[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Backbone Entertainment” publishers=”Capcom” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”July 23, 2008″]
Fun vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up games are usually hard to come by, but Capcom’s 1942 series is one of the few that, in my opinion, are fun to play. The newest installment, 1942: Joint Strike doesn’t disappoint, is an all around upgrade from previous versions touting new graphics, new enemy AI, and even some co-op action.
Joint Strike pits you back into the World War 2 era with the choice of battling as three different fighter planes, each with their own attributes ranging from health to fighting power. Once you pick your plane, you’re given the option to choose your difficulty ranging from one star: the easiest, to four stars: the hardest. The name difficulty is a bit misleading though as changing the difficulty doesn’t change the AI at all, but changes the amount of lives you have to complete the game.
Once you get into the battle you’re brought back to the good ‘ol vertical scrolling 1942 action. While you’re flying through the bullet-infested skies you must duck and weave as you destroy a plethora of endless enemies. Shooting links of the same kind of enemy results in an upgrade drop, and picking up more than one of the same upgrade results in a super-upgrade. Something that’s definitely handy once you get to those pesky bosses.
The new hi-def graphics are defiantly welcome on a next-gen console, I’m tired of seeing ported games adding nothing new, but Capcom’s nailed this one on the head. The visuals are awesome, and there’s quite a bit of detail as your missiles crash through the cockpit of an enemy plane and causing an explosion almost equaling the destructiveness of an atom bomb. The sounds however are a bit disappointing. There’s nothing to listen to but the sound of your weapons going off, or the sound of an enemy blowing up.
Sadly the game only has five levels and the ability to save your game to pick up later is non-existent. You’re forced to either leave your game and start over, or trudge through all five levels. There’s also no ability to just replay a single level to master the technique. Sorry to say if you only want to play the fifth level, as it’s the most fun, you’re going to have to play and beat the previous four to do so.
The achievements in this game make up a decent list. There’s some for completing the game with each of the three planes, a couple for achieving the best ranking on enemy battles, and some for utilizing the co-op feature of the game. At the same time, the only downside to the list is that you’re forced to play multiplayer, something that’s frowned upon by some, as not everyone is able to play co-op for various reasons. Another one of the harder achievements is beating it on the hardest difficulty. You get two lives to battle through five levels, thousands of enemies, and five very difficult bosses.
All in all, 1942: Joint Strike is a very welcomed game to the arsenal of Xbox LIVE Arcade games out there. It’s a game that utilizes a next gen console’s powers; providing fantastic graphics, addicting gameplay, and the ability to play with friends on the other side of the world.