Review by Lord Loto
A decent shoot-'em-up...
1942 is a scrolling shooter released in 1986 for the Commodore 64. Your the pilot of a lone plane that has to fight against the vast enemy forces.
The sound effects are pretty good. A slightly annoying sound when you shoot(which you won't hear very often if you don't know what you're doing), a pretty generic explosion when you die and the same for when your enemies die, and pretty much the only music in the game is a single track that seems to have one line of music that repeats over and over. Fortunately, none of the sounds are unbearable, so your ears are safe while you play this game.
The graphics are actually pretty good. The ocean and islands you fly over are pretty well-designed, not what you'd expect from a C64 shooter. All the planes look pretty nice too, even though there are only about four models and three of them look like they're just recolours of each other. The ship your plane comes from is quite impressive, although it's very cluttered with planes and the thing never really does anything.
If the goal of the creators was to create an extremely annoying shooter that relied on you having the ability to slow down time or a near-photographic memory to beat, then they succeeded. Let's start at the beginning...
Your plane can go anywhere on screen. Your turret has a very slow reload rate, and you can only get about two shots every fifteen seconds unless you constantly move from left to right. If you don't move like that, your plane rolls for about ten seconds after each shot, and is unable to fire until it stops. That makes you very easy prey for enemy planes, which brings me to my next point...
I said that you need a good memory to win. That's because enemies pop out of anywhere and everywhere. The bottom of the screen is pretty much the only place you can easily take out the foes that come out from the top of the screen, but eventually you're gonna get rammed by one of the guys approaching from the rear. That wouldn't be so bad if you could zig-zag safely, dodging most forward fire and rear kamikazes, but you've also got guys coming from the sides. What's worse is that most of the time, good reflexes are not even going to come close to getting you out of a tight spot alive. You need to go through a stage partially, memorize the flight patterns, get farther, memorize that too, ad infinitum. Or, at least, it feels like infinity; there are only twenty-four stages.
Fortunately, there are some things to help you through the stages. Every once in a while, you'll get lucky and get a power-up. This can be anything from a mere extra missile being fired when you shoot, or two smaller planes covering you. These barely help balance out the game, though, so a lot of the potential enjoyment is wasted.
If you're really good at shooters and like them a lot, definitely give this game a try. If you're not such a hardcore fan, you're better off playing it safe and not buying this game.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
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