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Pilotwings Review

Nintendo's SNES classic gets a return flight

Whenever we discuss the games we still want to see on Virtual Console, Pilotwings is always near the top of the list. Granted, it's usually the more advanced Nintendo 64 sequel we mention first, but this early SNES title is still enjoyable enough to be considered a true classic.

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As one of the first SNES games to be released, Pilotwings is still surprisingly impressive to look at. It makes great use of the SNES's Mode 7 capabilities (the ability to rotate and scale flat textures to make them look 3D) to give a startlingly believable impression that you're flying in a three-dimensional space.

There are various modes of flying machines to control in Pilotwings, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses so you need to learn how to control them all effectively. We reckon the light plane and rocketbelt are the best of the bunch, but you may prefer the hang-glider, the skydiving missions or even the odd bonus mission you get at the end of the game. That's the point though: the joy of Pilotwings is its ability to appeal to many people.

Most importantly it's still great fun to play. Each test in the game grades you on various factors which add up to a total score of 100. It's balanced well enough that less dedicated gamers will be able to get a long way into the game without too many problems, whereas die-hards will spend age trying to score 100 points on every level.

Admittedly the N64 version of Pilotwings improved on the formula but this SNES version is still a superb game and one of those classic pieces of Nintendo history that every fan should own. There's nothing else like it on Virtual Console.

Comments

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  1. keiran09 Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 09:38

    yay first post! sounds as good as ever. probably get this as its class

  2. Flash7 Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 09:40

    Cool, but why didn't we get the N64 version?

  3. GuyWhoLikesBlue2 Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 09:42

    aw, REALLY wanted the N64 version, but I guess this one is still a very good game though

  4. Googoo12444 Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 09:50

    I wish i didnt buy we are the champions on Guitar hero world tour for 200 points. Then when I get 3000 points i could buy this with the 800 points left over.

  5. Luigibro606 Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 10:10

    Cool, but why didn't we get the N64 version?


    I agree. I mean the SNES one is good, but the '64 is better. I'd wait for the '64 version.

    5th post! New high score!

  6. Nintendoverse Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 10:18

    It makes sense that they would put this game on the Virtual Console before the N64 sequel. And the fact that Pilotwings is on there is telling me that Pilotwings N64 will follow sooner or later - hopefully sooner.

  7. TheAPERSON Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 12:24

    They are probably saving the N64 version for when it's coming up to release a Wii version.

  8. Badger3112 Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 14:23

    I haven't bought any VC games for a while. I did at first but after I swapped my tv and some games didn't work with through the component cable I got a bit disillusioned with the whole thing.

    I might actually get this as I quite liked it when i played it on my snes way back when.

    Do snes games work through component?

  9. linktothefuture Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 14:32

    They are probably saving the N64 version for when it's coming up to release a Wii version.

    Good thinking, they have done that with a few games now. The last one if I remember correctly was punch-out!! :P

  10. Mario maniac Friday 21st Aug 2009 at 18:43

    if i found pilotwings 64 boring years ago, i'd find it torture today, and as for the snes version...

  11. Luigibro606 Saturday 22nd Aug 2009 at 08:04

    I think Nintendo are making advantage by releasing the SNES version first since some people might be ergent to play and will get the SNES version, then they release the '64 one and people will have to download it because its much better.

  12. Gavin Rozee Saturday 22nd Aug 2009 at 18:18

    I haven't bought any VC games for a while. I did at first but after I swapped my tv and some games didn't work with through the component cable I got a bit disillusioned with the whole thing.

    I might actually get this as I quite liked it when i played it on my snes way back when.

    Do snes games work through component?

    Yeah, I've had that problem for over 2 and a half years. I've been waiting since the Wii launched for Sonic the Hedgehog to be updated to support component cable interlace mode. Bit of a disgrace.

    To answer your question, no, not all SNES games work through component, but yes, Pilotwings does.

    Every game released on the VC since April 2007 works with the component cable, and most of the ones released prior to that, such as Super Mario World, have been updated.

  13. bazmeistergen Tuesday 25th Aug 2009 at 19:14

    Good game, but a little short, no?

  14. Sidekick Wednesday 26th Aug 2009 at 12:46

    if i found pilotwings 64 boring years ago, i'd find it torture today, and as for the snes version...



    Yeah, sure you are entitled to your opinion and in My opinion It's a great game. As for Chris's review,It mentions "Horrendous Music" in the verdict. Yet mentions it nowhere else. If it's important enough to be mentioned in the verdict section at the end you should give reasons why in the main review surely. The music is great, Love it!. Even though it's a bit cheesey. That's part of it's charm

  15. Ai64 Friday 28th Aug 2009 at 21:08

    At last we can download it. Finaly.

  16. mattyboy72 Wednesday 2nd Sep 2009 at 18:35

    they released pilotwings in japan along with super mario kart about 2 months ago, does anyone know when we,ll be geting super mario kart?

  17. Bass X Thursday 15th Nov 2012 at 17:39

    Its nearly 2013 and I'm still waiting for Pilotwings 64.

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