Review by stonedwal
"An often overlooked game that has plenty to offer"
This used to be one of my favourite Master System games, so when I came to review it, I was happy that it wasn’t yet another one of those horrible 8-bit games that everyone raves about (Megaman), and that I had forgotten that it was bad, or something like that. Well thankfully, it’s nearly as good as I remembered. The sequels did improve on it though, only graphically.
Choplifter involves you flying a rescue helicopter, and rescuing prisoners of war. Usually they a trapped inside bunkers, or on warships. As the helicopter, you must destroy the bunker or ship, and rescue the escapees. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. There are all sorts of things that want you dead, such as Tanks, Humvees, Fighter Planes, SAM Sites, Missile Launchers and many more. Fill up your helicopter with as many people as you can, and fly back to base. Beware, don’t be shot down, as you will lose not only your life, but the lives of your passengers as well.
Choplifter originated on the Amiga (I believe), and was ported to a few 8-bit systems. I have never played the Amiga version, so I can not rate how good the port is.
Graphics typically look like an 8-bit game. Much more pretty than a NES game, with lots of colour used in the sprites an backgrounds. The first level does look a little rough, but this improves as the game moves along. Enemies are animated better than your helicopter IMO, a bit of a peeve if you ask me.
The music is pretty good, adding a bit of adrenalin to the gameplay, but the sound effects are pretty limited. Sound effects are basic gun fire sounds, and the sound of the helicopter crashing. Due to limits of an 8 bit console, I guess there isn't much more they can do (but some games later on for the system did do more).
Due to a lack of an instruction book, I have no idea of what the actual story is, but from playing the game, you can piece together the basic idea that you are in a war, men have been captured, and you are sent to get them back.
The gameplay is fairly good. It uses an original concept (well, I had seen anything like it before), and adds in some good gameplay. While the idea of the mission is to rescue an allocated amount of prisoners, it is mixed up by using different types of terrain, a desert, an ocean, inside a cave, and one more I have yet to find. The game gets difficult too. The enemies aren’t just out to get you, because they tend to kill the prisoners as well. Things do get a little frustrating as you progress through the game, but never go out of control.
Once its done, its done. There are a few Easter eggs in the game, such as an appearance by what appears to be Superman, I wonder if you can shoot him down. The game gets pretty challenging by the third level, and could take a few days, possibly weeks to get past.
- Original Concept
- Challenging Gameplay
- Good Music
- Needs more levels
- Sound effects are limited
- Gets frustrating
Its one of the better Master System games out there, so if you ever see a copy, try to get it. A few more levels would do the game justice, but what’s there is enough to keep you interested for a few weeks. It does provide a bit of fun on a Friday night with a few friends (killing hostages instead of saving them).
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/03/01, Updated 03/03/01
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