Wednesday 30 July 2014

1942 (C64 review)

Developer: Stephen Green
Publisher: Capcom, Elite Systems, Encore, ECP
Released: 1986

1942 is a vertically scrolling shooter that was released on a number of different platforms including the Arcades and the NES.

It gets off to a great start with the gorgeous title screen and the music that was based on the movie score from Ron Goodwin's 633 Squadron. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse when you start playing the game. Enemy waves and attacks are way too fast and you'll have a hard time getting out of the way of incoming fire. Shoot-em-ups normally have an element of memorisation but remembering where every enemy will spawn from is really the only way to progress in 1942. The other main problem is the limitation of the C64 controller - barrel rolls are mapped to the space bar so you can imagine how uncomfortable it is having one finger on the keyboard while holding the joystick! This game requires lightning fast reflexes and there just aren't enough buttons on the controller to make it work efficiently.

If you're looking for a version of 1942 that's more forgiving try the NES version - the C64 port just isn't as finely-tuned as it should be.

Random trivia: The arcade original of 1942 was designed by Yoshiki Okamoto who went on to develop games such as Final Fight and Street Fighter II.

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