Title: Rally Copters
Developer: Storm Basic Games
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 164 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
How many Helicopter games have you played in your lifetime? I sure haven’t played that many and that is for certain. When I think of Helicopter games, the first that comes to mind is a game on the old Sega Genesis: Super Thunder Blade. What a fun first-person game before the generation of real 3D first-person flying simulators. You can even play it on a PS Vita if you use a PS3 to transfer over the PSP version of Sega Genesis Collection.
Since then, I’ve rarely seen helicopter games. Sure, there are games that have helicopters in them, like GTA: Vice City Stories. But I’m talking about games specifically around helicopter flight and that is very limited and rare these days. Most flight simulators are about airplanes and starships, rather than helicopters. Not too long ago, a helicopter game came to the PlayStation World. It’s not like Super Thunder Blade, but helicopter fans can use helicopters in it. Here is my review of Rally Copters!
This game has no story, so this section shall remain blank.
Rally Copter is a 2D flying game with physics-based puzzle elements thrown into the mix. When you’re in the middle of a stage in the game, you will be flying a helicopter, trying to fly through checkpoints and reach the end of the stage without crashing. It is mostly flying, but the physics involved in flight bring in more strategic puzzle elements to the gameplay.
There are a couple different kinds of stages. There are checkpoint-based stages and there are emblem stages. In the checkpoint stages, you will have to fly around obstacles and pass through certain checkpoints, which will eventually unlock the landing zone at the end of the stage where you can clear it. The checkpoints also function as save checkpoints. If you crash in one of these stages, you can respawn at the last checkpoint you passed through.
Emblem stages only give you 1 life and you are to fly and collect emblems on your way to the landing pad at the end of the stage instead of going through checkpoints. These are considerably more difficult because you only get a single life instead of multiple lives. The rewards for most stages is clearing it, but some unlock other ships which have different power and handling parameters.
The difficulty of the games comes in the obstacles, from walls to moving pillars and spikes. If you hit a wall or obstacle, you will take damage. So many hits and you’ll explode and crash. Other obstacles, like falling walls, can instantly destroy you. The goal is to hit as few of these as possible, especially in the emblem stages. I won’t say the game is particularly hard, but don’t expect to pass every stage on your first attempt. I would say the game is pretty easy, but not a cake walk. Only a couple areas will really challenge you once you get a handle on the controls.
There are a couple other things I would like to mention. The first thing is the network features. Rally Copters doesn’t have multiplayer, but it does have an online leaderboard system. You should be very careful when you’re online. If you minimize the game and go back in, the game will start to replay and then give you an error about disconnecting. The problem is that the game doesn’t pause when it does this. So, you will more than likely crash into a wall before you can get rid of the error message.
The other thing is game length. There are only 27 stages in the game, and most of them can be beaten in well under 2 minutes. This gives the game less than an hour of playing time. Sure, it’s a simple game, but a lot of the smaller PS Mobile titles played longer than this. It felt more like a technical demo of what could be much bigger than a full game.
The controls are very easy to use. In fact, you’ll barely use more than a few buttons on the Vita as you play the game. Touch controls are not there, nor are motion controls. As you’d expect, the game is fully playable on the PlayStation TV.
Moving your copter is done with the Left Analog Stick and you can change direction with the Right Analog Stick. Triangle will respawn you at the last checkpoint and Start pauses the Menu. Finally, Square will disable or enable the dotted line that shows you where to go for the next checkpoint. Sounds easy, right? It is, and the tutorial explains each bit of the game pretty well.
The visual presentation isn’t anything miraculous, but it doesn’t look bad. It has a very unique style to it and all of the models and effects look nice. If you look really close, you can see some jagged edges, but I only noticed them because I’m a reviewer and I have to look for these things. Those little details are a huge thing to look for.
Performance is pretty nice overall. The initial loading time of the game is especially long. I would clock it at over a minute, if I were to guess. That’s a bit of an annoyance since it’s just on one developer name for quite a while, but the in-game load times aren’t bad at all. The frame rate is also nice and steady. There are no complaints there.