"1942 sucked. A lot. Piloting a P-38 through thirty-two stages of the same exact crap is not my idea of a good time. So, I wasn't really going into 1943: The Battle of Midway with high hopes. I read that it has quite a few upgrades that make it better than its predecessor, so I was willing to give the game a shot. "
1942 sucked. A lot. Piloting a P-38 through thirty-two stages of the same exact crap is not my idea of a good time. So, I wasn't really going into 1943: The Battle of Midway with high hopes. I read that it has quite a few upgrades that make it better than its predecessor, so I was willing to give the game a shot.
So, on a Tuesday, I played 1943.
About forty minutes later, I came to the conclusion that this is what 1942 should have been like.
The first improvement is the amount of stages that are in this game. Instead of thirty-two stages, you only have to play through sixteen. Thank God. Another big improvement is the inclusion of a lifebar. It's better than getting hit once and being sent back to a checkpoint like in 1942, and you'll get a chance to refill some of your health when you shoot down some red planes for a POW item. This adds a whole new element of strategy to the game, because it gets you to think: should you replenish some of the health that's been drained, or should you go for the power-up you can get if you shoot the POW? Also, when your life is getting low, it'll encourage you to keep going in hopes of coming across a POW item. Keep in mind that you have to make these choices in the midst of a chaotic battlefield.
Speaking of power-ups, you have plenty to choose from in this game. From the auto power-up that lets your bullets fly at a rapid rate to the three-way upgrade that... lets you shoot bullets in three different directions, there's something for every occasion. But there's a catch: a time limit will start up once you grab the weapon. So, you'll have to use them wisely in the situation you're currently in. These new, souped-up power-ups are great, because you'll have an easier time taking out multiple planes that crowd the screen, something that was tough to do in 1942. But that's not all, new to the series is the ability to unleash bombs, or, in this case, Mega Crashes on your enemies. Ranging from a lightning attack that take out planes to a tsunami attack that's good for destroying turrets on ships, there's something for every oc... yeah. You usually won't get what you want, because, from my understanding, they try to match the Mega Crash with what's currently on screen (if there's boats and planes on screen, it'll try either a tsunami or lightning attack). Still, it's better than nothing.
However, despite all these vast improvements, there are still some problems that made its way over from 1942. The first one being that the game is still too long. Yeah, sixteen stages is a blessing compared to thirty-two, but you'll still be getting tired of playing this game when stages and boss fights repeat themselves around the seventh stage. Capcom should have cut the stage count down to around eight or nine stages, it just looks lazy to repeat stages two or three times before you finally get a chance to take on the final boss, the battleship Yamato.
The other problem is that the game is still too friggin hard at times. Even with the lifebar, the ability to replenish, and the beefed-up firepower, your P-38 is still gonna get shot down a lot. This is because planes and bullets literally fill up most of the screen at times, giving you very limited room to even dodge. It really gets overwhelming. So, in the end, what you get is a game that 1942 wanted to be, except 1943 ends up contracting some of its bad habits. It's a nice, yet, flawed shoot-em-up, but you'll wanna play other, better shoot-em-ups, instead.
Community review by dementedhut (August 17, 2006)
Never thought I would end up writing two Blackjack reviews for the site, but here we are...
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