Turrican Anthology review (PS4)

We had been hoping for a Turrican reboot/remake for years, and now suddenly we’re getting a ton of Turrican releases in quick succession. The Turrican Anthology was just released in two volumes for PlayStation and the Nintendo Switch, and it’s the best re-released version of these classics thus far.

It’s somewhat oddly timed though, because the Turrican Flashback collection was released very recently and that bundle contains Turrican, Turrican II, Mega Turrican and Super Turrican already. Since Mega Turrican is essentially what Turrican 3 on the Amiga is, it’s a fairly complete collection and a great starting point for those interested in the series.

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This new two-part Anthology features a ton of extra content and extra polish that give it a lot more fan appeal though. Director’s cut versions of the original SNES and Mega Drive versions can be found, which are expanded versions of the original releases that are no longer restricted by the original release’s cartridge size – essentially making these the “way they were meant to be” versions of the games. Also included are special versions of Super Turrican 1 and Mega Turrican that are entirely based around a score attack mode – letting you loose on a single level where you can try and set a high score. It’s a bit of an oddity, but it’s a different way to play Turrican so worth checking out.

Also included is the original Amiga version of Turrican 3, but for an “Anthology” we would have really appreciated seeing some of the other versions of the games a well. I personally grew up with the Atari ST version, which has a slightly different-sounding soundtrack done by Jochen Hippel, who converted the original by Chris Hülsbeck, and the Commodore 64 versions are distinctly different from their 16-bit counterparts as well. In terms of content, that’s a missed opportunity, especially with the Turrican Flashback collection also available with much of the same content.

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In terms of a straight up comparison between the games on offer, the two Anthology volumes are tough to recommend. Even a single volume is more expensive than the Flashback collection is, so you’re looking at more than double the price point for essentially the same titles, with Turrican 3 being a port of Mega Turrican and the Director’s Cut and Score Attack modes just being different takes on the games you might already be familiar with.

Luckily, the Anthology is about more than just the games. The emulation has been improved to include different controller options, cheats, improved rewind options and a new in-game map feature. There’s also content, which includes previously unreleased concept art and different soundtracks to choose from – including a reworked version from original composer Hülsbeck, who’s created some amazing versions of the iconic original over the years, including a full orchestral rendition.

So where the Flashback collection was rather bare bones, this new Anthology is a real treat for fans. It’s hard to to justify double-dipping if you already went for the Flashback version upon its release last year though, so it’s a shame there there’s no easy upgrade version available. As fans will have likely jumped on that collection when it came out, it would been some good fan service – just like the inclusion of new features and soundtracks is in this anthology.

Score: 7.5/10

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