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The promised gameplay picturing a little boy flying a plane around his room by simply holding the Wii-mote between finger and thumb was a compelling story for the Wii. But unfortunately the likes of Wing Island failed to deliver the experience at the Wii's launch. Radio Helicopter targets this same territory, although here you are holding an imaginary Helicopter rather than Bi-Plane.
Racing games, although sometimes seen as a sporting sub category, are a well established video game genre in their own right. They can feature a variety of driving styles ranging from the fantastical arcade racing focusing on thrills and spills, to the super realistic simulations that recreate every aspect of real life driving.
The Wii's motion controls are used to good effect in order to simulate helicopter movement. This is both realistic and smooth. The Wii-mote is used to apply forward, backward and tilting movements, whilst buttons perform specific tasks (such as lowering hooks and firing rockets). These fine balanced controls add a great sense of realism to the action.
Whilst the simulation is enjoyable, those hoping to replicate a real world experience are likely to be disappointed owing to the helicopter's slow reactions and insistently repetitive gameplay.
Radio Helicopter attracts gamers because of its simulation of flying a real life helicopter. The fact that is simulating a miniature model vehicle seems to add to the magic. Players reconnect with their childhood dream of getting their hands on older sibling's expensive radio controlled toys.
There is a real thrill as you deftly adjust your flight path with the slightest of controller adjustments. Although cartoony in style, this still feels like knife edge stuff.
Mastering the basic controls to a reasonable standard is likely to take a couple of hours. This is one game you can revisit and pick up where you left off at any time. A nice touch occurs on the collecting missions, if you can only find 15 of the 20 items this is remembered for when you next play. The ability to complete individual missions ensures that not too much of your spare time need be taken up. Be warned though, on some levels it can take forever to locate and acquire necessary items!
Short battery life of the in game helicopters, along with a lack of a free practice area, cancel this game out for the under six's. Older players, more unused to general game controls, may even struggle to begin with. Seasoned radio control enthusiasts will enjoy the realism of movement, but patience will only stretch so far whilst locating hidden items.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
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