The dust bin of gaming history is littered with franchises that never quite took off, titles that were years ahead of their time, and rock-solid games that just didn't have the advertising budget of their competitors. They are the unsung masterpieces of their systems. However few of these hidden gems embody all of these traits quite as thoroughly as Super Turrican.
You Got Metroid in my Contra...
Originally created as an action game for the Amiga PC, Turrican is a brilliant fusion of exploratory platformer with fast paced Run 'n Gun combat. Think of it as a kind of mashup between Metroid and Contra. Its levels aren't quite as expansive, and its action not quite as intense as those two titles. However the end result still delivers the very best of both worlds.
You got Contra in my Metroid...
Its story is classic 90s cheese. (The good kind. The stuff that reminds you of personal pan pizzas and loud arcades.) You play as a lone space marine facing down an entire armada of evil robots, hellbent on destroying the galaxy. Fortunately you are also armed with a suitably apocalyptic arsenal of weapons to turn your enemies into scrap. From the moment you start the game, you're going to be unloading a nearly constant bombardment of lasers, freeze-rays, and screen-clearing bombs in order to keep the opposing army of enemies at bay.
Now you can have both!
However, if you want to keep your arsenal stocked, you'll need to stay on the hunt for supplies. Super Turrican is full of secret rooms and weapons caches, and learning to find them is essential to survival. Like Metroid, exploring every level thoroughly will make your soldier far more powerful. But unlike Metroid, you've got to move fast! It's a frantic scavenger hunt that will keep your pulse racing right until the credits roll.
An Underrated Gem!
Add some amazing boss-fights as well as a few memorable tunes to this mix, and you have an amazing game. In my book, Super Turrican ranks amongst the best action games of the 16-bit era. If you missed out on this unfairly overlooked epic, I heartily recommend trying it out. With first-rate production values, and phenomenal gameplay Super Turrican will remind you of everything that made you love your Super Nintendo in the first place.
But, that's just this 16-bit bleeding heart's opinion. Maybe you think there's a reason why Super Turrican deserves to live on in obscurity. Love it or hate it, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.