(VC Arcade / Virtual Console Arcade)

1942 (VC Arcade / Virtual Console Arcade)

Game Review

1942 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

A relic best left forgotten

Capcom's 19XX series is quite fondly remembered, for offering some unique and very solid gameplay over the five installments it has had so far. At least, that mostly counts for the later four, but not so much for the first.

Although not as bland as Exed Exes, 1942 does not really offer too many novelties other than its Pacific War theme. It's another vertical shooter, and the only two moves you've got are standard shots and a nifty loop which allows you to avoid incoming fire.

Like most shoot 'em ups, holding down the fire button will make you fire very slowly, so you'll have to do continuous tapping to get the most out of your weapons. Initially only three shots can be on-screen at the same time, and you'll have to collect power-ups to get more.

Likewise, the loops also have a limit and you can't pull off many consecutively without first finding certain items. There are also power-ups which grant you other bonuses, like double firepower, or two support planes which fly along your sides and each fire when you do.

The game has 32 stages, of which each four take place in a different location of Japan. Unless you die you won't even really notice you're going through the stages however: much like Xevious, the game continuously keeps scrolling, with no breaks between the levels.

The game can be quite relentless with the amount of obstacles you have to dodge, and you'll need to reach the next level to be able to continue anywhere other than the start of the current one. Thankfully your plane moves quite a bit faster than that slow ship in Exed Exes, so you can actually dodge and keep destroying enemies at the same time rather than almost exclusively dodging.

The Virtual Console Arcade also offers the usual configurable options, so you can increase your amount of lives and all sorts of other things to make it a bit easier if you do have trouble. Strangely, there aren't many bosses in the game – you'll only fight four in total, and all of them are the same enemy, just with a little bit more health every encounter.

All in all, however, 1942 isn't really too special. It started a mostly great series, but in this first game there's not much variety in the levels, which all drag on a bit too long. There are no real fun, stand-out moments, and even with the difficulty turned down it can still get frustratingly hard at times too


1942 isn't much of an improvement over Exed Exes, offering only a small amount more entertainment and dragging on a bit too long. It's nice to see how the 19XX series started, but if you're not really nostalgic about them it's probably best to simply wait for the sequels, as each of them is better than this one.

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User Comments (22)



Bass_X0 said:

Its already in the top ten VC downloads here (the only one of Capcom's arcade game to do so). I think it was #8 or #9. So clearly despite it being a relic, enough people have nostalgia for it to download it. Whether they enjoy the game after downloading it is another question though. I also kinda hope that the NES game eventually comes to the Virtual Console at some point just because its the cheaper version. Some people may prefer an inferior 8-bit port to save 300 points.



blackknight77 said:

If this is a relic best left forgotten then please bring more forgotten relics! I love this game. Good simple fun



bezerker99 said:

I don't agree with this review. This game is classic greatness! (I can't help but chuckle when I see the reviewer acting shocked when he discovers there are "only two moves." Exactly...1942 was all about simpilcity - yet the game got tremendously difficult at certain areas/stages.



SKTTR said:

I think all 6 VCA games Capcom recently released are great classics. Commando, Black Tiger and Exed Exes are my favourites, but I also like Ghosts 'n Goblins and Son Son.
About 1942... well, it's ok but the sound is awful. 1943 is much better.



blackknight77 said:

Somone I know who is knowledgable in military history told me the P-38 did not land on aircraft carriers. Thankfully, Capcom fixed that little oversight when they made 1944: The loop master.



nothankyou said:

I bought this at a used game store thinking it was 1943.
I returned it within the hour.



kurtasbestos said:

Please please please please please release 1943 for the Virtual Console, Capcom/Nintendo, please.



EdEN said:

For $8 I can relieve how I felt playing this in the arcade back in the day. Sure, 1943 is waaaaay better but the nostalgia factor is also higher on 1942.



Rarewarefan7495 said:

It deserves a 6/10 for the nostalgia and the fun Co-Op mode. it's a good game and it's fun still today. It's a little expensive though I definitely agree.



Drake said:

@bezerker99: I'm not exactly surprised about there only being two moves, I'm just stating there are. A lot of other, later shmups have a whole bunch of other stuff you can do (Aiming behind yourself, smart bombs, etc.) so of course some people may want to know that.



Bass_X0 said:

Is the NES version much different? Is it worth having both on the Virtual Console, even just for the less expensive option? I agree 800 points for 1942 is indeed way too expensive.



blackknight77 said:

The NES port of 1942 is virtually identical to the arcade. The colors are slightly washed out and you don't hear the roar of the planes as much. The NES version is tough but still a bit easier than the arcade version.



StarBoy91 said:

Good review.
1942 is okay, but not worth revisiting tbh. I do concur that the sequels are way better; particularly 1941: Counter Attack.



vio said:

Wow, none of the classic Capcom arcade games are getting good reviews here. You guys should distort the truth a bit and make these games appear better than they really are. That way more people will download them and Capcom will be more inclined to continue releasing their arcade titles on VC. VC arcade was in dire need of this support.



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

My local arcade still has an old 1942 machine. My brother and I make quite a team when we get to play it. Two attacks is all you need in a shoot-em up type of game. One normal shot and a big power bomb. I may have not been around when it was originally released but I still love it.



dizzy_boy said:

for all it`s flaws, i actually like 1942.
i deffinitly need a friend to play co-op mode, as i have still yet to beat the first boss plane.



feng said:

I can't believe the low score 1942 got, God I loved this in the arcades back in the day, very addictive and challenging, I prefer 1942 to many of the sequels as although they were great I found them a bit too easy. As mentioned above 800pts is way too expensive though.

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