Its my first day of Helicopter flight school and man I am nervous. Today ill be flying the new experimental Huey UH-1A and man she’s a beast. Sat in the cockpit and i start flicking switches power on, engines engage, oil pressure rising, temp good and cab mix rich. The temp comes up with the oil and the instructor tells me to increase throttle too 1200 RPM and the machine comes alive. Engines roaring i let the clutch out for the rotors and they begin to turn. Slow at first but then gathering speed… but then slow again RPM’s dropping whoops I have hit a button. It takes time but i find my mistake and rectify it. The rotors roar into life “THROTTLE UP TO 3500 RMP’s!” the instructor shouts over the din of the engines then increase lift. Despite the noise i feel calm the chopper lifts, silence washes over me as we soar into the sky, its beautiful but short, we descend. WHAM! now I have done it I wrote off a 6 million dollar aircraft and on top of it all im dead!
Well that’s what i would have told St John at the pearly gates but it didn’t happen because in-fact I was playing super Huey for the Amiga! Super Huey as if you haven’t guessed is a helicopter flight sim originally release on the C64 in 1985 by Paul Norman the same man responsible for the fantastic forbidden forest also on C64. At the time super Hue3y did well in fact it broke sale records and sold over 2 million copies. Reviewed well by the mags (Zzap64 87%) and hailed as so accurate to rotary wing flight it was used as a training simulator for pilots, but that was on the C64 2 years later i was released on the Amiga so surely with all that extra horse power the game was near enough virtual reality?
Um no not quite, very little has changed from the C64 to the Amiga versions. A higher resolution overall and a different cockpit design and possibly a smother frame rate and that’s about it commodore user bomber the game with 2/10 and games machine described it as “a poor interpretation of a competent C64 game” and I would agree. this game was obviously impressive for the time and the hardware it was running on in 1985 but come 1987 with the launch of Amiga’s world-changing Amiga 1000 and 500 computers, gamers and pilots alike expected to be WOWed and they weren’t. However does it stand up on its own merits when it’s not being compare to its earlier release ?
First of all this game requires you to have the manual which luckily can be viewed on lemon Amiga’s site and second it requires the OCS chipset so no 1200’s or 3000/4000 Amiga’s please. I played on my 600 as it was close to hand and dose’nt consume my whole desktop like the 500. After a very spartan intro sequence you flung into the cockpit. from here you select you mission and away you fly. I selected school for some training. follow the manual know your buttons and follow the on screen tutorial and you will be rewarded with the gift of flight. However be careful following the manual online as where it says engage rotor clutch(F10) it means F9 as F10 is emergency shutdown. Oh and i forgot your mouse must be in port 2 and those lovely joy sticks of yours yes those ones that look like helicopter flight sticks put them away you will be controlling this with the mouse !
Controls. To wrestle with the the controls of the super Hue
As stated above this is a mouse controlled game mainly bar a few keyboard commands. moving the mouse does nothing press left click and move will control yaw, pitch and roll but holding both buttons down and moving gives you throttle and lift. This crazy control scheme should work but when you return the mouse to center the aircraft dos’nt self center it continues turning so you have to apply opposite control to center the movement which will have you spinning in circles and weaving everywhere.
Graphics. Can we let it off because of its age?
On the C64 I can see that this game looked very good on the Amiga its lacking something I know its early in the Amiga’s life but no its terrible, the world is flat the objects are few and far between causing you to fly mainly by instruments and the world is vast so prepare to watch numbers slowly flick by. Also turning was weird sometimes the aircraft would roll like a real chopper other times it stayed level and turned on a dime ??? and no I wasn’t using the tail rotor!
Game play.There is some challenge but not a lot of point.
Was there any ? well yes there was the act of going through the startup and take off was cool the first time but then just time-consuming every other time. There are 3 missions not counting flight school: explore which has you mapping coordinates, rescue in which you track down soldiers via their tracking beacon and combat where you shoot stuff. I played rescue and i did not finish it. I found the distress beacon followed the heading for 15-20 mins at low altitude and there was nothing there so i crashed possibly to stop myself going insane.
Sound. the sound of nightmares!
ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGG! Don’t get me wrong there not bad but after 1 min 2 mins 20 mins of the same rotor blade noise and nothing else I want to chop my ears off, honestly I can still here it now and I stopped playing and hour ago.
Conclusion. Good but not gunship good..
This game has its great points and weirdly i think its difficulty was one of them the fact it took me about 30 mins to take off ment that when i did i felt great and then crashed due to some panic controls movements but that was fun. However dong the missions was not great endless flying nothing to look at and hearing that dam rotor.
For a C64 game yes it was obviously amazing as an Amiga game No not quite there for me fancier graphics and some terrain and more sprites and change the sound and yeah some good missions then boom a winner! but sadly not this time.
4 noisy choppers out of 10
Review By FDISKformat 2017