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R/C Stunt Copter
Platform:  Playstation
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  Shiny
Publisher:  Titus
Features:  Dual Shock Analog w/Vibration Function
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://www.stuntcopter.com
When I first heard of this game about a year and a half ago, I thought to myself, " Sounds really cool, but I don't think it'll fly off the shelves (pun intended, unfortunately)." After all, flight sims and home consoles don't seem to get along, unless you're a copy of Pilotwings for the N64! Besides, who the heck wants to play a game that promises in no uncertain terms in the instruction manual that "you will NEVER beat this game."? I sure didn't, but leave it to Dave Perry to prove me wrong, again (I also thought no one would want to buy a game about a worm in a spacesuit!). Shiny's incredible R/C Stunt Copter is one of the most original and fun games to come around in quite a while for the almost six-year old Playstation.

This game is a radio control helicopter simulator than uses the Dual Shock Controller like an R/C unit, and is one of those "why didn't anyone think of it before?" ideas that only those smart guys at Shiny could pull off. And with a wicked sense of humor, at that! Actually, Japanese players have lots of sims like these to play, from trains to balloons to sailboats, so it's about time a US developer got its feet wet, so to speak. After all, flying a R/C copter is an expensive, but fun and challenging hobby, so you have to give props (har de har) to Dave Perry and Co. for giving people like me (and you, too!) a chance to own the next best thing. Like it says on the back of the CD, this game will let you save "thousands of dollars in real stunt copters!"!

The game starts out with a training mode, which is extremely necessary, if you've never flown a R/C copter before. If you're one of those hardheads who doesn't read the manual, well more power to you, if you can survive both the constant crashing, and the incessant ribbing of the rather colorful commentator (without pulling out all your hair, or hurling your controller)! That's right, folks- you too can hear a cheerful-voiced character (Dave Perry?) yelling out phrases like "GOOOOOOOLD!!!", when you (or if you, in the case of you instruction skippers,) do particularly well during the assorted training sessions. In fact, you'll need to do well, if you want access to a cool bonus stage, the actual game itself, as well as some better helicopters! The actual game itself, by the way, offers five levels, with five stages to each level (that's 25, folks!), plus a big special bonus level that I've yet to see because I'm really bad at this game (you can stop laughing at anytime, now)!

Well, not really bad, just a bit uncoordinated, after all, how many games out there simulate the ACTUAL motions of the characters or objects one manipulates? Lara Croft's silly midair twist-jump has nothing on this game's controls! If you happen to have friends over, and they're doubled over laughing uncontrollably at your supreme lack of skills, whip out a second Dual Shock, and challenge that chucklemonkey to the Two Player Mode, in which you each have a go at one of the five regular levels. Not only will you shut up your laughing pals, as they'll be tumbling to the tarmac just as often as you do (more, if they skip the manual), the 2-player mode has The Hand! This clever, yet annoying little device simulates the other players' hand blocking your field of vision, and may actually cause some injury to player one or two, as The Fist of the other player makes repeated contact with The Head of the person using The Hand! But that's a moot point, as most of you (especially the careful instruction reading, all gold stars on the training level types, god bless you all) will have a great time with this one!

While too many developers are going the "me too" route with sequel after sequel, it's nice to see a game that doesn't need a big ol' hint book, has tons of maps, and requires a degree from MIT and membership in Mensa. Well, you probably DO need a pilot's license, but I can't help ya there, pal! Anyway, pick up this game, play it, put it away for awhile (until the hair you've pulled out grows back), and repeat whenever necessary. Since you won't actually ever BEAT this game, it'll probably stay in your collection for years to come, and that'll keep Dave Perry happy, too!

Greg Wilcox


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