Aksys Games and 505 Games localize another oddity outside Japan… “MiniCopter: Adventure Flight” (known as “Radio Helicopter” in PAL areas and “Puchi Copter Wii: Adventure Flight” in Japan) is an obscure and fun little budget title with a specific target audience: Fans of RC Helicopter sims! Produced by “Sonic Powered” (Best known for their long-running “Airport Hero” franchise and “From the Abyss”) and “Arc System Works” (Guilty Gear, etc.), this game is actually part of a series of games that has went under a variety of names, developers and publishers and journeyed from Xbox (“Petit Copter”) to PS2 (“Petit Copter” and “Petit / Puchi Copter 2”) to eventually the Wii. It is similar to Tomcat System’s “Simple Series” RC Heli sims to the point where they are sometimes confused with each other. Sadly, the series as a whole is somewhat poorly rated and a little misunderstood, with its budget and learning curve regarding the controls often being the main points of criticism. Despite this, the franchise endured for several years and managed to find a tiny cult following.
This game doesn’t appear like much, but compared to its predecessors, this Wii game is more fully realized with a graphical overhaul (much brighter colors, better textures, much cleaner GUI, etc.) and more upbeat music, as well as more focused and interactive gameplay. The game is broken up into several areas with different objectives which aren’t just inside a house, but out in a park, within a hospital, and more. The game encourages exploring nearly every inch of the environments to clear your objectives and the game allows you to do this by flying, shooting objects and picking things up with a suction cup. Initially, this can prove to be a daunting task as you have life and batteries which need to be charged after too long), but by practicing and earning money, you can buy new upgrades and unlock new copters. The game also has superior controls thanks to a refined hover/strafe mechanic and “Wii Motion Tilt” controls, which actually help this game and doesn’t feel like a total gimmick (it doesn’t replace the PS2 game’s RC Helicopter controller, but it’s a good substitute).
Once you learn how to play, mastering most of the challenges is a reasonably easy affair, but getting the best ranks on the levels and unlocking all the game’s items and secrets is at least a little satisfying. While the game is fairly short and could’ve been better, it’s certainly one of the better RC Helicopter sims out there. I probably wouldn’t have bought this game at its original MSRP (in my case, $30 USD), but it’s a fairly uncommon game, so snatch it up if you can find it for cheap and dig weird games as its price has slowly been rising.
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