Violence Killer: Turok New Generation (Turok 2) | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Violence Killer: Turok New Generation (Turok 2) | Review | Switch

by Danny Bivens

Can you kill violence for good?
The Violence Killer…The epic war between good and…violence. Controlling the “Violence Killer” himself, it’s your job to vanquish violence by the only means known to humanity -  violence. Violence Killer has everything you’ll ever need from a game. Guns. Wolverine claws. Blood. Dinosaurs. DLadies. And most importantly, violence!…Okay, so, I have no idea how the board meeting went back in the day here in Japan when the game was pitched to the Japanese publisher, Gen Soft. Of course, Turok 2 is famously known for its violence. It’s no different with the Switch release of Turok 2 on the Switch.

Japan Connection
Although I am indeed reviewing the Nintendo Switch version of Turok 2, I always like to share just a little bit of the Japan angle with games like this if possible. So, as you now know, Turok 2 was released in Japan as Violence Killer: Turok New Generation. The game featured a full localization including Japanese voice acting on top of the “fun” new title. Oddly enough, after pouring through the instruction manual, the only mention of “Violence Killer” is with the title. Everything else is just a faithfully localized version of the story.

Publishing in Japan for Turok 2 was handled by a company called Gen Soft. Over half a year after the North American release, Violence Killer was let loose in Japan on June 18, 1999. It’s pretty surprising that the game even saw a release at all considering that first person shooters (at the time especially) were not popular in Japan. Add to that the hyper violence and you have a recipe for a commercial disaster.

Despite a somewhat favorable review from Famitsu (30/40), the game didn’t sell very well, moving only around 40,000 units when it was all said and done. For the record, the first Turok didn’t fare much better, only selling around 50,000 units. As for this particular version of Turok 2  on the Switch and the original port released earlier in 2019, both are not on the eShop in Japan at the time of writing.

Switch Version
As for the Switch version of the game, visually, Turok 2 stays true to to its roots being quite a step up from the original game. Environments looks sharper, character models look more fleshed out, and weapons and weapon effects look more realistic. Animation is also relatively smooth and pretty realistic - especially considering when this game was originally released. The new coat of HD paint also really helps make this game feel modern and fresh. Conversely, this is an up-rezed Nintendo 64 game when it boils down to it but it looks and runs great for what it is.

Controls are another area where Nightdive Studios nailed it. Similar to the visuals, the controls scheme bring Turok 2 into the the contemporary gaming sphere. It’s quick, responsive and genuinely feels great to play. Story, voice acting and presentation are all top notch in Turok 2. Unlike its predecessor, Turok 2 is full of tons of cutscenes that help bring the entire story together in ways that the originally simply couldn’t. While this is a pretty early example of enhanced story telling in gaming, it works really well and helps to offer a more immersive experience.
Level design and overall game design here are decent, but you’ll definitely notice that this feels like a game from a bygone era of shooters. That’s not a knock in the slightest to Nightdive Studios and their work on this port - it’s incredibly faithful. Players hopping into the game for the first time might be disappointed by some of these gameplay aspects. On top of completing various objectives throughout each level, you will also be tasked with tracking down keys that you will need to open up subsequent levels. Most of these are hidden, too, which sometimes makes backtracking something that has to be done. The backtracking, like in Turok 1, adds more hours to your playtime, but it will probably feel like padding to most. Add to that all this that it is kind of easy to get lost, you might find yourself frustrated at times.
Turok 2 on the Switch is a very faithful port made for a contemporary audience. It has an interesting story, great controls and lots of cool guns. Gamers looking for a blast from the past will feel at home, but the game is definitely a product of its time. Objectively speaking, being so faithful to the original game definitely makes the game show its age from a gameplay perspective. Regardless, Turok 2 on the Switch is worth looking into if you need some more shooters in your life.

Final Score: 7.5

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