SNK is at it again with another PSP Mini classic. This time out, it’s Chopper I, a vertically scrolling shoot em up where you take the role of a helicopter pilot trying to infiltrate an enemy base all the while shooting down as many choppers, planes and other enemy armaments from both land or sea.
The gameplay is much like your standard shoot em up. As in other classics like Capcom’s 1942, you can maneuver your helicopter all around the screen while firing off your guns and mega rockets that cover the entire screen destroying everything in their paths. You can pick up and store more rockets when enemies drop them. That way you have a back up play when things get a little hairy.
Like the other SNK arcade games that were previously released, you can hit the triangle button to pump more credits in, which allows for infinite continues. This is a good thing, because you will be need every single one of them.
The concept is rather simple, but the execution is very difficult. If you get hit once, you die. When you die, you don’t start right there where you were, though. Rather, you start back at the last checkpoint, so progression is very slow going. This can become very frustrating during the big boss fights, because if you die, you’ll start back at the previous checkpoint and all the progress you made to the boss fight is lost. Which means you have to perfect the fight in order to win. The game allows for two player co-op play as well, so bringing in a friend can help, but not much.
The game was made in 1988, but it still looks rather decent today. Of course, it’s not going to wow you, but the look is decent enough. The sounds are what you would expect from an old arcade game from the 1980’s. It’s not annoying, but nothing special.
You may want to skip on Chopper I. There are many other SNK shoot em ups that do a much better job of handling progression. If you didn’t die so quickly (and punished so severely when you do), the game would have been much better. Because you are constantly losing your progress during the game, it becomes a chore very fast. For the shoot em up fans that are looking for a challenge, you will definitely get one here.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.