One of the best and most underrated developers of all time was the once great German Factor 5. They were best known for their fantastic series of video games for the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube, such as Indiana Jones & The Infernal Machine, Star Wars : Battle for Naboo and, of course, the nearly perfect Star Wars: The trilogy of the roving team. This doesn’t mean they didn’t make their own PIs, as they were also known for their series of hurricanes. We can now relive their successful series from the 90s with the new Turrican Flashback collection from ININ Games and Ratalaika.
This collection of Turkmen memories was endorsed by Factor 5 himself after his return from the dead in 2017. She has four gems from the ’90s: Terrickane and Terrickane II, both for the Commodore Amiga, Super Hurricane for the SNES released in 1993, and Mega Hurricane for the Mega Drive / Genesis released in 1994. What all four games have in common is that they are dynamic action platforms that focus on capturing everything in sight, as well as a very distinct Sonic-like level design: They are usually huge, with more than one path to the final destination, full of secrets to discover, walls to break through, and one of the most notable features : You don’t always have to walk straight to get to the end of the scene. Not only does this seem archaic, but this design philosophy was bold and dictated by Mario in the 90s.
All four games have received the quality treatment one would expect from a remastering collection published by ININ, the same company behind the Space Invaders and Darius collections. Ratalaika’s developers, who are behind the port programming and general emulation, have also added many extras, such as typical CRT filters, but mostly pre-installed cheat packs. If you just want to struggle through all the levels without worrying about life or health, you can do that from the beginning. You don’t get any trophies for it, but hey, this is Swisher we’re talking about.
I haven’t noticed any graphical errors or input offsets in any of the four games, or at least nothing that is the result of emulation rather than a problem that has occurred in the past. While all four games offer flexible controls, Mega Turricano focuses on using an awkward grapple to reach distant platforms in a move inspired by Bionic Commando. It doesn’t work as well as it should, which easily makes it the least interesting game in the collection. Super Turrican is the best game in the collection so far, with the best graphics, controls and overall level design.
The best thing about these four games is their soundtrack. Factor 5 has always been known for its soundtracks and innovative compression techniques. All four soundtracks were composed by Chris Huelsbeck, who then composed what I consider his real magnum opus, the Rogue Squadron soundtrack, using the crazy Factor 5 sound compression technique. You can see the seeds of their skills in these Hurricane games, as the songs included here are not only catchy, but also full of quality material. There are even short but audible voice clips!
In short, some of the games in this collection may suffer from the graphical and gameplay problems of the 90s, but this collection still impressed me a lot. Turrican Flashback is one of the most robust retro collections published in recent memory, as not only have the games stood the test of time (for the most part), but the developers have also provided additional life and features to enhance the replayability of each game. You don’t even have to know what a hurricane is to enjoy this collection. Do you like banks and platforms? Let’s go.
|Your standard processing remastered for a handful of 16-bit games. They always look good, but some titles have overly detailed backgrounds, which sometimes results in visual clutter.||Most of the games included in the collection have simple but fun controls that allow you to get in on the action. The exception to the rule is Mega Hurricane’s clumsy grappling hook.|
|Factor 5 has always been known for the quality of its sound design and soundtracks. Hurricane flashback is no different.||These Hurricane games may be a little outdated in some ways, especially the controls, but they are still incredibly entertaining. Not to mention that this collection already comes with cheat sheets if you’re so inclined to break the rules and feel even more depressed than you already do!|
|Last block: 8,0|
Turrican Flashback is available now for PS4 and Switch.
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A copy of Hurricane Flashback was provided by the publisher.
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