Are you sitting comfortably? Good, here it’s comes… I can’t stand Pilotwings.
And yet I don’t know quiet why? As a key title for the Super Nintendo, it’s showcase feature was promoting the Mode 7 usage throughout the title and with the various challenges testing the player, it became a hit purely by being a different offering to anything their rivals were producing at the time.
Maybe that’s the issue, it’s one of those, ‘you had to be there’ at the time of release titles. As the game is horribly outdated by today’s standards, partly due to the engine, partly due to the hardware, mostly by the fact that there is no real depth into the game once you’ve tried out the various games. Overall it’s just a game that tried to be 3D before 3D hardware was available.
Playing it now you do notice little things like the controls, which while responsive don’t give a true 360 flow of movement despite how good your d-pad skills are. Also the lack of depth, hampered by the choice of mode and graphics make judging speed and distance more a game of chance once you’re in the right area, and especially during the skydiving events. Seasoned players may be more used to this, but coming back to this game after not playing for a long time, just shows how steep a learning curve in terms of control and judgement you really have to face.
That’s not to discount everything the game has to offer, as the light plane and jet pack sections are quiet fun, it’s just it could have been more, with awards and score targets that could’ve unlocked further challenges (and maybe a few more cameos..) and alongside a better way to control.