Pilot Wings - A forgotten classic

Forgotten Classics spotlights classic games from the past that you might have forgotten. In this edition, we talk about the classic SNES game Pilotwings. 

Derek Danielewski looks back at this legend on the SNES 

You can follow Derek on Twitter here: @iamdelboy

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Pilotwings was first released in Japan in late 1990, making it's way into North America the next year and a European release in 1992.

A sequel, Pilotwings64 was later released but kind of flopped. The original has now been re released on the Wii's Virtual Console. The game involves learning to operate various flying equipment, such as an airplane, hang glider and a jetpack. Skydiving was also involved. Points were awarded depending on speed and accuracy with the aim being to pass the stage and be awarded a license to get to the next stage.

Licenses contained a password allowing you to skip the stage. The game was very well received, particularly for it's graphics which mimicked 3D graphics by rotating and scaling flat objects. Gameplay wise it was classic Nintendo; very accessible, easy to learn with the right blend of difficulty.

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It was an early glimpse of later Nintendo games; open and free-flowing worlds. The intriguing thing about the game was that despite the dry subject matter (flying through hoops etc), the game pulled you in and was immensely fun. It really did deserve the classic Nintendo seal of approval.

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The first level introduced you to some pretty straightforward stuff, landing a plane and skydiving through hoops. Get enough points for speed and accuracy, and you're certified which lets you move into further levels. The second level introduces a jet pack with similar gameplay and a higher target of points to get certified.

Gameplay is restricted by timing, as each of the events have time restrictions,meaning you have to get things done before the clock runs out. As the levels move on it gets more difficult to achieve this.

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Later in the game there are bonus levels; one including a helicopter rescue mission that kind of feels out of place. I must have spent at least 50-60 hours playing this first time round, and recently rediscovered it on the Wii Virtual Console.

It still is as good to play now as it was then. If you don't have a SNES, then playing it on the Wii is definitely something I'd re commend. Did you play it back in the day? Tell us about your experiences playing it!

Article by Derek Danielewski 

You can follow Derek on Twitter here: @iamdelboy

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