SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$39.99

DEVELOPER
Shiny

PUBLISHER
Titus

RELEASE
09/99

RC Stunt Copter Review

By: John Doe


Q. When is a videogame more than a videogame? A. When it is a software toy. Huh? R/C Stunt Copter from Shiny and Titus, is much more than a videogame. It is truly one of the most innovative pieces of software I've ever laid my hands on. You see, R/C Stunt Copter actually teaches you how to fly those remote controlled helicopters you've always wanted to try but your wallet kept telling you "no". You can bust this helicopter as many times as you want and it will never cost you another dime. And when all is said and done and you've mastered this intricate art of aviation, you could actually really go out and fly a real R/C Copter. No kidding! Sweet, huh?


Highs:
Lows:

I friend of mine used to be heavily into flying R/C planes and helicopters a few years back and I remember watching him and thinking, "What's the fun in this? That isn't very hard." And then I tried it and swallowed my pride. It was freakin' hard work! Luckily for him, he had a knack for it and actually only had a couple of major crack-ups. Man, he would have loved to have used this game for training, because even the minor accidents he had, cost him a pretty penny. When R/C Stunt Copter showed up I was very anxious to try out the controls and see if I could put my prior knowledge to use. Shiny did their homework because I was up and running fairly quickly which is a testament to the incredible amount of physics modeling they did. The Dual-Shock controller really does become an R/C unit. It's simply amazing.

R/C Stunt Copter starts you with ten training levels to ease you into the art of R/C flying. You start the training mode with the Rookie copter that has training skids attached and an auto-leveling feature that will keep you from crashing. Throughout these ten levels you will have to learn how to hover, turn, go forward, land and shoot. Your performance is graded with gold, silver or bronze stars. Earn all golds and you'll unlock some pretty cool copters to play with later in the game. In all there are 6 copters to fly: Rookie, Pilot (Auto-level turned off, training skids attached), Captain (2) (Auto-level off, no training skids) and Ace (2) (allows you to fly inverted). The training modes are mandatory. You won't get very far into the game without them. Once you finish the training levels you can try your luck at over 35 more levels, which include 25 themed flying levels, 10 free flight levels and 1 secret bonus round level.

The two-player game is cool as well, allowing you to mess up your friends flying technique with the virtual hand. Don't try this in real life or you'll be sure to end up with a bill for a few hundred dollars, a black eye or both. To get the most out of the two-player mode, player 2 will have to have played this game or actually flown a real r/c copter. Otherwise you'll spend all of your time instructing him or her and what to do, and what fun is that? Especially when they eat all of your food while you are trying to show them what to do.

Graphically, R/C Stunt Copter is simple, yet effective. Shiny wasn't interested in wowing you with eye-popping graphics; they spent their time on the flight engine. If this game looked amazing but wasn't an accurate portrayal of R/C flight, then the whole point would have been lost. As you get further into the game, you'll find some cool levels that are bright and colorful, like the Theme Park, Easter Island, Ruins and my favorite, Vacant Lot (don't ask me why...). The camera control is slightly adjustable and for the most part it will be where you need it. This game would have been nothing if the camera had been crap.

Your instructor's voice will provide advice, enthusiasm and sarcasm throughout your experience. You can always skip by his mission commentary when repeating a level over and over again, which you definitely will. The music is nondescript, allowing you to focus on the task at hand, which is welcome because you'll need all of the concentration you can muster.

As this game is as realistic as you are going to get without buying an actual R/C Copter - which would be financial suicide now that this game is available for you to cut your flying teeth on - expect a high level of frustration at first. If you approach this game like that dusty guitar sitting in your closet, then you won't get anything out of it. This game takes a lot of practice, just like anything worth learning, so be patient. Don't expect to be buzzing around like a pro in two hours, this isn't Nuclear Strike. R/C Stunt Copter is a true flying sim, it's not an arcade shoot em up. Personally I had to play this game for a few weeks, flying almost every day, to become comfortable with maneuvering. If you plan on renting this game, you are not giving yourself enough time. Renting will do dick. Buy the game, hone your skills over time and become a true R/C Stunt Copter Master. Then dig out the guitar and do the same thing. Hey, nobody said life was easy. Quit whining.

This game is easily one of the most innovative titles ever produced. It really drives home the point that videogames can be used for good instead of evil. Shiny is on to something here and they'd be crazy if they just left us hanging. We want more software toys! How about a software toy that will teach my father how to set his VCR? That would add years of free time to my life! Anyway, if you fancy yourself a man's man or a woman's woman, than let's see what you are made of; master this game! I'm actually thinking of buying an R/C Copter next Spring and try out my skills. Bravo to Shiny and Titus! Encore! Encore! (Standing ovation) Be sure to check out www.stuntcopter.com for additional information on the game.

OVERALL
9.5

GRAPHICS
7.0

CONTROL
9.0

MUSIC/FX
8.0

FRUSTRATION
9.0

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