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Help me identify PS2 2D helicopter game.

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This is a bit of a weird one for reasons that will become apparent but bare with me.


In 1993 there was an Amiga top down helicopter shooter developed my New Zealand studio Vision called Seek and Destroy. Its gimmick was faked sprite rotation and mode 7 style effects and 360 degree rotating viewpoint. It was a fun twilight years Amiga title. 


This then ended up as revamped shareware game for DOS published by Epic Megagames in 1996 with beefed up controls and graphics (but still using the faked sprite rotations where every sprite was pre-drawn multiple times at different angles) and new tank missions which played a little bit like Namco's Assault. I was very surprised and happy to stumble across the shareware version of this on a PC Gamer cover disk. 


Fast forward a few years to the early-mid 2000s and I was again surprised and happy to find a PS2 version of the game in Cex. It was one of those zero budget PS2 releases from the sort of publisher who were mainly concerned with buying up the rights to anything they could find for peanuts and making zero attempts to properly localise the releases before shovelling them out to baffled (and occasionally delighted) PS2 owners. The unsung heroes of the day who brought the likes of EDF, Castle of Shikigami and Steambot Chronicles to the West.


This is where it gets complicated. I didn't buy the game there and then and never saw another copy in the wild. When I tried to get hold of a copy a few years later I hit a brick wall. Because there is a very easy to find, budget label release of a helicopter and tank themed shooter called Seek and Destroy for PS2 but it's an entirely different game! 


This imposter game is a 3D shooter and its existence has made it borderline impossible to figure out what the PS2 release of the DOS Seek and Destroy was called.


Every few years I try and find this game and come up empty. I wondered if my memory was playing tricks on me and it was a PS1 game (it might be?). I wondered if the PS2 release was renamed "Search and Destroy", turns out there is a budget label PS2 top down shooter called Search and Destroy, but its not that either (that one looks terrible..!)!. 


Does any of this ring any bells for anyone? Obscure PS2 budget release of obscure Amiga / DOS top down shooter under a different name? 


Is it all a feverish dream? 



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29 minutes ago, carlospie said:

Air ranger?


It's that kind of release, I think probably a very similar cover but it's a 2D, top down game. 


I'm almost certain it's a western developed game (Amiga and DOS versions were published by Australian and American companies respectively). 


I tried googling variations of PS2 budget helicopter shooter, shmup, top down, 2D etc. But no luck. Turns out there was a lot of budget PS2 helicopter games though! 


Next step is to put together a list of all those old budget labels and trawl through their libraries on MobyGames.

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6 minutes ago, Sureshot said:

Are you certain it was PS1/PS2? Seek & Destroy did come out on CD32 in case it was some other CD-based console.


It definetly wasn't the CD32 version which was identical to the original Amiga version. The PS1/PS2 game I recognised as being based on the DOS version which had a redrawn helicopter sprite, higher sprite count and tank sections that weren't in the original.


The reason it's stuck in my head all these years was how weird it was to see the game get a PlayStation release.

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19 minutes ago, nakamura said:

Sounds like City Crisis. Great little game. 


This was a 2D sprite based military themed shooter. Here's the DOS version:



There's always the chance it was a similar looking but different game, but I distinctly remember it being a PlayStation version of this, the weirdness of that being what's stuck with me. 


I played the Amiga version to death and the shareware DOS version through to the end so it's a game I'm very familiar with, I don't think (obviously not 100% certain) that I'd mistake a similar game for it, especially not on an unexpected format with a different name.

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The above reminds me of Mass destruction on the Psone, but that’s tank based only I think. Based on what you’ve said it doesn’t sound like it’d be a ps2 game but by the end of the psone’s life all sorts of random crap was ending up on it, games that looked worse than flash prototypes or easily could have been early 16-bit titles.

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31 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

The above reminds me of Mass destruction on the Psone, but that’s tank based only I think. Based on what you’ve said it doesn’t sound like it’d be a ps2 game but by the end of the psone’s life all sorts of random crap was ending up on it, games that looked worse than flash prototypes or easily could have been early 16-bit titles.


My memory could very easily be playing tricks on me but in my head it was your typical blue DVD PS2 case of an unheard of game that I got down off the shelf and flipped over to see the familiar screen shots. But like you said, it just doesn't seem likely at all that an Amiga / DOS game would wind up on the PS2. I've tried taking the content tags from the Amiga game on MobyGames and applying them to PS1 and PS2 searches with no luck, but MobyGames isn't exhaustive, especially with all the shovel ware that came out around that time.


EDIT: I also remember sometime around 2010 finding the actual PS2 Seek and Destroy game in a friend's collection, looking at the back of the box and being very confused that it wasn't the game I'd seen in Cex. So my memory of seeing it would have been fresher then.


I'm 35 minutes in to the 12 hour every PS2 game ever video from earlier in the thread, so who knows, maybe I'll find it there over the next month or so!


It's a mystery.

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10 hours ago, matt0 said:

But like you said, it just doesn't seem likely at all that an Amiga / DOS game would wind up on the PS2. 


This i disagree with- the Amiga emulator UAE for ps2 was made using the ps2dev kit and out there for years, when you look at the shovelware scenario towards the end of the ps1 and ps2 runs, grabbing a load of games you had shaky rights to and putting a wonky front end on them was an easy way to make a couple of quid 


What I'd be less sure of is the idea that this is a standalone game, more likely part of a collection of spurious games like the playit "arcade classics" one or similar


I had all kinds of nonsense for ps2 back in the day, sadly its all gone now, but i don't doubt that this did exist somewhere 


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For me it’s the timing of the original post, early to mid 2000s. That would be prime psone shovel ware where as I doubt anything, even low rent complications would have appeared on the Ps2 during that time as that was its prime time. It really sounds like it’d fit the psone better than the ps2 as well.

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For the time being I'm going with my initial impression that it was a re-release of the Amiga / DOS Seek and Destroy on PS2 instead of second guessing if I misremembered or wrongly identified a game. Then I'll fall back to PS1 and if that doesn't turn anything up I'll have to fall back again to the idea that I've just got it wrong. So at that point Guerilla Strike and Search and Destroy would both be good candidates.


Another detail that sticks out to me is it would have had to have a flat, untextured ground / background for me to identify it as Seek and Destroy - I don't think I would have got the impression that it was the same game if it was overly detailed. I remember the screens as looking like the original game (specifically the DOS version).


I've thought a fair bit about the ways I could've got it wrong and the possibility that it wasn't a Playstation release at all but maybe a PC budget re-release in a DVD case - that would still work with my memory of being surprised given how old the game was at that point. But it wouldn't be as interesting...

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It isn't the kind of game you describe but - just to perhaps rule the box art out - there was Radio Helicopter and Radio Helicopter 2 for the PS2 released by budget kings 505 Gamestreet (incidentally, I played the first one and it's a pretty fun little game).


There is also Go Go Copter published by Xplosiv which would have been a budget release





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16 hours ago, Afternoon Delight said:

You may have looked at the back of the Search and Destroy box and due to the similar game title assumed it was a landscape rotator. 




  Reveal hidden contents




I did think about that and it's probably the conclusion I'm going to walk away with if I can't find this mystery port. That or I conflated several different budget PS2 games in my memory - so misremembering the Search and Destroy screens on the back of the box combined with the cover of the PS2 Seek and Destroy box. Something like that. But for the time being I'm going to assume that I wouldn't have connected Search and Destroy with the original Seek and Destroy because of the textured ground - I remember something that looked just like the old DOS game.


I've also been watching the every-PS2-release-ever video 10 minutes at a time and I'm about 1 hour in now. So far all I've learned is it's very relaxing to watch an endless precession of PS2 games presented one after another in 10 second snippets.

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Yeah I really appreciate those videos. They must take a lot of effort to produce and whilst I prefer the shorter videos (one letter of the alphabet, or consoles that aren’t the PS2!) they’re great for when you don’t know what else to watch. Found a couple of things I fancy trying and downloaded a soundtrack off the back of one title featured. 

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