1942 is a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up developed by Capcom for the arcades in 1984, and later ported to the Nintendo NES (by Micronics), MSX, NEC PC-8801 and Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 by Elite Systems. The game is a decent shoot em up with colorful and smooth graphics but being difficult to play because of its sluggish controls.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The campaign is set in the Pacific Theater of World War II. You pilot a plane (dubbed the "Super Ace" although its appearance looks like Lockheed P-38 Lightning) and you have to shoot down enemy aircrafts. Apart from shooting, you can also perform a "loop-the-loop" to avoid enemy fire, which is a quite unique feature for its time. There are 32 different levels, each finishing with your plane landing on an aircraft carrier where you can read a briefing for your next mission. You must fly through Midway, Marshall, Attu, Rabaul, Leyte, Saipan, Iwo Jima and finally Okinawa before reaching your ultimate goal, Tokyo. There are various objects and power ups to collect that will help you in your mission by upgrading your weapons. Regarding gameplay, the game suffers a little from the "one-hit and you' re down" style of the 80s.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Commodore port is quite good and among the best 8bit conversions, mainly because of its smooth action and great sound. The C64 version features colorful graphics plus fluid sprite animation and screen scrolling. When I first played this game on the C64, I was absolutely amazed by the smooth action and its great sound. I would almost forgive the "loose" controls and high level of difficulty because of these features! There is a great music score on the title screen and a variety of sound effects along with some catchy tunes during gameplay Note that the MSX2 and Amstrad versions feature sound effects only during gameplay.