Review by The President
"A forgotten N64 classic."
Back in early 1990s, the SNES was released, and the main game was Super Mario Bros. 4 (otherwise known as Super Mario World.) However, most people did not know of another game, known as Pilotwings. It was a great game, in its own right. When the Nintendo 64 was released, one of the first games out for it was Pilotwings 64, a game that combines the action of the first in 3-D graphics. During the early game shortage in the N64's life span, the game proved to be the lifesaver to me when the PS1 was pulling away from the Saturn and N64 in 1997.
Could I say that these graphics were better than Super Mario 64. No. But I could say ''almost as good.'' The water effects and first and third person view (normal and when looking through the camera) where stunning to me when I first saw them. Everything looked and still looks great to me. I really can't see how the graphics are outdated (well, maybe a little.)
The environments are stunning, if you play as one of the free modes (like birdman.) You can take as much time as you want to explore and see every nook and cranny of the islands. FUN TIP: see how long it takes to get as high as you can possibly go. Remember, this was a First Generation N64 game, so if this game was made in 1998, imagine how good it would of looked.
Gameplay: 9 1/2
This is the games gravy. You are a young pilot, trying out new and old types of flying equipment. You can choose from 6 different characters, though it's really 3, the boy and girl light, medium, and heavy characters are the same. You also have 3 types of flying machines to choose from: hanglider, jet pack, and gyrocopter. Each character seems to work the best with one machine (I won't tell you, figure it out yourself) and each level has goals to complete with each machine. They could be simple, like shoot 3 targets, or very hard, like landing at EXACTLY the time they they say, if you land 2 seconds away from that time, you get no points. It added a sense of challenge to the game, which I enjoyed very much. Though there are problems with the physics engine ( you can't do that much in a jet pack, right?) and the camera angles are a bit joggly when you move fast.
You can hear the waves from the bay or ocean if you get very close to them, and the can hear the different sounds that each machine make, and the same song plays in every mission, but that is about it for sound, though all of it is done quite well for a cartridge based game. The music will get irritating after a while though, so that's why it gets a 8.
Fun Factor: 9
I enjoyed this game quite a lot when I got it, and played it more than any N64 game except Mario Kart 64. If you could choose between something like F-zero 64 or even Star Fox 64, I would choose PilotWings. This game combines the graphics of Super Mario 64, the Sound of the beginning of Buck Bumble (I loved that beginning, otherwise...BLAH) and the gameplay of a deranged Star Fox 64.
Buy or Rent?
Though I bought it for a reduced price, most people would rent this game, because it could be finished in 5 days in you put your mind to it.
Fun Factor: 9
Reviewers Score: 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/12/02, Updated 04/12/02
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