Retro Arcade Review: 1942 (1984)

I have a confession to make. It’s not a bad confession, and I think it’s the sort of confession a lot of people might agree with me on. The “Carol Vordeman looks better as an older woman” kind of confession.

I don’t get shooters like this.

Which doesn’t really make sense. I like all the ingredients, I love a side scroller. I love the feeling of booting up a game and having the waves of enemies and impossible odds give that classic sense of dread. I like the feeling of achieving something previously thought impossible, that’s mostly why I’m so determined to actually understand what happened in the 1990’s X-Men comics.

Plus, you know I have a dark and slightly scary love of chunky sprites and colours bright enough to give me ADHD.

But for some reason, if all those ingredients are baked into a side shooter cake, I don’t want to eat it. I want to hammer the buttons, and see a muscled dude punch another guy through the room, for some reason, seeing a laser from a spaceship blast another spaceship through time itself makes my dick go soft.

Speaking of soft dicks, here’s a game named after the birth year of your grandparents.

1942 is a verticle scrolling shooter, one of the first (though not the first, because this is one of the most popular game styles since, like, day dot). You’re a hot shot pilot taking on all of the enemy by yourself, because the 1980’s processed trauma unbelievably badly.

You hammer the shoot button to take out the enemy planes, who attack in different waves until the end. ou can sometimes barrel roll to get yourself out of trouble, but to be honest, I mostly forgot about this, and you can hardly ever use it so it’s not too much of a gameplay feature. I guess your pilot has a delicate stomach and doesn’t want to mess up his antique plane.

Antique is how this one feels. A lot of Capcoms work stacks up pretty well today, especially with the influx of fantastic new indie games bringing back pixel art, but 1942 feels like its on its last legs. The pace is slower, and never hits the frantic heights (HAHA BECAUSE PLANES) you might be expecting if you bled yourself dry over a game pad playing Ikaruga.

I completed 1942, and that’s braver than the troops.

2/5, play Ikaruga.

Play it on MAME (or don’t) or rent our gear and play Ikaruga!

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