Metroidican is something which I, ---- probably along side many turrican fans, have imagined seeing for a long time.
A turrican game in MEtroid environments, and Lukasz delivers fantastically here!
As expected, we get to explore innumerable familiar locations while blasting enemies Turrican style in search of the Father brain. Choso temples, Brinstar, Crade's lair, and even pirate bases it's all here!
When I initially heard that (compared to Morgul returns), Metroidican would have fewer levels I was slightly disappointed, but this was a feeling I quickly lost when i discovered how many diverse environments each level had and how truly huge they are.
Then, there are the enemies. Such familiar nasties as kakatacks, multiviola and side hoppers abound here, making even combat a different experience.
while Lukasz wasn't able to give Turrican the Metroid upgrade system, much of the signature gameplay elements are very much here. hidden power up rooms, plenty of blastable walls and small tunnels for the wheel, and some rather fiendish mazes. The enemy placement is also extremely diverse, requiring a bit of tactical thought.
That brings me on to the difficulty. There's a fairly steady progression from medium (nothing can be said to be easy), to very hard, but even the bits which are nastier have been thought out to make them fair and possibl rather than just filling the screen with enemies or dropping spikes at random all over the place.
Another fact which increases the challenge, is that there are generally fewer power squares kicking around, and those there are usually require exploration to fin. sinse though this is all part of the metroid theme I don't particularly mind.
I think my only real gripe in terms of difficulty is with the lava, ---- especially in the third stage, sinse even though shields are included, the number of shields in each location is finite, and I find being punished with the loss of sometimes twoor three lies for failing a moving platform section (some of which are quite nasty), slightlytoo harsh.
I do admit though, probably because I tend to play the games more slowly, I'm not usually a fan of Lava in Turrican anyway.
Musically, the game is a treat. As expected after Morgul Returns, Christian delivers some stunning stuff (in fact I think the Metroidican tracks are even better). One particular thing I admire in the music is that not only has Christian managed to make some very interesting remixes of Metroid themes (mostly from Super metroid), but also he's managed to come up with a lot of other stuff which literally sounds like a fusion betwene Turrican and metroid. Take the title theme as an example, which to me sounds the way Metroid prime would've done if Chris Huelsbek had composed it.
I think my only major problem with the pack generally is something which in fairness isn't lukasz fault, and that is the lack of Metroid bosses.
While the Metroid and turrican gameplay styles work very well together, hidden rooms, bomable bricks etc (even without sute upgrades or limited amo missiles), there really isn't getting around the fact that the T2002 bosses are really not a patch on the Metroid ones. Lukasz has done a great job moving characters like ridly into the game, ---- but having a boss like Ridly sit in a corner and just chuck easily avoidable fireballs at you is extremely jarring to those who've fought Ridly in his various games.
this is however, simply a consequence of the T2002 engine not really being expandable enough to create bosses like the metroid ones, and certainly lukasz has done a really good job with the tools available.
Truly Metroid style bosses will hav to be left for future Turrican remakes.
Generally though, Metroidican is one of the best level packs on offer for T2002, and most deffinately recommended!