"Ah, Capcom, you gotta love them. Once they release a game and it becomes popular, you can expect them to milk the hell out of that title by releasing "revamped" versions several months later. You've seen them do this with Resident Evil, Devil May Cry 3, and of course, you remember what everyone went through with Street Fighter II. But even before that little known title, Capcom's been doing it to older games. In this case, 1943: The Battle of Midway. A year after tha..."
Ah, Capcom, you gotta love them. Once they release a game and it becomes popular, you can expect them to milk the hell out of that title by releasing "revamped" versions several months later. You've seen them do this with Resident Evil, Devil May Cry 3, and of course, you remember what everyone went through with Street Fighter II. But even before that little known title, Capcom's been doing it to older games. In this case, 1943: The Battle of Midway. A year after that title's release, Capcom came out with an updated version of the shoot-em-up, 1943 Kai: Midway Kaisen.
I played the game on a Thursday to see what made it different than the original.
After some time with it, I felt that it was the better version. Slightly.
The core gameplay is basically the same: your plane takes off, you shoot a bunch of enemy planes, loop out of danger, throw some Mega Crashes (a fancy name for bomb), battle a boss, and then repeat the whole process. However, the first few stages are more difficult than they were in 1943 (I'll just call this game Kai from now on), so you'll have to come out of the gates fighting like hell. Another change is that some of the weapon power-ups were beefed up for your new toy, the biplane (which replaced the P-38). The most notable of all of them is the shotgun. In 1943, it was this pale imitation of the three-way weapon that shot at a short distance and was only good for destroying bullets. However, in Kai, this power-up has been transformed into a strong weapon that shoots at long distances and is more reliable than the three-way. These nice changes end up making Kai much more tighter, and more playable than 1943. An obvious plus. Though, you'll still get shot down a lot.
Another change you'll notice is that there is much more variety in the music in this game. They're all quite nice to listen to, but my favorite would be the casual, upbeat melody that plays in some of the stages. It feels a little out of place in a WWII title, but it's definitely not as bad as the happy-go-lucky whistle beat that's in 1942. Then there's the slight change to the scenic backdrop. No longer will you have to look at the same blue ocean for the whole game. Instead, you'll be seeing different color variations that reflect the time of the day: light blue for the afternoon, dark blue for night (supposedly), and orange for dawn/dusk. It may not sound like much, but it's something different on the eyes. However, probably the best improvement Kai has going for it is the fact that it has such a low stage count compared to its predecessors. Still a bit much, but with ten stages in all, you'll wanna pick this over 1943, which has sixteen stages, any day.
So, does Kai excel at being an upgrade? Well, if you skipped over the rest of this insanely short review for the answer, then yes. Of course, it stands on its own two feet quite well, proving to be the best in the series at that point in time. So, while it's tiresome to see Capcom pump out update after update to certain games, it ain't all bad. If they didn't had this thing for whoring out their games, we probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to have this nicely tuned-up version of 1943. Then again... we had to wait forever for Street Fighter III. Good thing it turned out to be an awesome game.
Community review by pickhut (August 20, 2006)
Pick any sci-fi game from the 1980s and you're likely to spot an Alien reference.
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