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Chopper Attack

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Reviewed by Raymond Almeda If you enjoy flying military machinery and laying waste to everything in sight (and who doesn't?), then Midway's Chopper Attack is the game for you. The game is essentially a 3D version of EA's classic Jungle Strike. While not quite as addictive or as cleverly designed as the Strike series, Chopper Attack does provide a fun diversion...with plenty of nasty explosions to boot. Chopper Attack presents gamers with (what else?) heavily armed helicopters, an arsenal of weapons, and a series of goal-oriented missions. After choosing from one of eight choppers, gamers may customize the machine by "purchasing" assorted high-powered weaponry with accumulated cash. There are air-air missiles, air-ground missiles, killer cluster bombs, and decoys. Once the chopper is armed, gamers are treated to an all-too-brief and all-too- cheesy mission briefing. This consists of a polygonal military general barking out some text-based three-sentence order. It accomplishes the purpose, but is noticeably less compelling than the fun Strike storylines. The missions themselves range from the mundane (rescue hostages) to the creative (protect the President's plane from attack!). Pilots simply visit the targets indicated on the on-screen map, and take care of business. The latter usually involves blowing up buildings (which often reveals health, cash, and weapon power-ups), and eliminating the key targets. Control adopts the "Turok" scheme, with the C-buttons allowing forward, backward, and side movement. The analog stick handles all chopper rotation nicely, while the remaining buttons concern weapon launch. Alas, there is no ability to manually control helicopter height; the CPU automatically keeps your bird off the ground. Unlike Jungle Strike, the missions here are often not very complex. Sometimes it's a simple matter of nuking a couple of buildings and surviving the ongoing enemy onslaught. The rescue of hostages is actually accomplished by clearing the helicopter pad so another chopper (controlled by the CPU) can do the actual job. Since hostages are rarely killed in action, and since the CPU is the one handling the actual rescue, much of the Jungle Strike tension is unfortunately absent. Despite the mission limitations, there's something undeniably compelling about the 3D environments and polygonal choppers. What the graphics may lack in detail (there is significant fogging), they make up for in colorful action. Chopper Attack is by no means a classic; the game is both dated and imitative. But N64 owners seeking military-themed carnage could do worse than this entertaining shooter. The game may be mindless, but it's mindless fun...and sometimes, that's enough.

Overall 7.5 out of 10

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