Review by GavLuvsGA
"This game seems EXTREMELY under rated"
Everyone must surely know about Super Mario 64, which was one of the games released when Nintendo 64 first came out, but I suspect this is not true for this game, which was released at the same time as the former. It is certainly different, not featuring any big name characters (aside from a "cameo" from Mario at one point), but this is certainly a fun game to play. I happened to get a second hand copy in Gamestation last year.
Gameplay - 9/10
Very enjoyable once you get the hang of it (no pun intended). There are three main modes of transport - rocket belt, hang glider and gyrocopter. The controls seem a little awkaward at first - it takes practise to learn how to actually land your craft smoothly, and also you have to learn how to read what the radar says, and you have to be careful that you don't crash into a wall (at which point your character will usually be thrown screaming into the distance and you'll have to start the mission again).
It seems a bit dull at first - you only get one task to do with each craft, but as you go through the game, you get more. The object is to achieve bronze medal by getting a certain score on each test and eventually move up to the top class, where you have to take on increasingly complex challenges.
There are a lot of variations - you may have to fly through a number of rings, or push around a giant balloon, reach a certain height using air thermals or fight a giant robot. There is even one round where you have to stay in the air for a specific amount of time while searching for the landing point, forcing you to plan your route carefully. My favourites, however, are the photographic rounds where you go around in the hang glider taking photographs of various things and see how well you can do it.
Overall, the gameplay is very fun indeed, and there are a few extras, such as a cannon that you shoot yourself out of to hit targets, achieved by getting the right rankings. There is also a "birdman", but you can't really do anything there other than fly around one of the areas, and this becomes boring after a couple of minutes.
Graphics - 10/10
Sure, graphics have come a long way in the last 9 years or so since this was released, but for its day they're very impressive. The islands that the game takes place on include intricate details - the "little states" island is very fun to look at with its images of American cities, and also Mount Rushmore with everyone's favourite plumber's head carved on to it. The character designs are also very good.
Sound - 7/10
Very nice music that fits the game very well - I particularly like the calm music during the hang glider rounds. The character voices are a mixture of good and annoying. Lark and Goose have two of the worst voices I've ever heard - the latter has a very horrible, grating, high-pitched voice (his death scream when you crash into a wall is particularly horrible), but there are some better voices - I am rather fond of Robin, and also Hawk, the only two characters who don't sound like they would wet their pants if you snuck up behind them and shouted "Boo!"
Relay Value - 9/10
Again, this stands up to many repeat playings, especially the photography rounds, which I wish there were more of. It's fun to play games again and again just to try and get those elusive gold medals.
Buy this; this isn't exactly Super Mario 64, but it has just as much lastability. Once you get into this you will want to keep playing for a long time.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/07/05
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