcer. On the whole, it could have been a bit meatier.
Perhaps like the original Turrican game, first impressions aren't great. The gameplay seems faster and more difficult than before. When the player loses a life, he has to restart back at the beginning of the level. This seems frustrating at first but then it becomes apparent that most of the levels are not as large as the classic Turrican games, thus it becomes less of an intimidating prospect. Finding the location of hidden power-up blocks becomes key to completing some of the larger levels. This adds a small level of strategy not seen before in the series.
The game offer less in the way of exploration than its predecessors. However, the increased pace and shorter levels ensure that the action flows thick and fast. If it becomes a little too easy or hard, then there are four levels of difficulty to choose from. This certainly helps to extend its replay value further. As a seasoned Turrican player, I was surprised by how refreshing and enjoyable the gameplay is in Super Turrican. It's certainly a game I will come back to again and again. I recommend you give it a try also.
There is a game called Super Turrican on the Super Nintendo (SNES). It is a completely different game to this one. While it offers very high quality visuals and audio, the gameplay struggles to reach the high level found in this game.