Product Type: Codemasters PSP games
Newest Review: ... even a long haul flight you will soon tire of its limited scope and vision. The gameplay has a lot of potential and as a base vehicle it ... more
Wonderful flight sim for a lazy Sunday afternoon
Pilot Academy (PSP)
Member Name: mr_mlk
Pilot Academy (PSP)
Date: 12/06/07, updated on 12/06/07 (1120 review reads)
Advantages: Great graphics
Disadvantages: Long load times
Lets get big the negative out the way to start with. The load times are very bad. From the PSP menu to playing a game takes an amazingly long one minute 55 seconds. Restarting the current map takes 15 seconds. It is simply not possible to have a "quick blast". Alas this is an issue with the PSP more than just this game.
The graphics are lovely. Clear pictures of blue sky, cities and wildlife, the only faults I can come up with for the graphics are - No cockpit mode, not quite enough stuff in a city and the wildlife is not animated. The lack of a cockpit might annoy some hard-core flight sim fans but the wildlife is just me being picky. The lack of stuff in a city does let the game down a little, but only a little. The buildings which do exist are well placed, and nicely modelled, and give the impression of a city and not a grey blocky texture on the ground.
I was pleasantly surprised with the controls. I was expecting either every button to be doubled up, or the controls to be too simple. Instead we have a great mix, only one button is doubled up (the start button is both flap control, and landing gear up/down). The controls take almost no time to get use to and more importantly work well. They could do with some improvement, or at least an extra few keys, the flaps are a three-state toggle. Not a large problem on its own, but mixed with the shared start key it does mean that sometimes instead of bringing the gears down I switch the flaps to "normal flight" instead of "landing".
It does not have enough training missions; it jumps from a single engine training aircraft to a jet, with no missions between explaining the difference. It has 19 post training "missions" (9 civilian, 10 military), and 10 "Challenges" just enough to make the game worth buying, but not enough to completely satisfy.
The music is fine but bland background music. Does not make you want to run out and buy the album, or turn it off and get and MP3 player out. The in game effects are adequate, and the voice overs do the job.
Do I recommend this game? I know this is a bit of a cop-out, but what are you after? If it is a hard-core flight simulator, then the PSP is the wrong platform. This might get you by when you are away from Microsoft Flight Simulator X, but it is no replacement. An arcade flight sim, you would be better off with Ace Combat X, while this has dog fights and military missions, it does not have many.
A mix of the two, or a light flight sim to waste away a lazy Sunday afternoon this is your game. It is simple to pick up and play and great fun without being too easy.
Summary: Very long load times but has great graphics
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