Mr.HELI NO DAIBÔKEN
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©1989 Irem Corp.
Release : 1989-12-01 (¥6700)
Hucard (4 Mbits) IC01002
Shooter / Action
Mr Heli no Daibōken is the conversion of Irem's shooter originally released in the arcades in 1987. It features a cute little orange helicopter with tiny feet. Thanks to these, Mr Heli can fly around the screen and also walk on the ground. All of this plays an important role in the game's mechanics - He can shoot straight in front of him (either left or right), or shoot missiles above him. However, when on the ground, the same action button instead drops bombs. The power-up system is very unusual and unique - blocks are scattered around every stage and they hide blue crystals, and the bigger they are, the more money they're worth. Special items (including a better gun, missiles, smart-bombs and energy tanks) are also hidden under these blocks and can be purchased in exchange of the precious crystals. Each level is split into three areas - first the main zone with a smaller boss awaiting at the end of it, then the player enters a sub-stage plunged in the dark where only his gun can get him to see what is ahead of him. The only way to get the light back is to destroy the nearby generator and rush all the way to the exit... to the boss' lair. Defeat him to complete the area and fly to the next stage !
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Mr. Heli is a fun game to play. It is not an intense shooter though, but rather an interesting mix of shooting and platform action where you will have to use a fair amount of strategy (understand here your grey matter) to keep going. Graphics are excellent and the game uses one of the PC Engine's high resolution (352x224 instead of the usual 256x224). The life management is a bit frustrating though - when you lose a life, you also lose all your weapons and your precious (and painfully) accumulated money. But, back in the 80s, it was Irem's way of dealing with things - all of this probably sounds familiar to any player used to cry in frustration at games such as R*Type and Legend Of Hero Tonma with their 'die and start again' design. Nonetheless, Mr Heli no Daiboōken is a fun shooter, full of nice surprises and great features.




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