Pilotwings: Showboating Mode 7 SNES Whoosh

Pilotwings on the SNES

Whilst Pilotwings 64 (1997) is a tad more legendary and accomplished, we shouldn’t ignore its predecessor on the SNES. Spread those wings, game thing!

Up, Up And Away With Pilotwings on the SNES

This one got a new lease of life for many with its arrival on the Nintendo Switch’s SNES catalogue. And our archnemesis Red Metal did a good Pilotwings review, too, back in August.

We write “good”, but we really mean NOWHERE NEAR as excellent as this brief appraisal from us.

Despite our belief the SNES remains the greatest games console of all time, this game we never did play as nippers.

We only found out about the series as the sequel was a launch title on the Nintendo 64. And the latter is far superior. Make no mistake.

Tadashi Sugiyama directed it, with Shigeru Miyamoto producing. Launching in 1990 over in Japan (1991 everywhere else) it met with positive reviews and was something different from the big N.

But the game was really another chance for Nintendo to show off about its technology with Mode 7 graphics. We covered that in our F-Zero on the SNES review already!

In Pilotwings, you have a variety of missions to complete across a batch of flying-based machinery.

At the time those graphics would have been totes amazeballs, but these days the limitations are obvious. The game simply hasn’t aged very well.

It is, however, an interesting little title from Nintendo’s storied history. And playing it on the Switch we had a bit of a laugh from time to time.

But some of the graphics also make us feel a bit ill. We’re either getting old, or this thing should simply remain an interesting footnote for the SNES’ outstanding legacy.

Pilotwing’s Smash Bros. Tribute

A series we never mention on Professional Moron is Smash Bros. This is because we can’t stand fighting games (except for Street Fighter II Turbo).

The series is wildly popular and we’re happy so many people enjoy it, as well as the rave reviews the games keep receiving. But the genre isn’t for us.

However, in researching for Pilotwings we did find the vibrant little homage to the series above.

We don’t think Nintendo will ever make another game from the franchise, so a fitting little tribute like that is all rather nice.


  1. Sounds like you missed out on the original Pilotwings release. Too bad, it was really exciting in the moment. And Pilotwings was one of my top votes for a remake/modern sequel we really need. It’s a fun series. Nice cheeky review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should imagine it was pretty unique at the time. I certainly loved Pilotwings 64 back in 1997, which is also showing its age.

      I’d love to see a remake or new one! It’s the type of project Nintendo should give to an indie team to manage, like with the recent Link’s Awakening remake. But if they’re staying away from hefty names like F-Zero entirely, I think Pilotwings is done for. A shame.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pilotwings is one of those games I enjoy messing around in just to see how many unique reactions I can get out of the game (in this case, the instructors). For what amounts to a prototypical 3D experience, it has aged a lot better than it had any right to, but it’s still a little bland compared to what the medium would later pull off with the benefit of depth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You mean you’re trying to break the game!? Anarchy! I did that with Wave Race 64 back in the day.

      But aye, if I’d played this as a kid I’d likely have more fondness for it. But I just found it a bit dull. I’m sure I’ll now receive death threats from Pilotwings fanboys.

      Liked by 1 person

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