Let me take you back in time to the mid-80s when most gas station convenience stores had arcade games in them. The one a few blocks away from where we grew up had two games that they’d swap out every so often. One of those games was Choplifter. At 8 years old we were blown away by the layers of scrolling background and foreground where we had to interact with those layers to avoid being shot down with a cargo of rescued people. Any available quarter we had was spent flying back and forth getting passengers and dropping them off to safety. Then, one day, the arcade unit for Choplifter was replaced by something else. That sinking feeling in my gut that we may never experience something like that feeling of awe was only recently filled when inXile Entertainment published Choplifter HD on Playstation Network and PC and with help from Konami on Xbox Live.

The premise of the game stays the same. You fly from left to right to find people who need to be rescued, pick them up and drop them off in safety. This would be much easier if it wasn’t for everyone else trying to gun you down. One upgrade to this version is you can aim on where you’re shooting to destroy tanks, gunmen and shoot down mission objectives. The old arcade version you could only fire in the direction you were facing so the aiming site helps you in a huge way. Sometimes they’re in your path and other times they are in the foreground so you’ll need to face your chopper in the right direction to take care of them.

At first you may think the idea of flying back and forth may seem monotonous, which at times it can be, but Choplifter HD features plenty of upgrades to your chopper to keep you re-playing previous levels. This will help your score that you can share with the online scoreboard that places you with the rest of the players around the world. Another other obvious upgrade from the original is the glorious graphics that put you in snow covered mountains, desert terrain and even in the city.

One of the best features is the price. We are a firm believer that a good game doesn’t have to be full priced and only available in stores. At the humble price of $14.99/1200 Microsoft Points, it’s a bargain for one of the best new releases out there. If you’re looking for something new to play and you’re on a budget, we say pick it up. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

RATING: 8/10