Year Of Release: 1984
While the Capcom of today seems to fill more than a few gamers with rage. The Capcom of the 80’s and 90’s could simply do no wrong at all. They just put out hit after hit. This would be Capcom’s fourth arcade game, but it would prove to be their first big runaway hit and the game that would really put them on the map. You could maybe even argue that had 1942 not been as successful as it was then Capcom may not be the company they are today. The success of 1942 is modest when compared to other Capcom games such as Street Fighter, Mega Man and Resident Evil, but for the time it was a huge hit.
The story of 1942 is set during the Pacific Theatre of World War II. You control a pretty cool little plane called the Space Ace. Your goal is to make it to take down as many enemy fighters as possible on your way to Tokyo where you need to destroy the Japanese fleet! Now the story here may not sound all that remarkable by today’s standards. After well we have a variety of games set in World War II released each year. But the interesting thing about 1942 was that it was made by Capcom, a Japanese company. They made a game where the goal is to destroy their own Japanese Air Force. You would think that this would have a negative effect on the game in Japan, but this could not be further from the truth.
1942 is a nice looking game. Flying over the pacific, land or huge carries was pretty amazing back in 1984. As well as looking nice, 1942 moves at a pretty brisk pace with some very nice animation, As far as the game play goes this is a classic vertical style shooter. Piloting your plane you will need to have quick reflexes as you take down what seems like a never ending horde of Japanese fighter planes. Some can be shot down with a single hit and others take multiple hits. You have a variety of cool power ups including a really neat one where you are joined by two smaller planes to help you take down the enemies. If things get a little too heavy for you then you can execute a barrel roll type move to avoid enemy fire. Thanks to very tight controls, 1942 is a game where if you put the time in and learn it properly you can really rack up a huge score.
Current High Score: 13,360,960 by Martin Bedard
1942 would be ported to pretty much every console and home computer under the sun. The game was also remade in glorious HD for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in 2008.
Capcom would make a few sequels and the series is known as the 19XX series by fans. 1943: The Battle Of Midway would be released in arcades in 1987. 1941: Counter Attack would follow in 1990. 19XX: The War Against Destiny was released in arcades in 1996 and the last game to be released in arcades was 1944: The Loop Master.
Most of these games can be played through the various Capcom compilations that have been released for different consoles over the years.