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PAX Prime Hands-On: Choplifter HD

Posted by on August 29th, 2011 | 0 Comments | Tags: ,

HD remakes seem to be all the rage these days, with the likes of Pac-Man and Thexder leading the charge. Choplifter was a game whose core mechanics were so brilliantly simple, that transition to the HD could be done with little change. Choplifter HD gives fans of the old game a nostalgia overload while allowing new players to easily get to the choppa and wreak havoc.

There are two things you need to keep in mind while playing this game. One, your current fuel level and two, the amount of remaining space in your helicopter. You are tasked with rescuing prisoners, but of course that wouldn’t be a walk in the park. You are going to have to wage war against what seems like hundreds of enemies. You are constantly burning up fuel and the only way to refill is either returning to base with prisoners or using one of the fuel depots placed in level.

The helicopter controls and combat are fluid and it takes only a little while for you to be tearing it up. An interesting feature is having to battle on both the linear path you are set on and the foreground. A simple tap of the shoulder button swings your helicopter forward. Once you get the hang of it, flying will seem like second nature. I can already imagine the epic score attack battles Eric and I will be having.

The game isn’t all serious though. At one point I destroyed all of the water towers in a level and a scrolling news item appeared at the bottom saying how water prices have sky rocketed. It got a laugh out of me. There are also goats and chickens that you can chop up to get a higher score. PETA would hate me as I made sure to kill ever last one of those fowl beasts.

There is also a zombie mode to switch things up. In it whenever you land, zombies attack the helicopter and you have to swing around to knock them off. I didn’t get to play this mode, but you can see it in the screens and video I attached below.

I never owned an Apple II back when I was younger, so I never had the chance to play the original Choplifter. I had no expectations, good or bad, for this game when I went to see it this weekend. Let’s just say that after playing I am a fan.