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Mega Turrican (Genesis) artwork

Mega Turrican (Genesis) review

"A worthy member of the pantheon of classic Genesis action games"

Mega Turrican (Genesis) imageMega Turrican (Genesis) image

After the success of Super Turrican on the SNES, the series continued its winning streak on consoles the next year, 1994. This time it was on the Mega Drive, better known as the Genesis in the states. The result was another of the finest action titles the 16-bit era had to offer, Mega Turrican.

Regardless of familiarity with earlier games in the series, one will be right at home with the controls here. Gun powerups, the invincible wheel mode, and a screenclearing attack are still here, in addition to some homing missles that handle enemies out of reach, but the manually-aimed petrification gun is gone. Fear not, for something even cooler is in its place! Mega Turrican introduces a grappling hook to the arsenal, which one can aim manually for maximum precision. Once fired, the grappling hook can retract and extend itself, giving the player more control over his movement. What really makes the tool useful is the ability to jump once while it is attached to a surface, though it cannot be used in midair; this allows for the precision necessary to make what would otherwise be a difficult-to-master utilitiy something anyone can make use of and master speedrunners can exploit to great effect.

Mega Turrican (Genesis) imageMega Turrican (Genesis) image

The controls are as good as one should expect from a Turrican title (even when underwater!), and the audio-visual design is no inferior to the contempory Amiga port of this game, Turrican 3. In addition to Genesis remixes of Super Turrican music are many amazing new tracks that make great use of the soundchip to be intense and even atmospheric at times; if you don't plan to play these games, change your plans or at least listen to and buy Chris Huelsbeck's Turrican Anthology remix albums, for he is a true master composer. On the visual front, Mega Turrican is unquestionably one of the best-looking Genesis games ever made. It doesn't throw any particularly snazzy visual effects at you all the time; it is the sheer detail put into even the smallest sprite that makes the game a beauty to behold. And having some of the best stage tilesets in any game ever made doesn't hurt, either!

If Turrican as a series could be summed up in four aspects, they would be tight gameplay, rockin' music, masterful visual design, and mind-blowing setpieces. Those first three aspects drive the fourth one home as you swing your way through a flying hovercar fleet, swim through a submerged factory, face off against hordes of mechs in the rainsoaked remains of a crumbled city, and navigate you way through all sorts of other truly inspired levels with plenty of areas to explore. Mega Turrican may be as simple as its predecessors were, but it's a winning formula.


Follow_Freeman's avatar
Community review by Follow_Freeman (February 20, 2018)

When he isn't in a life-or-death situation, Dr. Freeman enjoys playing a variety of video games. From olden shooters to platformers & action titles: Freeman may be a bit stuck with the games of the past, but he doesn't mind. Some things don't age much.

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