On October 13 of this year, “Pilotwings 64” joined the list of titles on Nintendo 64 Online for Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. As part of the remaining games coming to the pack in 2022, this title makes another great inclusion to the service.
Originally released in the year 1996 as part of the launch lineup for the Nintendo 64 (alongside “Super Mario 64” and “Wave Race 64”), the game is a sequel to the original “Pilotwings” for the Super Nintendo (which also launched alongside the console in 1991).
Treading a fine line between the realism of a flight simulator and more fantastical arcade-style gameplay, the game tasks you with completing a series of challenges with a hang glider, a jetpack and a gyrocopter. You are given six pilots to choose from, all named for birds – Lark, Kiwi, Goose, Ibis, Hawk and Robin. Though the learning curve may be somewhat of a challenge for newcomers, those who played previous releases should feel right at home. The flight controls of each aircraft are responsive and tight, and each challenge sports surprisingly complex physics that have held up quite nicely in the decades since the game’s initial release.
Graphically, this is the best-looking version of the game to date in terms of both visual presentation and technical performance. The game runs at a full 60 frames per second and in HD resolution, making this the ideal way to play this N64 classic.
Joining N64 launch stablemates “Super Mario 64” and “Wave Race 64,” the N64 Online release of “Pilotwings 64” takes flight as the best release of the game to date – well worth your time and Expansion Pack subscription.
Developer: Nintendo EAD/Nintendo R&D3/Paradigm Simulation
Platform: Nintendo 64 Online for Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack (Originally Released on Nintendo 64)
ESRB Rating: K-A