Designer: Yoshiki Okamoto
Composer: Ayako Mori
War is hell. Especially when you have to fly 30+ basically solo missions in the Pacific Campaign during WWII in the year… what was it again? Oh, yeah– 1942!
The title screen informs you that the game you are indeed playing is 1942, and gives you the option of 1 or 2 players. I’ll refer you to the previous post on 10-Yard Fight to see which option I went with. Screw it, I’ll just post the same GIF:
The gameplay takes the term “basic” to a whole new level. One button shoots the never-ending horde of Japanese fighters looking to take you down, and the other button lets you loop-the-loop (three times) to avoid enemy fire and collisions. There are some power-ups to be had if you down a set of yellow fighters, including ones that will clear the screen of all enemies, expand your plane to shoot twice as many guns, and add a couple little wingmen.
At the end of, hmm, I wanna say ten levels, you face a huge enemy plane that sprays the air with fire. It’s legitimately tricky, because the controls are a little stiff in terms of stopping on a dime to avoid things. Most of the time you are just in constant motion, shooting continuously, which does work for all the other enemies, but these “boss” battles were legit tough.
Graphically 1942 is okay and what you’d expect from a game of its time. I did have some problems anytime the background shifted from sea to landmasses, because the green enemy planes blended in, and the bullets all planes fired were just harder to track. The game’s soundtrack, or lack thereof, consists of shooting and explosion noises. Where is Kenny Loggins when you need him?
In conclusion, 1942 is a game I was instantly bored with, but the longer I played, the more I wanted to reach the conclusion. There is a set number of levels (I wanna say 35), and the incredible for its time continue option lets you restart pretty much where you left off, so beating the game is definitely doable. But after burning through 70+ planes in over an hour, I was ready to surrender to the Axis Powers.
Check out my playthrough on twitch!