[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”inXile Entertainment” publishers=”Konami” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”January 11, 2012″]
This generation has been a haven for classic remakes and modernizations due to the boom in downloadable gaming. Choplifter HD, developed by inXile Entertainment and published by Konami, is a HD revisiting to the Apple II classic. The original was addicting and spawned ports across many platforms and is even distinguished with being one of the few games that started on home consoles and was ported to arcade. Choplifter comes from an era where video games took a simple concept and that was the whole game. Does Choplifter HD rely on 80’s era nostalgia or has it modernized the classic enough that it is enjoyable by those that aren’t entering their 30’s?
Choplifter HD is all about the coolness factor of flying attack helicopters. This explains the popularity of the original because very few little boys did not find helicopters awesome. Players fly a helicopter horizontally left to right blowing up enemies and transporting people in need of rescue back to the base. This is the same gameplay as the original but HD throws a twist on it by allowing the foreground to contain enemies to kill. Controls are simple for the game. It is borderline twin stick shooter except you have to pull the right trigger to shoot your regular gun and left trigger to shoot missiles. The shoulder buttons shift your perspective from facing the right to facing the foreground to facing the left. Face buttons will speed you left or right burning more fuel. On some stages there are refueling points and the base will always refuel you.
Slaughter enemies, dodge missiles, rescue civilians, and fly an attack helicopter for 30 3-5 minute levels. Thankfully there is enough variety in the 30 levels that just at the point you might get bored, something a little different comes your way. At one point you go from the normal gameplay to picking up a ranger and taking him to the hospital as you fight off zombie hordes. Levels have ratings up to 5 stars and the player unlocks new helicopters that have increased capacity and firepower based on the amount of stars the player has. It is fun to go back with better helicopters to previous levels that were troublesome and just out right trounce everyone.
Choplifter HD is a difficult game. It comes from the old school philosophy of 1 life to live. If you die on a level, you have to restart that level. Luckily as mentioned before the levels are only 3-5 minutes long. That is long enough for death sting but nowhere near long enough for you to throw your controller down and not try again. Graphically Choplifter HD is thrown on the Unreal Engine 3 which has yet to show signs of slowing down as a gaming engine. It’s a pretty game and a lot better looking than an Apple II or Atari game. Sound is typical and works for the game but nothing really stood out. Achievement wise the game is typical with beat the game, kill this many, 5 star all these levels, and find all secrets.
Choplifter HD brings the right formula of modularized gameplay by having short levels with variety and difficulty along with a scoring system to keep players coming back and wanting to improve their score…plus helicopters.