Virtual Console Roundup • Page 2

Psychosis, Super Turrican and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.

Psychosis

  • Platform: TurboGrafx 16
  • Wii Points: 600
  • In Real Money: GBP 4.20 / EUR 6 (approx)

Let's get this one out of the way first. Yes, it's another scrolling shooter to add to the list, and it's one of those that struggles to justify its existence - let alone its inclusion on the VC - when ranked alongside the greats of the genre.

The best thing going for it is the concept. The Devil Ugar has invaded your mind and is trying to dominate your subconscious. Luckily, you can enter your mind (in a tiny spaceship, for some reason) and repel him by shooting loads and loads and loads of bullets at the strings of enemies that swoop and circle in your brainsoup. This doesn't really affect the gameplay one iota - it's a pretty shameless R-Type rip-off - but it does mean that the graphics take on a certain Salvador Dali flair, with symbolic rotten apples as mini bosses and more sinister hovering eyeballs than you can shake The Residents at.

With almost nothing else to add to the shoot-'em-up tapestry it's hard to recommend Psychosis, especially when so many of its superior peers are already available. If you've already played through R-Type and Gradius and all the other decent-to-great shmups on the Virtual Console then...well, then play them again. Beat your high score. There's little here to justify another purchase.

5/10

Super Turrican

  • Platform: SNES
  • Wii Points: 800
  • In Real Money: GBP 6 / EUR 8 (approx)

Before everyone laughed at them for Lair, and even before everyone wanted to kiss them for Rogue Squadron, the folks at Factor 5 were best known as the developer that ported Turrican all over the 16-bit platforms. This version isn't the best, but since the VC has foolishly neglected to add an Amiga channel it'll be more than enough for all but the most fussy Turrican purist.

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Factor 5 also ported Contra, and it shows in the willingness to upgrade your weapons at a ridiculous pace. Factor 5 also developed the SNES Indiana Jones game, and the first level certainly calls that to mind, with its blowing leaves and fiddly jumps over bottomless waterfalls. New to the series is a grappling arm, blatantly swiped from Bionic Commando, which can be used to grab and swing about. Oh, and you can also duck and roll around like a ball, so you can add Metroid to the list of games supplying second-hand DNA.

Yet for all its derivation Super Turrican is a hard game to dislike. This is a solid, beefy side-scrolling shooty platformer which stuffs each level with enough hidden secrets to have you backtracking all over the place. The difficulty is pitched just right, and it takes advantage of its late arrival on the SNES to offer up some impressive visuals and sound. Despite its dependable charms, I'm still not sure that it's worth the asking price in today's marketplace but if you've made your peace with the VC's price structure you can download this and be sure of a good time.

7/10

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