Released in by Capcom in 2000 , this is the 5th in the 194X series of shooters and…look, you know the drill by now. World War II. Pacific Theatre. Fly a P-38. Collect Stuff and shoot the japanese out of the sky without a care in the world (and thus making an empty place at the dinner table this Christmas despite the Japanese not being a Christian country and not celebrating it anyway). And as I’m becoming a bit sick of this series by now and I’ve got another two to play after this so lets crack on shall we…
Empire Strikes Back is on TV today so I’m going to get my feet up and cheer on cool Han Solo and moaning twat Luke Skywalker in their attempt to kick Darth Vader’s head in. So today’s classic Saturday is a good old Beastie Boys / Empire video mash up.
Beastie Boys – Sabotage (1994)
Smoothly done video. In fact smoother than Billy Dee-Williams and that’s saying something!
1943 – The Battle Of Midway. Released in 1987 and the sequel to Capcom’s 1984 smash hit 1942. The current MAME top score is 3,533,100 held by Francois Daniel. On first impressions it’s business as usual. Back in the trusty P-38, you take off from your aircraft carrier (although this has just been fired upon and is now crabbing into the sea somewhat), shoot the green planes for points, red ones for power ups and don’t get killed. Simple.
This time round there’s no single shot and you die shenanigans. No way. This time you get a lovely power gauge / fuel tank which is nice as it gives you some leeway in terms of getting shot at but it’s also another bloody thing to worry about. This issue is compounded when the power ups arrive. Collect the POW left by the red planes and it replenishes your power gauge. However, shoot the POW and it will alternate between a POW and a different weapon. So it becomes judgement call time. Power up and shit weapon or superior firepower and risk getting though it?
This is where it began for the 194X series and where it had almost just begun for Capcom. Released in 1984 and only their fourth release after Vulgus, Sonson, and Pirate Ship Higemaru. With an almost self-flagellation approach to games design, the Japanese based Capcom essentially allow the player to pilot a western fighter plane to shoot the bejesus out of wave after wave of Japanese planes. I understand that when basing a game on the pacific dogfights of WWII you have to stay somewhat true to the history but to create a game which sees your own countrymen shot to shit strikes me as odd. Perhaps they wanted closure?
Heading over to Twin Galaxies, it’s no surprise to see at large amount of submissions for 1942 considering it’s popularity over the years. Capcom report a total of 1.2 million copies sold across all formats since it’s initial release. In total there are 64 MAME submissions with the lowest being 6,190 and the highest score being 12,413,510 by Simon Beck. I first encountered 1942 when my parents had it installed in their pub back in the day. The day being 1986. Aaaahh the memories. I was shit at it then. I wonder if my years of gaming has helped me improve any?
Probably not and I can’t remember my score from 23 years ago anyhow…