Review: Turrican 3, impressive and colorful 16bit shooter
The first Turrican featured mind-bendingly impressive and colorful graphics, bloody enormous levels, kicky music and enough firepower. Not long after that came Turrican 2, with graphics that blew Turrican out of the water, wonderful 7-voice music, and enough firepower to make even the NRA feel slightly ill. Both are classics, indeed, archetypes of the platform shooter genre.The scenario of Turrican 3 is familiar. Long ago humanity’s arch-nemesis, The Machine, was apparently destroyed; the galaxy enjoyed a period of existence that was happy, peaceful, and on the whole tax free. But of course this couldn’t last, the Machine returned and went back to its old tricks of blowing up planets and enslaving innocents. Who’s going to drop down to the Machine’s planet and blast his way through uncounted numbers of evil minions to put an end to this unpleasantness, and not incidentally rescue the cute manga babe whose cry for help alerted everyone to the menace? Looks like a job for Bren McGuire, who, with a heavily armed Turrican powersuit, purple hair, and chin the size of Texas, is definitely qualified to take it on. All this is explained in the game’s intro very stylishly done, with scrolling backgrounds, text, and ominous music that matches the narrative very well.
Turrican 3, like its two predecessors, is a platform shoot-em-up with bosses, powerups, hidden areas, the whole deal. As you may have guessed, the concept is not exactly intellectual; no strategy or planning involved, just straight death and destruction. But that’s OK. It’s worked before and worked well. The player has to complete numerous large levels always searching for secrets to pick up and enemies to shoot. To do this, the player can pick up three different, upgradeable shots: a “Multiple” spread gun, a more powerful, single-direction “Laser” and a “Rebound”, which fires shots directly up and down that travel along floors and ceilings, while the main forward-firing shot is weaker. He can also go into wheel-mode by pressing jump while holding down (as long as you have enough special energy) and use a rope. In wheel-mode, the player is nearly invincible and can lay mines or explore previously unreachable areas, a mechanic similar to “Morph Ball” from the Metroid series and the “Spin Dash” from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The Turrican 3 Boss was inspired by the Marvel-comic-character “Stryfe”, he even is named as such in the ASM source code of the Turrican 3 intro. Turrican 3 is a great 16bit blaster and offers hours of fun if you love the genre…