Sunday, November 24, 2013

CAPCOM's 1942 Alive in 2013 !!!

 Way back in 1985 the Pint sized version of me was super excited as yet another of the Arcade Hits was coming to the Nintendo Entertainment System. CAPCOM had enjoyed great success with their first Shoot 'em Up or SHMUP Vulgus and decided to return to the format with a War based story. The plot of 1942 takes place during WWII's Pacific Theater campaign as the player pilots "Super Ace" an American Lockheed a P-38 Lightning and is pitted against the entire Japanese Air-force while on the way to clear a route from Midway to Okinawa for the North American Fighters & Bombers. As a kid I was one of many that thought its strange that a Japanese company would make such a game and assumed that it was repackaged for the N.American market, well we were wrong. The game infact DID start out as described ahead and has need been altered, the Japanese company CAPCOM new the value of the Arcade Market over seas and felt from the initial conception that this game would sell well and worried not about personal history over profit. CAPCOM's game plan proved right and the game has launched many sequels and even a recent remake in HD on Xbox360 Live and Sony's PS3 Network.

The game play got more exaggerated and complex over the years but the original is simplicity at its best. The Super Ace with its unlimited ammo (thank you programers) leaves a Aircraft carrier at the beginning of each stage to take on several types of Japanese aircraft and returns to the Carrier at the end of the stage. This format continues for 32 Stages counting down to Stage 1, along the trip the player will pass thru eight Japanese teritories and encounter  small, mid and large aircrafts. I remember as a kid feeling anxious and all alone flying over the giant barren blue ocean below and thought to myself on many occasions that this is how the actual pilots in the war must have felt, and to this day I wonder if that was the programmers intention. Breaking up the game play on Stages 26, 18, 10 & 2 a very large Boss craft will fly on screen and take considerably much more damage than any over craft before meeting its demise. Shooting down entire strings of red fighter planes will result in  the reward of CAPCOM's now famous "POW" power-up, depending on the icon's color the power-up will either be extra "mini-aces" that fly as your wing man or a fire power upgrade, instant screen kill or multiple points. The mini Aces have always been a favorite of mine for their fire power and shield like ability, they leave you when you land on the Carrier but quickly return to your side upon take off. Another CAPCOM staple makes a hidden appearance here as well the Yashichi item granting 5,000 points. Last but not least is your other weapon and a series staple the "LOOP" a 360 vertical Loop the Loop which allows you to avoid enemy fire and collisions as it takes you above the fight and grants invincibility. Many have stated that the best strategy is to not try and shoot down all the enemy planes just avoid  collisions and shoot anything in your way, don't sacrifice your remaining planes for power-ups and focus on safely returning each stage to the Aircraft Carrier. Bonus points are earned at the end of each stage based on planes shot down and Loop abilities not used, the bonus points will add up to extra lives which you may need to get to the end of this long game that has no ending payoff…. Thats right another ungrateful game that just ends in a points tally and a Congratulations… not in that order. The good news is you don't have to play thru twice like Gn'G.

Get used to this screen

Mini Aces are the Best !!

Don't let the non-ending deter you from playing one of the best Arcade conversions of the early NES catalog. The only thing to deter you should be the ANNOYING marching band tinny music, as a kid I don't know how I withstood it. Im kidding its not that bad …. no Im not it IS. Joking a side the game is a classic and is defiantly fun to pit your skill against and challenge friends. The simplicity can still be appreciated today and if nothing else this is the game that spawned the 19XX series. Other games in the Series introduce Co-Op play as well as many over the top enemies and weapons, 1943, 1943 Kai, 1941, 19xx and 1944 are not to be missed and the new HD 1942 is fun too. Arcade versions appear often on CAPCOM Classics Collections since the PSone and Sega Saturn era, But I strongly suggest you leave here and immediately head to the Wii Virtual Console to download the classic NES version of 1942 for the price of a foot-long at SUBWAY.

Please follow @Finalbossnyc on Instgram and Twitter for retro photos and contests specific to those medias, and get ready for a BIG year end holiday contest you won't wanna miss right here at Final Boss Review. Thanks Again for all the support and see you next week.

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