Gaming Review: Choplifter HD

Choplifter HD and some good news for COD players

Choplifter HD

Price: $15

What’s it about?

Saving lives in the middle of a war zone. Choplifter HD is a reimagined version of the classic Choplifter that came out so long ago that the Apple Computer you used to play it was still named with a roman numeral. It seems like a strange piece of gaming history to dig up after 30 years but the simple, side-scrolling gameplay that was ubiquitous in the 80’s, now fills a niche for downloadable games on the Xbox and PS3.

How does it look?

When you’re talking about a game that updates an original over three decades old, calling the jump to HD graphics a big improvement is an understatement. For chrissakes, the original would probably play on a modern graphing calculator without skipping a beat. So, instead of harping on the graphics (they’re good, seriously), we’ll talk about the excellent level design of Choplifter HD, about how missions may start off slow and monotonous but quickly changes to a frenzy of marksmanship, timing and balls-of-steel risk-taking. The game even peppers in some cameo appearances by beloved (and not-so-beloved-anymore) characters for you to rescue from a massive cross section of environments.

Is it any good?

Choplifter HD takes the best qualities of an addicting iPhone app but then ups the ante by adding the graphical power and physical controller of a console. The game initially feels a bit one-sided, causing us to scratch our heads, but then helicopter upgrades come into play, enemy weapons get beefed up, your own chopper’s arsenal grows and the cunning use of countdowns (when your passengers will expire, when your gas tank will run out) create a sense of urgency in the game that will have you rethinking your strategy and honing your sweet pilot skills. Brushing up on your trigonometry might not be the worst idea either.

Out of ten?

8, gameplay is fun, graphics look good, it all comes in at a bargain price because it’s a download and replay value is high as you strive for better times and higher scores on each and every level.

If I like this, what else will I like?

Geometry Wars, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, getting to the chopper

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Drop #1 announced!

What’s it about?

Pay attention, COD burnouts, If you’ve already disgusted yourself with the amount of hours you’ve played MW3 then get ready to be more disgusteder because Activision is about to drop the first of nine content packs planned for MW3 this year. The DLC Map Pack, available on Xbox January 24th (and PS3 some undiclosed time afterwards. Suckerrrrs.) brings with it the first two new maps for the chart-topping online multiplayer platform.

Map the first, is a little ditty called Liberation though we’re not sure why it’s not just called Central Park…because that’s exactly what it is. Based in a war-torn NYC, the multi-player map is a scaled down replica of Central Park where long, flat spaces make it a sniper’s wet dream come true. Long range fire and turrets dominate this landscape so expect a more tactical, planned-out strategy to be the key to domination here….sort of like how three martinis and a ball-gag is the key to domination of your mom.

Map the second takes the form of Piazza, a more aptly named map than Liberation because it’s all about fighting…spoiler alert…in a piazza. For those of you who no speak the Italiano, piazza roughly translates as plaza and that’s what you’re gonna find here: a small, central, open space surrounded by buildings that slant the combat towards small stairways for cramped, fast, close-range shoot outs with an emphasis on verticality. We don’t know how to say “pwned” in Italian but we do know that tight two-man units, pumping out pistol rounds and quick knife slashes is a winning strategy here. Beautiful coastline, old fashioned Italian village and death match carnage, that’s what we call amore.

If I like this, what else will I like?

Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, ripping it up in Central Park