To some people, certain games have a charm about them. They may be lacking in great gameplay or content but there’s something about them that keeps you coming back. I think Chopper Attack is one of those games. It’s like Rampage, I know it’s repetitive but I love to play it. There’s just something about it. With it’s arcade style and great controls, Chopper Attack is great fun, even with it’s drawbacks.
Chopper Attack is an arcade-style helicopter action game featuring seven missions set in various locations. You can choose from several helicopters with varying strengths and weaknesses. You can fly anywhere within the stages and tackle objectives however you wish in the same vein as Super Mario 64 which isn’t a bad thing. The controls work rather well and I got used to them fairly quick. You move around with the c-buttons and aim with the joystick. You can’t fly up and down which kind of sucks if you’re trying to shoot enemies above you. Most mission objectives have you blowing shit up but some require you to rescue POWs or escort a plane. You’ll encounter ground and air enemy forces including soldiers, helicopters, planes, and even a soldier that looks like Rambo. He can jump onto the back of your plane, messing with your aim and you’ll need to swing the helicopter around to get him off. you must complete the mission before your fuel runs out. Overall, Chopper Attack is not a hard game but I had to replay a few later missions due to deaths. If your shield is destroyed or you run out of fuel, you will fail the mission. Before each mission you can buy ammo for extra weapons including homing missiles and bombs among others and these become very helpful for dispatching enemies quickly. You have infinite machine gun ammo and can acquire machine gun upgrades throughout the missions. I found these upgrades extremely useful but it sucks that they don’t carry over from mission to mission. I guess the developers thought the game may become too easy. Blowing up buildings and other objects can reward you with bonus points, fuel, shields, POWs, or even bombs that you’ll want to avoid. Chopper Attack is a score-based game but instead of just earning points, the score is actually currency for purchasing new weapons between missions so you’ll want to blow everything up, rescue as many POWs as you can, and obtain any of the bonus points when possible. Just be sure to do it all before you run out of fuel.
I don’t think this game was a looker for it’s time but the helicopters themselves are modeled nicely. Most of the textures are low res and the draw distance isn’t far. I’m sure this was done to help increase the frame rate but even in hectic situations with tons of things on screen the frame rate will take a dip but overall Chopper Attack is a smooth experience. The environments themselves are rather bland and other than the differences in colors, there’s nothing truly unique about them. The mountain stage is probably the most unique as it’s more of a maze-like map rather than an wide open area. The gameplay is accompanied by a decent soundtrack with some cool rock riffs but it’s nothing too memorable and the sound effects are as generic as they come.
Chopper Attack on the Nintendo 64 is a fun game, plain and simple. The controls are not hard to master making it easy to pick up and play. There’s no multiplayer to be found here which is a shame because playing this co-op with a buddy could have been awesome. There are multiple difficulty modes and even some unlockables which can increase replay value. Chopper Attack can become repetitive and it’s a rather short game but it shouldn’t stop you from checking it out especially now that you can find it pretty cheap.