1942 (video game)
|Mode(s)||Single player, 2 player co-op|
|Arcade system||Capcom Z80|
1942 is a vertically scrolling shooter game made by Capcom that was released for arcades in 1984. Designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, it was the first game in the 19XX series, and was followed by 1943: The Battle of Midway.
1942 is set in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and is loosely based on the Battle of Midway. Despite the game being created by Japanese developers, the goal is to reach Tokyo and destroy the Japanese air fleet; this was due to being the first Capcom game designed with Western markets in mind. It went on to be a commercial success in arcades, becoming Japan's fifth highest-grossing table arcade game of 1986 and one of America's top five highest-grossing arcade conversion kits that year. It was ported to the NES, selling over 1 million copies worldwide, along with other home platforms.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2020)
The player pilots a Lockheed P-38 Lightning dubbed the "Super Ace". The player has to shoot down enemy planes; to avoid enemy fire, the player can perform a roll or vertical loop. During the game, the player may collect a series of power-ups, one of them allowing the plane to be escorted by two other smaller fighters in a Tip Tow formation. Enemies included: Kawasaki Ki-61s, Mitsubishi A6M Zeros and Kawasaki Ki-48s. The boss plane is a Nakajima G10N.
The game has "a special roll button that allows players to avoid dangerous situations by temporarily looping out of" the playfield. In addition to the standard high score, it also has a separate percentage high score, recording the best ratio of enemy fighters to enemies shot down.
The game was designed by Yoshiki Okamoto. The game's main goal was to be easily accessible for players. This is why they decided to use a World War II theme. 1942 was also the first Capcom game designed with Western markets in mind. That was why they decided to have the player pilot an American P-38 fighter plane, to appeal to the American market. The game is loosely based on the Battle of Midway, which was a turning point in the Pacific War when the Americans began defeating the Japanese.
A Game Boy Color version was also released in North America in May 2000 and the PAL region in the year 2001.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2017)
In Japan, Game Machine listed 1942 on their January 1, 1985 issue as being the fourth most-successful table arcade cabinet of the month. It went on to be Japan's seventh highest-grossing table arcade game during the first half of 1986, and the overall fifth highest-grossing table arcade game of 1986. In the United States, it was one of the top five highest-grossing arcade conversion kits of 1986. In the United Kingdom, it was the top-grossing arcade game on the Euromax arcade charts for five months in 1987, from July through November.
Mike Roberts reviewed the arcade game in the May 1985 issue of British magazine Computer Gamer. While noting the game's scenario was "an odd subject for a Japanese arcade manufacturer" to take up, he said it has "very nice graphics" especially the "graphically excellent loops" and had an "original" gameplay feature in the form of the percentage high score. Retrospectively, Brett Alan Weiss of AllGame called it "a fondly remembered" shooter and praising the special roll button, "perfectly balanced gameplay, colorfully detailed graphics," and "nifty" power-ups, making "the game a true classic."
1942 was the first Capcom title to spawn a successful series of sequels, with five titles in the 19XX line released from 1987 to 2000. Many of Capcom's other vertical shooters featured very similar gameplay, such as Varth: Operation Thunderstorm.
It was re-released in Capcom Generations 1 for the PlayStation and Saturn consoles. It was featured in the Capcom Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, as well as Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded for the PlayStation Portable. The arcade version was added to the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on December 21, 2010, the PAL and North American regions in January 2011. It was also re-released for Windows Mobile Professional.
The game series has sold a total of 1.4 million units worldwide as of December 31, 2019, and stands as Capcom's 18th best-selling franchise.
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- 1942 at Lemon 64