If you've read my 1942 review, you know how disappointed I was with the
game. Thankfully, Capcom went ahead and released 1943: The Battle of Midway
just two years later. 1943 is everything that 1942 should have been! Capcom
fixed all of the problems that plagued 1942 and created one of the best
overhead shooters for the NES!
1943:TBoM is a conversion of the 1943 arcade game that was really popular
at the time (there was even a special edition of it released in Japan -
1943 Kai). Once again, you must climb aboard your P-38 and singlehandedly
defeat the Japanese Air Force and the Japanese Navy. Once agin, Capcom is
deviating from recorded history - The Battle of Midway took place in 1942!
But this is a game, so. . .
1943 is played from the same overhead perspective as 1942. However, instead
of taking just one hit, your P-38 now has an energy bar! You must
constantly be on the lookout for energy pods, however, as your life bar
keeps draining. The loop-de-loop from 1942 is back, except that this time
you summon lightning to waste everything on screen when you execute it!
This also drains your life bar, and once you're down to zero, all you can
do is loop-de-loop (of course, when you hit zero, one hit will take you
The first thing that struck me about 1943 was the graphics - wow! Already
1943 was looking better than 1942 - cool! Now there's a screen where you
can distribute power to the various parts of your P-38 (offense, defense,
energy level and so on). There are 20-some odd stages to battle through,
and in what is a novelty for a shooter, you have a password feature! Each
stage is devided up into three parts - two fighting sequences where you
fight enemy fighters, and the third part - after downing more enemy
fighters, you take on the boss of the stage.
The graphics, like I said before, are excellent - everything is very
detailed. The bosses in particular are very well done. The control is great
- your P-38 moves quickly around the screen, and if you have a rapid fire
controller, rapid fire is back - with a vengeance! There are little POWs to
pick up, much like in 1942; however, you can shoot the POWs to make them
change into different items. Also scattered around are hidden bonuses -
shoot them to make them appear. Capcom's famous little symbol, the
Yashichi, is here, along with little bases where you can distribute more
power points to your P-38. There is music in 1943 - only a couple of
themes, but MUCH better than the morse code music of 1942. It's got that
Capcom sound to it - if you've played any of Capcom's later NES games, then
you know what I mean. Finally, the game is TOUGH! It only gets harder and
harder as you go on, so if you like a challenge, don't pass this up!
1943: The Battle of Midway is an excellent game - everything that 1942
should have been and more! If you can find this one and you love shooters,
ABSOLUTELY give it a shot! Best of all, an arcade perfect conversion of
1943 WILL be on Volume One of Capcom Generations for the PlayStation, along
with 1943 Kai and an arcade perfect 1942! Yay!
There is one odd thing that I should point out about 1943 - you're playing
a game about a monumental Japanese defeat in World War II that was
programmed by Japanese programmers and runs on Japanese hardware! Weird.