Great freeware remakes are few, and far between. In other words, there are not many of them out there that I can call well made. Maybe it’s just me. But there are some notable exceptions. I can’t think of them right now, however, because, as I write this, I’m thinking of all of the great things about the challenge that I am about to present to you today. I admit it, I love shooting games. They aren’t my favorite genre, but I enjoy playing them nonetheless. I’m sure there are many out there that do too. Destruction in video games is an all too common, and all too fun, gameplay element, and this game has more than it’s share of it. If you know Metroid, you know this game. If you’ve heard of the old shooter Turrican, you know this game. And pulling one straight out my own hat, if you know Oddworld, you slightly know this game. The freeware scene watched this game go through a long production process for over five years, and when it was finally finished, I bet it was downloaded so fast, the creators probably thought their web page was going to explode. The freeware action shooter Hurrican, is also a freeware counterpart to the Turrican series. If you’ve never played Turrican, it’ll wait. You’ve got this instead.
The story in this game is a lot like the kind you see in the Metroid series. You are a robot, and your ship has crashed onto a strange planet, filled with robotic creatures. You must make your way off the planet. Simple enough right? Well, unfortunately, the planet is rigged with nukes, spikes, piranhas, and evil robots who want to blow your head off and use it for a bowling ball. I don’t really want to see a story in a shooting game, to tell you the truth. Much like the game Abuse, this game pumps me up with action, and the last thing I need is a relaxing story, when I’m screaming at the top of my lungs for the bad guys to just die. But for some people, I suppose a lack of story could be bad. Let’s get something straight. No it’s not. It’s good for this game. Just play it.
You know the basic gameplay idea for this game if you have ever heard of Metroid, or even your standard side-scrolling shooter. Destroy! Mame! Blow things up! Kick butt and chew bubble gum. Simple idea right? Well, every GOOD game has variations on this design, and this is a good game. So listen up. Your character can jump and shoot. Big deal? He has four main weapons to choose from: The blaster, the machine gun, the lightning gun, and the ball gun. The blaster and the machine gun both shoot steady blasts of large firepower, and the ball gun shoots energy orbs that bounce around the area. The lightning gun emits a steady stream of lightning, which can be moved around the area. Your character can not walk while using the lightning gun, so be careful. Powerups are hidden throughout the level, which make your weapons much more powerful. You can also get powerups from killing enemies. A special button, when pressed, can either emit a laser wall, or turn you into a rolling ball, the same as Metroid. This is especially useful for finding secrets. Note, you are also invincible while you are a ball, but it has a meter which can quickly run out. This game boasts nine levels, and each level has a LONG timer, which basically is used for nothing, certain hazards like spike pits and falling icicles, and the obligatory point gathering. Enemies are really dangerous, and can emit missiles, fire, and other hazards. Some enemies are MISSILES. There is also the obligatory one-hit kill enemy in every level. Now here’s where I had the most fun. BOSSES. Bosses are this games strong point, and you can always tell when you are about to encounter them, when the music dies out then starts getting heavy. Each boss is very tough, but there is a trick to defeating each one. With a bit of luck, you can defeat them. Throughout this game, there was not one easy thing, not even on easy mode. The difficulty is admirable, and only for the veterans of action games. It’s not impossible though, and most deaths are caused by your own mistakes. Most hazards are reminiscent of Prince of Persia, as are the deaths.
Everything in Hurrican is completely pre-rendered. Much like Donkey Kong Country, but with an artistic style closer to Oddworld, the quality of graphics and animation is astounding, and literally blew me away. Beautiful effects abound in the levels, such as loud explosions, and other particle and laser effects. The animation quality is very realistic. Characters turn in a life-like way when they go in another direction, and each enemy has it’s own method of hiding, movement, and attacking. The musical score in Hurrican is very pumped up, and you can feel the explosions and gunfire in every single note. If this game can’t make you feel energetic, then I don’t think anything can. I feel like I ate five glasses of sugar right now. Wait, I feel that way all of the time....
For a game that took five years to make, Hurrican is definitely worth the wait. But now it is here, and everyone can fully enjoy the solid action and difficulty this game displays. I admit, when I first saw the game, I wasn’t too excited to review it, but before long I was like, forget the review, this game is great! I played it, and I loved it, and I can’t sleep tonight if I don’t give it a straight out five out of five. I stink at action games, so I only made it through seven out of nine levels, but maybe you can do better. I dare ya!
Review by: Secret Fawful