Review: Turok (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, March 29, 2019

Review: Turok (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

A modern version of a classic with a few old school issues. 
Back in March of 1997, something special was being cooked up by Acclaim and Iguana Entertainment. Yeah, you got it. The classic N64 shooter Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter hit store shelves. The title was met with critical and commercial praise from games media and gamers alike. It was lauded for its (at the time) great polygonal graphics, excellent weapon variety and open levels. Going back to the original Nintendo 64 version of the game these days is…well, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Thankfully for fans that want to relive the original have a chance on a Nintendo console thanks to the remaster finally arriving on the Switch.

Turok on the Switch is a completely modern remake of the original game. With a modern controller comes a modern control scheme. Gameplay in this remaster feels fluid and extremely accurate. The dual analog handing feels great and really makes it feel like a new experience. Gyro aiming can also be enabled which helps fine tune shooting. Simply put, handling Turok has never felt better.

Graphically, Turok looks pretty great. Of course, it’s clearly an up-ported game from the late 90s. Characters, environments and textures all look dated, however, the widescreen 1080p resolution and 60fps breath new life into the experience. The infamous fog from yesteryear has also been toned down quite a bit by default, so you can finally see the environments and any incoming enemies. The animations here are great, and I can just never get enough of watching humanoid characters grabbing at their necks trying to stop the flow of blood leaving their bodies. The sound is also cleaned up and sounds pretty clear. From a presentation standpoint, first rate.
There are also a wealth of options that can be tinkered with in this remaster. Gameplay option - draw distance, toggling death cinematics, weapon bobbing, head bobbing options (and more). Graphics - bloom effect, water refraction, field of view (and more). Audio and Language options are also there as well as the cheat system that was found in the original. There’s a lot of stuff to mess with here!

While the controls and visuals are top notch, level design is where Turok really shows its age. The stages are very open, almost to a fault. Sure, it’s nice that the game moved away from the corridor shooting experiences that we all knew from the era, but scrounging the levels for keys to progress further into the game is a bit of a grind. It does help extend the amount of time you’ll spend with the game but in this day and age, we might associate this more with padding to fill out the experience. Some gamers might be fine with this. For me personally, I wasn’t a huge fan.

Japan Connection
Turok was released on the Nintendo 64 in Japan not too long after it was released in the West - late May 1997. It was published by Acclaim Japan and had a localized title of “Jikūsenshi Turok,” which could be roughly translated into English as “Time and Space Warrior Turok.” It wasn’t a huge seller in Japan, but did manage to sell around 50,000 copies. This warranted enough confidence to get Turok 2, titled “Violence Killer: Turok New Generation,” to release in mid 1999 from publisher Gen Soft.
Turok is fast, looks great, runs super smooth, and has a wealth of customization. The only thing that holds it back is the archaic level design. The search for the keys was a little bit much for me. Also, I would have loved to see a more robust save system, i.e. the ability to save anywhere. Regardless, if you’re yearning for a modern version of a classic game, you can’t go wrong here.

Final Score: 7.0

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