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If you've got a memory that stretches back as far as Sega Power issue 23, you might recall a review of a game called Turrican.

It was a conversion of one of the most popular computer games of all time, but it was a pretty shabby effort which just didn't cut it on the playability front. It only got 67%, which might have been part of the reason why nobody bothered to bring the almost-as-popular computer-game sequel Turrican 2 to the Mega Drive. Or did they?

Now here's a novel approach to film licensing. Instead of the usual tired old palaver of blowing a fortune acquiring a licence, then realising that there's no money left to spend on developing the actual game and having to write the same old crappy formula platform game, Ballistic have (presumably) blown a fortune acquiring the licence to Universal Soldier, then simply stuck the name in front of a game they just happened to have already lying around, namely (you guessed it) Turrican 2, and fiddled slightly with the graphics to make them a bit more Universal Soldier-y. Doesn't sound too promising so far, does it?

Wrong wrong wrong. While Turrican 2 the computer game was in any real sense exactly the same as its predecessor, Universal Soldier is head and shoulders above the Mega Drive Turrican, for the simple reason that it's had a decent programming job done on it. The nasty control and icky collision detection of the first game have been eliminated, and the tedious samey repetitiveness of the level-after-level-of-identical-nothing-very-much-ness has been replaced with a clutch of varied scenarios that, while they all feature the same basic jump-around shoot-'em-up gameplay, actually manage to instil a real sense of difference and progress in the way you interact with the landscape. All this means that the good points of the first Turrican (massive levels, millions of baddies, a superb and flexible weapon system, to name but three) are really given a chance to shine out instead of being dragged down by irritating niggles.

But - oh no - in all the excitement, I've forgotten to tell you what the game's all about. Luckily, it won't take long. You have to run through lots of huge scrolling levels until you find the exits, and kill everything you see while you're doing it. And that's all. Read the Turrican review for more info if you must, but really, just trust me on this one. It's got sod all to do with Universal Soldier, but it's one heck of a good game.


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Absolutely enormous

Brilliant array of weaponry

Definable control

Lots of passwords

Secret rooms everywhere

Thousands of baddies to blast

Fast-moving and smooth

A riot of colour

Some fabby backgrounds

Non-stop action



A hugely improved version of Turrican - the passwords and changing scenery make all the difference. One of the most entertaining Mega Drive games ever.