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1942

The cover art for the NES version of 1942, by Capcom.

1942 is a forward-scrolling shooter game released first for the arcades in 1984, courtesy of Capcom. It's basic plot is in 1942, the throes of WWII, where you are a fighter plane dubbed the "Super Ace" that must reach Tokyo and destroy the enemy air fleet (it's Tokyo because Japan was one of the major adversaries of the U.S. during World War II, just a bit of history). Along the way, you're confronted with enormous amounts of enemies that fly in different formations and directions, and which range from large to small, making them easy or hard to destroy...got it?

Anyway, I'd heard of this game before, and saw what it looked like thanks to the Wiiviewer (with his review of it), so I decided to give it a play on nintendo8 and review it.

I reached roughly the same conclusion as he did that it's an OK game, but not a great one. Let's go over some of the good and bad aspects.

The good aspect is that it's plentifully challenging. Some people actually criticize it for being too repetitive, but I really kind of disagree, because as you go along, there is absolutely no predicting where the planes will come from, or what kind. Plus, there are tons of different kinds of planes going around at once, so you have to decide what you're going to deal with first and foremost. Basically, you won't find this game so repetitive that you won't play it.

Another good aspect is that they give you certain resources of your own to compete with the enemy. You have unlimited rounds, and a certain amount of roll maneuvers per life that will get you out of trouble temporarily and let you change to a better position unfazed. Plus, they give you one of three power-ups on occasion after destroying a certain plane (is it me, or does that scream The Legend of Zelda?) that can destroy everything on the screen, give you a more powerful gun, or back you up with two other planes to increase your firepower. What's more is that I don't think these are capped off timewise; they just continue until they get shot away. This is a great feature, but in all, my biggest wish in this area is that they would give you extra lives as power-ups.

Which leads me to the bad aspects. Since this game is an arcade title, they give you a limited amount of lives and one-hit deaths, so that way you wouldn't get too much mileage out of a single quarter. Unfortunately, despite the fact that this game was ported to home consoles, they still left you with three lives per game and no extra lives, meaning that you'll get game over really quickly. I do so wish that they had modified the game before porting it to have 1-Ups, so that way you wouldn't lose so easily.

The other bad aspect is that the beeping in the background is so unbelievably annoying. It has no particular rhythm, either; it just keeps going off randomly. It would have been fun if there had been a little tune playing in the background as you went along. In fact, that would have boosted my morale in the madhouse I was playing through.

The aspects of the game are about half good and half bad. So the question is whether or not this is worth the money of getting it on the VC for 800 Wii Points. My answer would almost definitely be no. You may be raging "Impossible!" as you read this part, but remember that this is an arcade game. It has three lives and one-hit deaths, and you have to start the entire thing over if you die. That means unless you are a total shark at this game, you will never get past the first stages. There are far better investments on 800 Wii Points (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, to name a few) than this game, which will pretty much own you with no contest.

As I said before, though, there may be those of you out there who played 1942 all the time in the arcades and were fantastic at it, easily able to compete with it. For those of you who are skilled with the game in that way, I advise getting it for the VC, because in essence (as an arcade game), it is an excellent title, and a fun one to play with friends. However, if you're anyone else, I wouldn't buy it; I would just play it on an emulator if interested.

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