If you thought Morgul was pretty tough, sit back and switch on, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Turrican, the original, was a scorcher. If you haven't played it yet, or read through ACU's super cartoon walk-through of the game, you don't know what you're missing.
When you get a game of such a high standard, it's usually very difficult to repeat that success, but there's no worry on that account with Rainbow Arts' epic Turrican sequel.
Fresh from blitzing Morgul, you receive an intergalactic distress signal from the ancient planet of Landorinin. In that long-distant world, the brave freedom fighters had long ago destroyed the evil hordes of the tyrranical MACHINE and its satellite station.
However, despite the removal of the false moon, the machines still roamed the planet, forcing the Landorins to take to the subterranean cave systems.
Before too long though, the mutants and the mechanoids found the secret entrance to the underground refuge and only death awaited the brave fighters unless, of course, a hero could be found to save the day.
Yes, Turrican is that hero and it's your task to get in there and take, on the evil legacy of the MACHINE.
Over five separate worlds, with a total of twelve different levels, Turrican 2 is a monster of a sequel from the word go. There's more action, the graphics are simply superb and there are even some excellent speech samples mixed in with the sound effects.
To make matters even neater for us CPC freaks, the programmers at Enigma have studied every last detail of the Amiga version to guarantee that the gameplay on this 8-bit format is virtually identical to the 16-bit.
Basically, if you can do it on the Amiga, you can do it on the CPC and, if you can't on the Amiga, the same goes for Arnold.
In World One, you find yourself on the surface of the planet taking a real beating from the natural elements, such as wind and waterfalls. The Walkers should keep you occupied for a while, but the best way of dealing with them is to jump on them, squash them flat, hear them squeak and then watch them run away.
After despatching with the nasty end-of-level meanie, World Two will see you puzzling through an overground maze and beating off mutant hordes at the same time. Drop down into the water and you lose your turbo laser, but the graphic effects of this multiscrolling bubble world are stunning. Get to World Three and you'd better be set for some real action. Climb aboard your space craft and get blasting at high speeds. Guiding your craft through the twists and turns of Tecno World is hard enough, without the task of having to blast the enemy to bits at the same time.
Using incredibly fast parallax scrolling, Tecno World is buzzing with pure blast-'em-up action, while World Four will see you slowing right down to a real mental challenge similar to the last world of Turrican 1.
As you puzzle to find a way through the labyrinth, you'll need to pick your way with some care. Some of the blocks around you can be moved or destroyed, others can't and can be fatal. There may not be too many of the enemy in sight here, but if you don't make it through in time, the end result can be just as nasty.
If you've still got control of your joystick arm by this stage, you're doing very well indeed, but you'll need to be better to finish off the final world.The first level sees you once more in the 'Alien' style landscape of the original game, though this one is far bigger and slimier and, if you thought the end of level guardian in the original was tough, try the new one for size, it's not pretty and it's no pushover.
Succeed and you're off to the final showdown with a particularly gruesome mechanical monstrosity.
Set over a verticallly scrolling backdrop, keep your trigger finger well-oiled in a duel to the death that ain't easy at all.
So there you have it, an arcade-style bash that Rainbow Arts has spent a long time in getting just right. You should be able to finish off the first couple of Worlds after a few attempts, but the later Worlds will require some practice, hitting just the right balance to make you want to keep right on going until you succeed.
If you liked the action/challenge mix of the original, Turrican 2 must be on your shopping fist for your next set of full-priced games. The graphics are superb, the varied music and sound effects are excellent and, above all, the gameplay is gripping.
Gather up the weapons of the ancient people of Landorin and free their planet forever: The gauntlet has been well and truly thrown down.