Derek Rose
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burypromote

Deker reviewed on 21 Jun 2006
Attractive design, nice icons, quick to learn.

But it lacks in features pretty severely. The function/variable listing doesn't allow you to click them to add them into the code, making them kind of pointless in my opinion. The syntax coloring seems buggy and incomplete. Export of HTML color syntax is handy, but can be accomplished in a lot of other ways other than a dedicated text editor. No site management, no support for Includes or anything like that.

I'll probably stick with TextMate for now, but picked up a license on MacZot.com for $5, so maybe a future version will be worth it once they add a few more features.
[Version 1.1.1]



burypromote
Deker tipped on 28 Jan 2004
1. As long as your chopper is level you won't crash by hitting the ground, so when you are landing to pick up a passenger, hold down the Down arrow to land faster. You can also make a sliding landing this way, which won't kill civilians but keeps you from having to wait for them to run to the chopper.

2. Extra ammo is scattered throughout most levels... Sometimes if you are on a level that is going "right", you can go left a little bit passed your base instead, and you'll find some extra ammo, and vice versa for the "left" levels.

3. When the jet warning starts flashing, fly to the top of the screen and face the direction that the jet is coming from and start firing your machine gun. Most of the time you can destroy the jet before it has a chance to fire the first missile. Just make sure it doesn't land on a civilian when it crashes.

4. If there are several bazooka men on a building, you could drop a bomb or fire a missile at them instead of trying to machine gun them. If you blow up the whole building all of the people on top will die.

5. You can land on top of bazooka men to smash them. Just make sure they aren't about to shoot a rocket up at you when you are coming down on them.

6. If you're out of missiles and bombs but want to blow up a tank or something without having to use the machine gun, guide one of the heat seeking rockets from the jets into an enemy. (assuming there are jets on that level)
[Version 1.0.3]



burypromote

Deker reviewed on 28 Jan 2004
I originally found out about this game from the pick-o-the-week feature at www.macosxhints.com and decided to give it a try since I vaguely remembered the Chopper game of the olden days. Plus it is free, which makes it a lot easier to download. :)

To sum it up, this is a really fun and addictive game and a fantastic remake!

If you haven't played or don't remember the old Chopper game, the object is to pilot a helicopter through a level filled with enemies to rescue civilians which are scattered throughout the city. The enemies consist of bazooka men, tanks, jets, etc. You have to avoid their fire as well as keep them from killing the civilians before you can rescue them. You aren't defenseless however... You have at your disposal a machinegun with unlimited ammo which is good for the bazooka men, as well as missiles and bombs which can be used for tanks and jets. Ammo for the bombs and missiles are scattered throughout some levels, usually giving you enough ammo to easily take out all of the enemies.

When you have eliminated the enemies in an area you can land your helicopter next to a civilian, and they will run into your helicopter for safety and transportation. You can then continue picking up passengers until your capacity of 6 is full, and drop them off at your base. If your helicopter explodes while you have a civilian inside, that civilian will die, which hurts your score. If over half of the civilians on the level are in your chopper when it explodes, you lose and will have to start the level over. But if only one or two die in the crash, you will return to the beginning of the level to try and rescue the remaining civilians, however you will lose a life.

The level is finished when you rescue all of the live civilians and return them to base. Killing enemies provides bonus points, but you are not required to kill them.

If you lose all of your lives, the game is over and you return to the home screen. There are no saves or continues, so you have to beat the game all the way through in one sitting, old school style.

Graphics

The graphics are surprisingly good for a freeware game. It is a 2d scroller, but it uses a combination of 2d sprites and 3d models to give a great sense of depth and speed as you progress through the levels. The explosions are big and realistic looking, the animation is smooth, and it's simple enough to run on an older G4 or G3 system. There are night missions, rain missions, snow missions, etc. to always keep the terrain varied and interesting.

Controls

The controls for Chopper are as follows:

Arrow keys - Movement (up down left right)
Space - Fire machine gun
S - Rotate chopper 180 degrees
D - Drop Bomb
F - Fire Missile
P - Pause

I found the controls to be well laid out and very responsive. You can rest your left hand in the "home row" position, like you would when typing, and control the whole game without moving your hands around. There is no lag at all in any of the controls, and it's easy to make fast dodges and maneuvers when avoiding enemy fire.

Sound

The sound effects are fairly generic, but are used sparingly enough that they don't get boring or repetitive.

The music is varied and upbeat, and provides a nice little soundtrack to the game.

Stability

The game crashed on me a couple of times, but I was having other apps crashing at that time also on my Powerbook, so I think it was my machine rather than the game. I also played it on my eMac and it was rock solid on that machine.

Overall

Overall this is a great little freeware game, and is a great way to spend a lunchbreak. It's easy to get into, but challenging enough to warrant quite a bit of practice even to beat the game on the easy skill level. It's definitely worth a download, even if it's just for nostalgia reasons. I hope to see a lot more old games remade with this quality in the future.
[Version 1.0.3]



burypromote

Deker reviewed on 28 Jan 2004
I was first introduced to this app through a DVD ripping tutorial as the program to use for ripping the raw DVD info to your Mac's hard drive. (http://home.comcast.net/~appleguru/dvdrip.html for the tutorial I read)

To sum up this app in a sentence, I'll have to go with "Extremely useful, but very unpolished".

It is basically only designed to do one thing, rip DVD's, and it does it very well. I've ripped two DVD's so far without a single problem. Ripping usually takes about 20 minutes for a almost 2 hours long DVD on my 1ghz eMac with 256mb of RAM ripping straight to an external Lacie 160gb Firewire harddrive.

I haven't used some of the features of the app since I only need it to rip the DVD like it says in the tutorial, so I won't comment on all of the ripping features it has.

The only real problem I have with it is the severe lack of polish, which makes it seem pretty un-Mac-like. It doesn't have an icon at all, instead using the default document icon. Not a big deal, but it really makes the whole package look unprofessional.

The interface is very confusing if you don't read the tutorial I linked to at the beginning. There are several drop down menus on the app that are used as the primary way of changing all the settings. These are all non-standard drop downs and are not the same used in most other OSX apps. They are also all abreviated rather than being written in full, which only adds to the confusion. For instance instead of having a button called "Title" it is simply "Ti". "Chapter" is "Ch", etc. Once you learn what these are however the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

There are no preferences for the app, hardly any menu options or keyboard shortcuts, and no help or documentation at all. Again, best to use the tutorial to help you use this app. Once you do that it does what it's supposed to quite well.

For the price (free) it does what it's supposed to do and does it quickly, so the interface really isn't that big of a problem since you only spend a few seconds picking options before letting the app do it's work for the next few minutes.

If you're looking for a DVD ripping app, this is a good one for the money (or lack thereof).
[Version 0.0101b]



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