Written by  :  Andrew Fisher (643)
Written on  :  Dec 14, 2018
Platform  :  Arcade
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

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Summary

One of the best arcade games, but very demanding

The Good

While you must destroy and kill in self-defence, this game is about rescuing i.e saving lives and I think one feels more like a medic than an airforce pilot(your little pilot wears a red shirt, while the little POWs wear blue). It requires a lot of precision to control the chopper, dodge the enemy, land to take on passengers and avoid shooting POWs. Sega's arcade remake of Dan Gorlin's original has great haunting music giving the gameplay a sense of desperation (I'm not sure if the composer has been confirmed, but my guess is that it was Hiroshi Miyauchi-Kawaguchi for its resemblance to HangOn's music). I like the four stages i.e the scenes/backgrounds, first the desert, the ocean, then forest/cavern and finally the city with it's futuristic look.

The Bad

A lot of arcade games demand time, money and effort, just to past the first stage, but Choplifter is one of the most demanding. One thing I particularly didn't like was that when your chopper is shot down and lands on top of an anti-aircraft gun, the gun isn't destroyed, which I think is rather stingy of the developers. A more decent development team might have given the player a little consolation for being shot down.

The Bottom Line

A great game to watch and listen to, exciting to play, but draining. In the present day, there would be no shame in playing a home ported version and maybe using save states or altering the difficulty level.