Review by beastiecube

Reviewed: 04/12/04

A Classic Game, or Classic Crap?


Gameplay: 5/10

Sound: 3/10

Graphics: 4/10

Ingenuity: 5/10

Replay Value: 4/10

1942, as the name suggests, is a WWII game in which you take control of a fighter plane to bring down enemy forces. Capcom released it in 1985. It’s a top-down shooter, so there isn’t a story. This game is often fondly thought of as a classic, but after playing it, it left me wondering why. When I think of classic, I think of awesome gameplay, or something that defined a genre. Both of those are notably absent from 1942.

The gameplay is nothing to get excited over. It just isn’t involving at all. You randomly shoot down the enemies without any real strategy or form. They just fly in and you shoot them down while dodging their shots. The game offers little more than this, and what it does offer isn’t even that great. There is one little move that changes it up a bit, and that it the ability to dive, which you can use to dodge enemy attacks. This is the sole piece of innovation that 1942 offers. The port of this game to the NES was just a bad idea all around. It’s outdated in almost every way. There are at least five better top-down shooters available for the platform, which makes me wonder why anyone would want to waste their time with this one. The sound is absolutely abysmal. The effects are really bad, and the explosions sound like crap. You really can tell that it’s an early title, and it hasn’t aged well at all. This is one game that time has not been kind to. Other games are like fine wine. You can see that they’ve aged well and in some cases, even become a better game with time. This is sadly not the case with 1942. The once sub par graphics now sting the eye compared to other NES titles, and the horrible sound will make you want to vomit with rage. The soundtrack consists of tiny beeps and blips that quickly become annoying. Come on, Capcom! We all know that the NES is capable of much more than that. It certainly isn’t pushing the system to its limits. Graphics are below decent as well, but then again, that’s no surprise considering everything else was too. The background is very uninspired. You just fly over water, and the occasional island with nothing else to look at. There could’ve at least been some variety in your environment. I kept wondering why my pilot was flying over the exact same area over and over again. Your plane, and the enemies don’t have much detail, and could have used some more work. Replay value is pretty low. You might feel inclined to play it a few times, but with better games in the genre there isn’t too much reason to bother.

I can’t recommend this game. I wouldn’t waste my time with it. Only pick this game up if you’re a collector who doesn’t mind having bad games in their collection, or a die-hard shooter fan that just has to have every shooting game. There are better shooters out there. I wouldn’t waste more than a dollar or two on this game if you feel compelled to add it to your collection. It’s just a bad game fair and square. Anyone who tells you that this game is a classic NES title is a fool. Remember kids, just say no to bad gameplay! If someone can please tell me what’s so great about this game, feel free to fill me in.

Final Score: 48%

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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