Saturday, 31 January 2009

Retrospective - Pilotwings 64

Not only do I remember the first time I played Pilotwings 64, I remember the exact circumstances that I bought it roughly eight years ago; on holiday in Cornwall having passed a small shop that was selling games. I remember seeing the original PAL release of Pok√©mon Stadium hogging quite a bit of the shelf space but my eye was caught by a game tucked away in the back of the bottom shelf with a price tag of £12.99. Next thing I knew I actually wanted the holiday to end so that I could go home and play it - yes, I wanted a holiday to end to play a game.

In all seriousness, Pilotwings 64 became one of the most charming games that I've ever played. Charming in the same way that Animal Crossing or Advance Wars is - there were few moments in Pilotwings 64 where I wasn't sporting an enormous grin across my youthful face. Those moments tended to involve hang-gliders or the giant mech that terrorised certain areas; there'd be so many obscenities after missing out on a perfect score by one point that I'd make Scarface look like a timid lamb.

Whether it be flying a jetpack, shooting mechs from a gyrocopter, firing yourself towards Mount Rushmore to reveal Wario's face or just gently relaxing as the Birdman flying high above the Golden Gate Bridge in Little America, Pilotwings 64 had it all for serious flight-sim players and regular gamers. A game both challenging and relaxing at the same time is a very rare and fantastic experience.

8/10 cats agree that Pilotwings is more relaxing than being massaged in beer.

As a launch game for the N64, Pilotwings 64 is absolutely stellar and as the generations of games passed it continued to be flying sky high (pun intended) above many of the games not just on the N64 but on all platforms of the time - Paradigm in my eyes had brought gaming into the next generation rather than Super Mario 64. Unfortunately Nintendo decided that adding Pilotwings to their catalogue of GameCube games would have been a bad idea and so far they've continued with the same decision for the Wii. Surely I wouldn't want to see Pilotwings tarnished with a poor version made for the Wii, but I do have every bit of faith in Nintendo that A) they won't be able to water it down much at all to appeal to the so called casual gamer and B) they could make the motion controls actually work, more so with the Motion Plus adapter. If Nintendo do decide to do a new game in the series, it'd almost be worth buying a Wii for.

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