If some the mechanics were executed better this would have been one of the best games on the Snes.
So let's talk about the presentation for this game. This is one of the best looking games on the Snes and maybe even the best it looks really good. It utilizes the Snes Mode 7 capability which mimics a 3d perspective and let me tell you that it looks so good. For the time this would have blown people's minds on how good the graphics looked. There aren't a whole lot of new level designs but the designs that are their look absolutely beautiful and they look really great in the dark. The music in this game is also really good it's nothing too special but it has that good ol nostalgia feel and it's a nice welcome to the game. There are also characters that make witty remarks when you do really good or crash and burn, they can be really funny or really annoying, if you get a perfect 100 and a really good bonus then they will have a stunned face and say something funny, but if you crash they will say something like is that the best you can do! Well not exactly like that (If you know what I mean).
Now let's talk about the Gameplay. Basically there are a total of eight levels and 2 very different levels, basically the first four levels are what you would expect level one through three are pretty easy but as you get to level four you start to get why this is one of the hardest games on the Snes. Basically it's a test for each level. You must do up to 4 events Hang-gliding, Skydiving, Jetpack (or Rocketpack) and Helicopter. In the Hang-gliding you either have to go through two rings or get too a certain height in the sky and then land on the designated platform, this is probably the worst of the four due to two fatal flaws, basically the way to gain more altitude is you must fly into a wind current, and the wind current is so hard to see and not only that the direction it moves makes it really hard to catch, why couldn't they have made a vortex or something it's honestly just terrible. The next big flaw is trying to land it's so damn hard, there's no strategy to it you just have to get lucky. This is definitely the worst out of the four but I guess for most part it's at least playable. The skydiving is outstanding for the most part at least when you get to the really hard levels it becomes nearly impossible it's not necessarily a flaw but I wish the mechanics for the soaring were done a little bit better. The landing is improved immensely from the hangliding and the landing is done right by holding down to get the perfect landing. The Jetpack was also done really well you must fly into certain targets and land on the designated area, it's again simple to land because by pressing the R button you can switch perspectives and can see from a top sided view. The only problem I have with the Jetpack is that sometime the controls will go nuts and you will start spinning in circles when you are trying just too slowly land. The Helicopter is also done right again for the most part the controls are a bit slippery sometimes, but they work, for the most part it's pretty simple to land and it's not bad. My big problem with this game is when you make one little mistake like barely missing your target, you might as well start the whole level over, and I guess that was just the point to make it more difficult but it's so frustrating to get one hundred points and a bonus for the jetpack and then the next event you just end up crashing by mistake, like I said it's to make it a more challenging game but sometimes it can feel so cheap. There is a password system which is kind of nice you beat the level and they will give you a password, nicely done. As you beat the first four level you will have to beat a stage with an army helicopter you must shoot things on the ground that are shooting at you and you must land safely on the designated platform. You play this for the fourth level and the last level and let me tell you the last level is incredibly hard everything is shooting at you and everything has really good accuracy to be honest it's total bull$h#^ part of the problem is that there are so many things shooting at you, and once you get to the peak of the helicopters height there are some that you can't even see. I did beat it but like I said it's crazy hard and I wish the aiming system was done a little better in these levels. I will say this though there is nothing like earning your golden pilotwings in the end.
Overall PilotWings is a great game I honestly truly love this game for its charm and it does make for a really fun challenge but while this game is fun it's held back by some subpar mechanics that could have been executed better. If you are looking for a challenge this game is for you but if you are not than this game will kick you're a$$