Turrican review - Sega Megadrive

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A foul demonic creature from the abyss of Hell uses to get his kicks by terrorising people in their nightmares. However, this used to prove very frustrating owing to the fact that people tend to wake up just as they're about to die in their nightmare. Therefore it made sense for this creature to follow them back into the land of the living and terrorise them there.

The people of the world are obviously more than a bit upset when this creature arrives and starts killing everyone in sight. Since every human is vulnerable to this creature's mental powers, a robot warrior is created in order to kick the demon's ass back to the smelly land from whence it came.

This robot is Turrican, the perfect killing machine. However, before he can do away with the evil creature, he has to travel massive eight-way scrolling levels, scaling the platform scenery and blasting away at the evil beings and end-of-level bosses that the creature has created during his brief stay in our world.

The only problem is, Turrican hasn't got a brain, and it's down to you to control him in a fight to the death with the ultimate menace!

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" I was expecting this to be a beefed up version of the Amiga original, but it's not. Instead it's identical to the computer version - and that's where its problems lie. Eighteen months ago, Turrican looked a pretty swish computer game. But eighteen months ago it wasn't competing against Megadrive platform games like ESWAT, Spider-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog. The gameplay is quite fun, but it's not evenly balanced; once you've got over the difficult first stage, it's becomes very easy and you can go miles - competent platform game players should be able to finish the game within a few sessions. The graphics and sound aren't particularly hot, either. With some gameplay tweaks and graphical improvements, Turrican could have been great. As it stands, it's just average. "

" On the Amiga, Turrican went down extremely well, mainly because it was one of the first games that actually scrolled smoothly. Other than that, it was pretty standard blasting fare. Smooth scrolling isn't such a big thrill on the Megadrive, especially when the graphics being scrolled aren't really that impressive. The gameplay is what counts, though, and even though Turrican is fairly enjoyable, there's plenty of far more exciting platform games on the Megadrive (Spider-Man, Strider or Sonic for starters). The hefty forty quid price tag makes this Amiga conversion five quid more expensive than Sonic! The difficulty level is also very strange. The first sub-level is very difficult, and yet on the next level there's around ten lives to be found - thus making the game far easier! Amiga owners might have lapped up Turrican, but it's pretty standard fare on the Megadrive. "


Overall Score73%

Richy Girth - 22 Oct 2008, 12:08 GMT

I was very much a Turrican fan on the C64 and the Amiga and even into owning a Megadrive and SNES, I'd still revisit the Amiga game.

MD Turrican disappointed me a bit on a few fronts.
Graphically, it wasnt as colourful as the Amiga version (kinda resembling an ST port), and
the biggest thing I noticed, was the playabilty.
You might be forgiven for thinking that the Megadrive control pad's extra buttons would facilitate smoother, more easily accessible control when compared to the Amiga version, but very oddly the chosen alt-weapon selection methods here are fiddly and life-costingly time draining when compared to the old system of "1 joystick button for main weapons and keys for the rest".
(Actually on the Amiga version, you could plug in the Megadrive joypad and the lightning flash weapon would work off of one of the other buttons!)

Also, even the minor enemies in this version of the game are too tough compared to their counterparts in the other versions.
Very frustrating deaths due to pip squeaks mowing through you even though you feel they should have died three or four shots ago etc.

The Music follows the orinial music's compostions but seem delivered in very twee instrument voices that dont really suit the themes. This is especially noticeable as you move onto level two if you are familiar with the pieces already.

Bloody shame too. 'Cause despite the fact that it had been out-flashed by other subsequent games even at the time of this MM review, in it's best formats Turrican at least was still an immersive, atmospheric game which was huge and still great fun to play that still gets it's recognition on the retrogaming scene today...
It made a legend of Manfred Trenz too.

Other than these gripes, the game sticks pretty faithfully to the original versions in terms of level design, structure etc, but the feel of the experience is better on the other formats.

Dan - 15 Sep 2015, 16:35 GMT

Yeah, it's rubbish. I read an article about the people who created it were looking forward to making it loads better than the original, but for some odd reason Ballistix got the rights to convert it and made it way worse. AND completely destroyed Turrican 2. Universal Soldier my bum. Ballistix made some rubbish games that's for sure.

Mean Machines Issue 13 - October 1991
Platform Game Sega Megadrive
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