STAFF REVIEW of Choplifter HD (Xbox 360 Arcade)

Thursday, January 26, 2012.
by Brent Roberts

Choplifter HD Box art In the 1980's there was a wealth of outlets that allowed young gamers a chance to play, what could be categorized by today's standards, classic games. These games were very simplistic to operate and provided hundreds of thousands of hours of enjoyment to the masses, and one of those titles to do this is the classic game, Choplifter. With a growing trend of gaming companies releasing classic games with updated facelifts but maintaining the same generic gameplay, one must ask themselves if there is any reason why someone would pay 1200 MS points for something that used to be on the Commodore 64. To put things into perspective, you could spend 1200 MS points to purchase Choplifter, or you could spend 1200 MS points to purchase games like Trials HD, Battlefield 1943, Shadow Complex, and Portal: Still Alive, and more. Let?s take off on a mission to see if Choplifter is worth 1200 MS points because ultimately in the end, that is the question that needs to be answered.

For those who haven't played the original Choplifter back when it came out in 1982 on the Commodore 64 or Apple II, the game involved you flying back and forth while dodging and eliminating enemies with your helicopter, and in the process rescuing helpless civilians from certain doom. When Choplifter HD released it tried to be as innovative as its predecessor, however, this is where the issues begin with this game. When the game released it was heralded as a masterpiece of the time and while that may be the same cannot be said for this latest version release. The controls of the game are fairly straight forward and while that is a plus, you will find yourself trying to find the optimum route through the side scrolling missions while confronting increasing amounts of enemies in your search for survivors. The main problems though with the gameplay controls are the sluggish and unbalanced feel. While your enemies seem to be able to instantly pinpoint your helicopter and let loose tons of rounds of ammo your way, your chopper doesn't have the ability to do the same. Targeting and lock on features are very slow and when you combine the innovation of trying to hit enemies in the foreground while flying to rescue civilians, then there are going to be some major issues.

While the major control issues of the game would be enough to warrant a pass of this title, even the "HD" upgraded graphics are not all that good. We have seen previous titles release for a cheaper price with a better "HD" facelift. Most of the time the graphics are average, however, when the camera zooms in you get to see a great example of a factor of a game that was on a great path but got sidetracked or shot down and was just left alone. The same can also be said for the audio of the title which provides little enjoyment or contributions to the overall feel of the game. Instead of the audio helping bring this game to life, the wise cracking jokes from the pilot are all you will get to try to bring a smile to your face. When you take into consideration that both the graphics and sound do little to enhance or even improve the quality of Choplifter HD, things start to go from bad to worse.

While the game in its essence is a side scrolling adventure, the frustrations of combining poor gaming controls with a lackluster HD graphic remake and next to nothing audio work make the 1200 MS point price tag an undisputed rip off of the gaming community. If the game was priced at 400 MS points or below it would be something that I would recommend caution in purchasing, however when you have a game that is done so poorly and at a price of 1200 MS points, this is a game that should be avoided at all costs or until the greed has subsided and a more reasonable price point has been established.

If you want to keep the challenge high then do so, but don't lose the fluid nature of the title by shotty game controls and poor music. Oh and make sure you don't charge 1200 MS points for a title that is barely worth 400 MS points. It will damage the rep you're trying to build and you will witness a decline of gamers purchasing your titles.

Overall: 5.8 / 10
Gameplay: 6.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.5 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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