Pirate Flight Review

Pirate Flight is a flight simulator game designed specifically for the PSVR.  With three different game modes that includes flying through rings, shooting balloons and racing other planes, Pirate Flight contains about 2 hours of good gameplay  Fly through three different worlds and gain stars to unlock new pilots.  

Quick Facts
Genre: First Person Flight Simulator
Controller: Dual Shock
Price: 15.99
Game Length: ~2 hours
PlayPSVR Score: 5.5


While recording the 14th episode of PlayPSVR: The Podcast I first came across Pirate Flight.  Honestly, I came across people on reddit and twitter bashing it to bits.  So when I first booted up the game I didn’t expect much.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  Now before you start hurling tomoatoes, I admit the game has its faults (mainly the one dimensional game play) but in my opinion it really is better than what people are giving it credit for.  

Love it or hate it, Pirate Flight is exceedingly simple.  No complicated controls, no complex game play no confusing mechanics.  In fact, this is something the developer stressed and had in mind when creating the game.  Yeah, it would be awesome if we had a real life flying simulator, and that will come (Ace Combat hurry up and get released already!) but Pirate Flight is more of a playful miniature version of a flight simulator.  

You find yourself inside a yellow airplane flying through three different worlds accomplishing different tasks.  The controls as mentioned above are very simple, X or R2 to boost, analog sticks to fly (using inverted controls) and L2 to shoot (when applicable).  I feel that this scheme is perfectly fine, but you have to be willing to accept that this is isn’t a title that should be compared to Ace Combat or any other highly detailed PSVR title.  If so, this game could be pleasurable.

The worlds are fairly pedestrian.  They don’t have a great amount of detail and are very cartoonish, but don’t look bad or sloppy necessarily.  It is obvious you are playing a video game, which to me is not favorable because the whole point for me of VR is to pretend you are in another world and forget that you are in this one.  So this fails that badly.  But again, you have to keep your expectations in check with this one.  

There are three different modes to the game: rings, balloons and race.  I like the variety and even though again the game play is very simple, the developer could have very easily gone the lazy and easy way out and only made one or two modes.  I appreciate the three different modes and think it very much adds to the game in a positive way.  In the rings mode you fly through the world and go through rings.  You have to make it through all the rings.  Nothing too special here.  In balloons, there are bubbles, oh I meant balloons sorry (which look exactly like bubbles), around the area and you have to shoot them all within a time limit.  At times there are other planes with balloons attached to them so you have to hunt them down.  This is the most challenging and enjoyable of the three modes.  Finally, we have race.  I feel like I really don’t need to elaborate here.  

Each mode has 30 different rounds and in each round you can earn stars which can be used to unlock different pilots.  This was disappointing to me because you never know you are a different pilot.  The only time you even see the pilot is at the main screen.  So really nothing changes.  Why couldn’t you unlock new planes that then have different speeds or projectiles or something? Having different pilots is fine, but when they don’t make any difference whatsoever is somewhat pointless.  Also, for this to be the driving force to get you to play all the levels is not very motivational.

As I mentioned, the game isn’t perfect and has some pretty big flaws.  First, the cartoonish style is okay, but doesn’t simulate real life, which most want in a PSVR game.  Second, the game play is very one dimensional and gets boring rather quickly.  After playing for 30 minutes you get the feel of the game and honestly don’t really need to play it anymore unless you want to unlock the pilots or go for a platinum trophy.  The game kind of feels like a poor man’s ultrawings.  It really isn’t anything great, but to say it is horrible I feel like may be a stretch.  It certainly isn’t for everyone, but it doesn’t glitch out, the concept and vision of the developer was executed well and it has some good apects.  Just because you don’t like the developer’s vision doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad game, it just means you don’t like the concept.  That is what I feel people are disliking here.

Another thing I wasn’t a huge fan of is that it is so easy.  Even on the later worlds and harder levels, the game is very easy. You can run out of fuel, but there is fuel everywhere.  Honestly, it shouldn’t even be a component of the game.  I don’t know how you would even run out.  You would have to dodge all the fuel to run out, but even then that would be difficult because fuel is everywhere! And all the other planes are slower than you so in the racing mode you can crash and still beat them pretty handedly.  

One thing I will mention that I enjoyed very much about the game is that it is surprisingly relaxing.  I don’t know what it is, I guess flying around a cartoonish and peaceful world with not a care in the world soothes the soul.  There is no stress about losing in the game, no enemies to worry about and I found myself not wanted to stop playing because it was so relaxing.  It would be neat to have one huge world where you could freely fly wherever you wanted to explore.  That would also be really peaceful and would be awesome.  Maybe in a future update.

One final thing I want to mention is the price.  $15 is pretty unreasonable for this game.  You will get 2 hours, maybe a little more of game play from this and honestly you could purchase better titles for $15.  Not saying you shouldn't buy it at all, but certainly I would recommend waiting for  a sale.  

With the right expectations, Pirate Flight can be a relaxing adventure but doesn’t deliver on the other fancy details we have come to appreciate about PSVR games.  It has decent value and would be a good game to show to first time PSVR players.  If you already have Ultrawings, I would suggest that this is a hard pass unless you just really like these type of flight simulators.  If you are ever really worked up or just got done playing Resident Evil 7, multiple intense rounds of Wipeout or just want to mindlessly navigate through a fun world, look for Pirate Flight to fulfill your needs.


PlayPSVR Score: 5.5

Adam StewartComment