Fans of the Turrican series have been eating good these past couple of years as following on from the Turrican Flashback Collection that released in 2021, ININ Games has now released Turrican Anthology Vol. I & II. Whether you played these games in the past or are a newcomer you may be wondering what the difference is between the Flashback Collection and these and are they worth your time? Here’s my review of the PlayStation 4 versions.
The Turrican series was developed by Factor 5 and released across systems such as the Amiga, Super NES, and Sega Genesis. My first exposure to it was Mega Turrican on the Sega Genesis back when I was a kid and I really enjoyed the gameplay and the music back then. I reviewed the Turrican Flashback Collection last year which contained four entries in the series while these two new Anthology releases have five entries each. Vol. 1 has Turrican and Turrican II from the Amiga, Super Turrican from the Super Nintendo, a Director’s Cut version of Super Turrican, and a Score Attack version of Mega Turrican which only consists of one stage. Vol. II contains Turrican 3, Mega Turrican, Super Turrican 2, Mega Turrican Director’s Cut, and a Score Attack version of Super Turrican.
If you haven’t played these games, they are kind of a mix of Contra and Metroid as you’ll be doing a lot of running and gunning but levels are also open and reward exploration. You can swing around using a grappling hook and some entries even let you turn into a ball similar to how Samus does. The ports here have excellent quality with a ton of extras I’ll talk about in a bit. Not only that but Chris Huelsbeck’s soundtrack in these titles is as great as ever and brought me back to my childhood when I first heard it. Some entries are better than others though and playing through them all can start to feel a bit samey. The Score Attack versions also feel like they are just there to increase the perceived value as being only one stage meant to be replayed for high scores, you’ll likely move on from them quickly. Vol. II in particular feels like terrible value as Mega Turrican, Mega Turrican Director’s Cut, and Turrican 3 all are about the same game so when you think about it it’s almost like you are only getting two distinct games in this Vol.
The extras here are really nice though and some of the best I’ve seen for retro games. You have resolution options, refresh rate options, save states, an in-game map, rewind functions, dynamic HUDs, different wallpapers and shaders, scans of the manuals for all games, jukeboxes for all games, in-game cheats, and art galleries. It’s really all the kind of stuff you would want from something like this and I have to give the team props for including all of it. All that said, this is where I get into something that may or may not apply to you and that is the value of these collections. Both of these Volumes are priced at $35 which is steep in my eyes for what you are getting. We’ve seen other publishers like Konami release collections for a lesser price that contain more games such as the upcoming TMNT Collection. You’d have to spend $70 to get all of these games and considering quite a few of them are almost repeats of another title or just a single stage it just doesn’t feel worth it. Again, value is different for every person so the prices may not bother you but to me I feel like these would be easier to recommend if they were a single collection or priced quite a bit cheaper individually.
Turrican Anthology Vol. I & II have some great games and the extra features that have been added are among the best that I’ve seen in a retro game collection. That is why it is such a shame that these are two separate collections that are priced so high as I can’t fully recommend them at the asking price. It becomes even harder to recommend to those who picked up the Flashback Collection last year as you already got some of the best entries in that even if it was missing many of the extra features that are included here. Whether you’re a fan of the series or just have a passing interest in seeing what the Turrican series is all about I think you should wait to pick these two collections up on sale.
*Turrican Anthology Vol. 1 and Vol. II are available now on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 4 versions reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Turrican Anthology Vol. I & II$34.99
- Awesome run-and-gun gameplay with levels that are fun to explore
- Fantastic list of extra features
- Chris Huelsbeck's soundtracks never stop being enjoyable
- To get all the entries you may want you'll have to buy both collections
- Asking price is steep for what you get
- Three of the five games in Vol. II are about the same