This is another game where they captured the feel just right. Along with that, PilotWings 64 had, for me, one of the best carrot-stick relationships of any game at the time. I kept wanting to open up one more level or bonus stage regardless of how difficult the current level was. And make no mistake some of those levels were very difficult. Sure, you could pass most levels pretty easily but getting the top score was usually a worthy challenge.
One of the best aspects of PilotWings 64 were the different vehicles. Controlling the gyro-copter was fairly standard arcade flight simulator but the hang glider was something entirely new. Aiming for thermals and trying to give yourself just enough height for the perfect landing was fun and difficult. The jetpack brought back memories of playing Moon Landing or Scramble, using physics to fit your character through tight spaces.
And the mini-game bonus stages were perhaps the best part. Along with Monkey Ball and Mario Party, these were great group games. I still have fond memories of a house full of people attempting to fire a gangly character at the side of a mountain.
Good news - PilotWings 64 emulates nearly perfectly. Either using Project64 and 1964 and a comfortable gamepad controller and you can have a wonderful PilotWings 64 experience on just about any modern desktop computer. Of course, you will need to download the rom somewhere but I can not help you with that here.