Release Date: 8/4/2012
Developer: Iridescent Games
Price: 80 MS Points
ESRB Rating: Rated by community, Violence=1/3, Sex=0/3, Mature Content=0/3
If there is any indie game that deserves attention, it's this one. Chopper Storm is SHMUP developed by Iridescent Games, and it isn't a walk in the park. Or maybe it is, if the park you're walking through gets you killed easily and yet you're still tempted to walk through it over and over again when you come back to life.
Chopper Storm is a bit different than typical games of the genre. When you start the game, you are brought to a menu with many options. At first, it's a bit intimidating, as there is little explanation on what to do from there, but it's easy to figure out for yourself. If you jump right into the game, then you'll realize that, just as the title implies, you'll be taking control of a Helicopter that is placed on a big map. You start at your aircraft carrier, a ship that is used to upgrade your Chopper (more on that soon). From there, you fly your Chopper into enemy territory, at which point you are transferred to a smaller map in which you take on several enemy units whilst trying to destroy them all or their buildings. The maps are open, meaning enemies come from all sorts of directions, and that means you have to stay alert. You're going to get shot at from everywhere and it can be frustrating. Strangely, it's a good frustration. If you lose, you keep trying over and over. It's rather addicting.
Say you survive your first run in with the bad guys. You'll notice you have just made some cash, and you're probably left with a trashed helicopter that's running out of fuel. That's where your aircraft carrier base comes in. From there, you can repair and refuel your Chopper. You'll also have to buy more ammo for your weapons, or buy new weapons altogether. If you like, you can even buy new and improved Choppers. A useful feature, considering if all your choppers are destroyed and you have no money to replace them, you'll have to start a new game or load a save.
It's these features that makes Chopper Storm more than just a run-of-the-mill SHMUP game, and also very addicting. You're likely going to have to go through a lot of trial and error to get used to the difficulty, but the simplicity of the controls and objectives will keep you focused on trying harder and harder to progress. This game is easily worth the small price of 80 MSP.
S&S Rating: 9/10