There are many decisions made throughout a person’s life. Some good and some bad. We have all made a decision which has benefited and one which has ended with dire consequence. Pilot Sports on the Nintendo Switch is what I would class as a bad decision, production wise, development wise and play wise. Now sadly, I can’t pad out my word count for this by just typing the word “shit” another nine-hundred or so times, and to be fair, it still wouldn’t do justice just to how awful this experience was.
I suppose I should talk about the gameplay for Pilot Sports. There are four different ways to play, which coincidentally are also four ways to not want to play a game. You have planes, hand-gliders, parachutes, and jetpacks. Fucking Jet Packs! It’s almost a perfect recipe for a varied flight simulator/arcade game. The premise is there, but the execution was as botched as using a string of gummy worms at a public hanging.
So with Pilot Sports having four different methods of play, you would think I would have enjoyed at least one of them. I am going to explain why I, in fact, did not. The plane… oh god that fucking plane, it takes two buttons and the left analog stick. You can’t turn your camera as if the player-character’s head was wedged in a neck brace. The plane auto-levels after every little movement which makes any planned trajectory null and void.
The parachuting sections feel like a slow descent into Hell, though that may actually be because it is. There is nothing more unappealing in a game than having a quarter of your game dedicated to absolutely nothing. I’m going to blend this with the hand-gliding segments of the game because it was an even slower descent, and occasional ascent, into oblivion, and subsequently some very dark thoughts about what I wanted to do to the people who made this. I genuinely have nothing else for this, it’s so dull I felt the glaze of dribble run out of my mouth as my brain shut down, closely followed by the rest of my body.
What hurt me the most with this was the terrible jetpack. If a game makes a jet pack a steaming pile of viscera and human waste, then it should be deleted. From time itself. Pilot Sports wants to go fuck itself for what it did to the dream of jetting around with a pack of highly combustible fuel strapped to the cage containing your most vital of organs. It has diminishing fuel levels and piss-poor controls. To top it all off if you do land feet first on the ground, your legs have been replaced with steel beams and are cursed with an inability to walk.
You aren’t restricted to suffering through this bucket load of piss on your own though. You can endure the nightmare with up to 3 friends, but because of how nice I am, I chose to not subject anyone to this crap-fest of crap. That, and I don’t have three friends. Not only does it play like shit using both available controllers, but unless you want to splash out on more, you will be forced to smash your hands together on the viciously small individual sides, and nefariously placed joy-con shoulder buttons on each of them.
Graphically speaking, Pilot Sports is nothing special. It seems to be stuck in the mid to late 2000’s. It is very comparable to the end days of the PlayStation 2 (still the greatest console). Take this and compare it to the rest of the titles currently dominating the console, but it was made with Unity so no surprise there then.
At a distance, the world of Pilot Sports looks fairly well made. There are a few nice environments weaved together fairly well and this helps create a well-crafted resort and tropical island. Upon further inspection, also known as when I found crashing into the ground more entertaining than what I was supposed to be doing, I noticed that the textures of the ground and surrounding areas were heavily stretched and blotchy. This would be acceptable if there was more than one location in the game. But Resort Shitberg is as far as this game is going to take. I call it that because that’s how it looks; shit.
The selection of pilots is appalling too. Only two of the available characters actually fit the mood of the game and the rest are all a haphazard combination of generic character designs that appear to have been pulled from a bucket of rejects. From the poor mans James Bond to a devastatingly drab Burt Reynolds/Ron Jeremy clone. Male and Female models all use the same build and look as if put together by a toddler using chewed up clay.
In terms of replayability, there isn’t a lot that Pilot Sports has to offer. There is rewards for completion, nothing to unlock (at least as far as I played), and no story. The only thing you have to try and go for is what I can only imagine to be a gold medal at the end of each course. Not to be beaten by this mockery of a game, I did manage to get the gold on every course I completed, but with the games fucked up gameplay, this was down to some trial and tribulation. I wanted to be perfect, what can I say?
I would personally go out of my way to stop everyone from buying a copy of Pilot Sports unless it was for an enemy, or just someone they really hate. It has absolutely no redeeming qualities. With the combination of unimaginative characters, terrible controls, ugly environments and most infuriatingly happy soundtrack, it feels like a chore to play. Flying games need to feel intense and exciting, this falls flatter than me this one time I got smashed in a University Bar, at least I had fun that time.