It was World War II, whilst the men on land were battling Nazis, there was another battle known as the Pacific Theater of World War II, lasting 3 years, starting in 1941 and only ended when World War II ended. So why call a game based on the event 1942? Who knows, maybe the events happened in 1942. But this is a game review and I’m not knowledgeable in history to an extent. 1942, developed and published by Capcom but was also published by Williams Electronics and Romstar and was released in 1984.
So we have a shoot ’em up, you pilot a plane known as “Super Ace” (but judging from its appearance is close to a Lockheed P-38 Lightning). The game revolves around just simply shooting down planes and travelling all the way to Tokyo and annihilate the Japanese air fleet.
Hold on a minute? So Japanese developers make a game where you destroy an entire Japanese army and the über hero is from what I assume is an American or a British person. Isn’t that weird? And I also assume the Japanese residents are completely fine with this. It’s like German developers making a game where you shoot down Nazis…then again they couldn’t do that because they’re really…really…REALLY ashamed about it. No hard feelings Germany, we cool.
So what does this game do to stand out I hear you ask (then again, you’re reading this you’re probably thinking and not asking)? Well you can do a “loop-the-loop” to avoid enemy fire and this is essential because the game is really hard if you don’t but even then, you can perform it and at the end you’ll probably still get shot down by a bullet right in front of you. Yes, this game has one hit deaths so your experience won’t last long if you’re playing on a real arcade. You also get a series of power-ups, including a weapons upgrade which increases bullets though you’ll lose it if you die and one where you’ll be accompanied by two smaller planes.
Overall, 1942 is a decent shoot ’em up but it’s already been surpassed by the sequels, it’s the Sonic 1 of the 194X series. The gameplay is challenging, the graphics are ok for the arcades, the music is…something you’d hear at a Stomp Concert but quite catchy. It’s still deemed a classic but not the best ever. I look forward to play the sequels of the series.
You can get it on the Arcade, Virtual Console, Famicom, MSX, NEC PC-8801, Windows Mobile Professional, Game Boy Color, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Xbox, PlayStation 2, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and PSP.