1943: The Battle of Midway is a classic vertical scrolling arcade shoot 'em up game released by Capcom in 1987 and ported to the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum (by Probe) home computers. The game was also released for the Nintendo NES (1988) and the NEC PC-Engine/Turbografx consoles.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The game is the sequel to the arcade smash 1942, and has you once again dog-fighting over the clouds during the Second World War. The game is set in the WWII Pacific Theater, somewhere off the coast of Midway Islands. Your goal as a pilot is to attack the Japanese Air Fleet that bombed your American Aircraft Carrier and destroy all Japanese Air and Sea forces. Flying with a P-38, you go through 16 levels shooting your way to the Japanese battleship Yamato and eliminate it. The game is a classic "bird's eye" vertical shoot 'em up. You must shoot everything appearing on your screen (from aircrafts to battleships) and avoid enemy bullets as well as mounted ship cannon fodders. Same story, same action as its predecessor. Apart from shooting you can also perform a loop-the-loop maneuver to avoid enemy fire, which is a unique feature for its time. You may also perform one of the three available special lightning attacks in exchange for some of your (realy precious) fuel! So do care for your remaining fuel (indicated on the screen) which can be refilled by collecting various power-ups (obtained by destroying red aircraft groups that occasionally appear) or otherwise your plane will crash and burn instantly. In the NES version, a small briefing of the next mission is always available, as well as the ability to upgrade some of your aircraft's features (attacking power and defensive power, max fuel level and special weapon power and duration) using limited points collected during gameplay. At the end of each level, you must confront a boss varying from gigantic battleships to flying fortresses! Much like its predecessors, 1943 is an addictive shoot 'em up, but it is quite tough to progress, as it is hard to avoid enemy fire due to its "loose" controls.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The NES port is great, offering fluid scrolling and sprite animations, along with a few really nice visual touches taken from the original. The sprites are nicely designed (though a bit small) and move quite fast and smooth on the screen. The sound offers different tunes during gameplay (taken from the original as well) along with some basic shooting and explosion sound FX.
In-game music sample:
Arcades (original version)
CPU: Ricoh 2A03 8-bit processor (MOS Technology 6502 based) at 1,79MHz MEMORY: Boot ROM: 64 kbit (8 KB) to 2048 kbit (256 KB) Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KB), can be supplemented by game cartridges Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KB) GRAPHICS: YPbPr 64-color palette supporting resolution of 256x240 with 32 colors at once and 64 hardware sprites. SOUND: five mono sound channels and PCM sound (7bit values)