1942 was Capcom's very first NES game. A translation of the popular arcade
game, 1942 was good for it's time. However, there have been many good
overhead shooters released for the NES since then, and 1942 falls by the
wayside, even when compared to some of the games that came out just a year
You control Super Ace, ace pilot in the US Navy. Aboard his P-38, you must
single handedly beat back the entire Japanese Air Force and reach Tokyo. If
you do, World War II will be over. Obviously, the developers are deviating
from recorded history, as WWII didn't end until 1945. But this is a game,
after all, so anything is possible.
1942 is played from an overhead perspective. Mostly all of the enemy planes
dive at you from the top of the screen, although the occaisonally come at
you from the bottom. Sometimes special squadrons of planes will fly by, and
if you shoot them all, a POW appears. This will get you extra firepower,
either in the form of more guns for the P-38, or two little fighters will
join you on either side of the P-38 (similiar to options in Gradius). You
can also do a loop-de-loop by pressing A, which will let you avoid enemy
fighters. To reach Tokyo, you must complete 32 stages (!). Of course, being
a shooter, you can only take one hit and you're gone.
Like I said earlier, this was Capcom's first NES game, and it really shows.
The graphics are simply adequate, nothing more. There is very little detail
in the planes, and the background is very repetitive (water, more water,
the occasional island). The control isn't too bad; however, the P-38 is a
little slow, and if you have a controller with a rapid fire function (a
must for all shooters) IT DOES NOT WORK in 1942! That's not good. The music
has got to be the absolute worst part of the game; it royally sucks! It
sounds like you're listening to morse code or something - blah! I would
have given the music a score of one, but there is a little theme that plays
after you get killed and return to life. Of course, then it's right back to
the morse code song.
1942 is an alright shooter - unless you're a die hard shooter fan (which I
am) or just want to collect everything Capcom's made, then pass this one
up. 1942 could have been much more than it was - the arcade game deserved
better treatment then this conversion. Finally after all these years, it's
going to happen! The Capcom Generations series is coming for PlayStation,
and Volume One will have an arcade perfect conversion of 1942! Yes!