Review by Neon_Knight2

Reviewed: 10/30/07

A bad year for the war

Two years after the arcade release of 1942, it’s heading to your home on the Nintendo Entertainment System. 1942 is a top down shooter developed by Capcom, much like their past games.

You control Super Ace, a military pilot during the Second World War. Your mission is to reach Tokyo and destroy their aircraft. You will be flying through 32 different levels to reach your ultimate goal. The Japanese will do everything to stop you, and they are not ready to give up to you.

Flying in a military plane and shooting down Japanese planes in WWII sounds fun, it is to a certain degree. It feels like most of the other shooters already out, dodging bullets and destroying the enemy ships. Super Ace also has a “Super Move” when he’s in a tight spot he can do the “Loop the Loop” to dodge enemy fire but it can only be used up to three times. Sometimes during missions you will notice a formation of red planes, if you shoot’em all down you will gain a bonus. A POW will appear on the screen after you defeated them and after you pass over it you will get a bonus. These POW will make you stronger or increase your point, either way; you can’t miss your chance of getting these bonuses.

During your journey to Tokyo you will encounter 4 boss planes. They are bigger, tougher and shoot a lot more bullets then the ordinary planes you encounter throughout your missions. These bosses can be hard when you first face them but they follow the same pattern over and over. At the end you will destroy them with ease.

Flying planes has never been easier with Super Ace at your side. When flying, your plane will fly wonderfully with the use of the control pad, it’s very basic and simple but it’s what this game needs. The B button allows you to shoot at the enemy. If you keep it pressed down it will automatically shoot but the firing rate is terribly slow. The best way to shoot down the enemy is to keep pressing B quickly. The A button is used to perform the acrobatic Loop the Loop. It’s a very good trick to use when you are under heavy fire from the enemy.

The graphics are a bit uninspired but they’re not terrible. The planes are well detailed and they look great. They are a few varieties of enemy planes but it’s mostly the same ones over and over.

The different backgrounds are water, land, beaches and cities. The beach really sticks out from the game every time. It’s very bright and it’s hard to see incoming bullet or sometime the enemy themselves. Thankfully the beaches are never long and they are only a few. During the last few stages when you reach Japan you see the cities in the background. It’s a nice little touch to let you know you’re nearing the end of your trip.

It’s terrible, worst than terrible. It’s only a series of beep, like the Morse code, with a military drum roll from the noise channel. The little jingles at the start of a level or when you lose are leagues better than the regular level music. After a while it would be no surprise if you turn down the volume.

This one isn’t easy at all with all the planes flying and shooting towards you. You need to summon all the concentration you can muster to get far. Don’t despair, after you are Game Over there’s an option to continue at the last level you were. If it wasn’t for that “continue” option this game would’ve been impossible. When you lose a plane you start around the place you got destroyed.

Replay Value
If you always want to beat your newest high score, this can keep you entertained for a long time. If you’re not really good at shooters, you might want to practice on this game and show off your skills afterward. Another interesting point is at the end of every level it shows you the percentage of enemy planes you shot down. I can easily see people trying to beat this game with a 100% on all level. Other than that, there’s nothing that would make you play this game again. Plus, the disappointing ending doesn’t really help.


Anyone into shooters should get it. Everyone who isn’t a big fan should try it before. The difficulty might turn some people away from this title but that’s the way shooters are. It is a less than perfect shooter that could’ve used a bit more polishing.

If Capcom can see their faults in this title and fix them I’m sure their shooters will get better over time.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: 1942 (US, 11/30/86)

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