Read the review here.
“For comparison, even within the realm of military-themed vertically scrolling shooters, try Twin Cobra (a sequel in spirit), Sky Shark (just a more tightly developed game in general), or 1943 (the standout effort by Capcom).”
– from the full review.
Fun fact: Gyruss has one of the shortest instruction manuals of any NES video game. Tiger-Heli’s is not massive by any means, but is still over twice as long. Just goes to show you that you cannot judge a game by its book.
In the full review, I hint at Tiger-Heli on the NES just feeling a little “off” to me. I wish I could fully elaborate, but part of the point is that it is a feeling, a reaction, a from-the-gut sensation that cannot wholly be put into words. I am confident, though, that many gamers can relate and know exactly what I mean. Some games just rub you the wrong way. This is one of those, for me.
To put it simply: I would rather just play Galaga.
One issue I would say that Tiger-Heli has is that the arcade version is superior in every way. This is to be expected, except in cases where additions have intentionally been made to cover up the shortcomings of conversion. The truer, deeper issue behind this issue is that I would have never been a huge fan of even the cabinet iteration to begin with. I remember taking trips to arcades in my youth; if you plunked my eager younger gaming self into one, I would not have gravitated toward Tiger-Heli. So, to take something that was already not my preference, and water it down for 8-bit play? No thank you. Also see: Ikari Warriors. Counter-example: Q*Bert.
One last item: Here is a decent video to give you an idea of what the arcade experience of Tiger-Heli is like.
Read The Full Review For: A point-by-point deconstruction to form the case against Tiger-Heli, or at least an explanation of my dislike.
NES Gameplay Tips For Tiger-Heli: Do not freak out when you lose your “wingman” mini-copters. It will happen a lot, since they hang out there begging to be shot. Use your bombs frequently, since you can only hold two at a time. Otherwise, stick to your usual shmup strategies.