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Page 1:
1942
1943: The Battle of Midway
1943 Kai

Page 2:
1941: Counterstrike
19XX: The War Against Destiny

Page 3:
1944: The Loop Master
1942: Joint Strike
1942: First Strike

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1941: Counter Attack - Arcade, SuperGrafx, PlayStation 2, (Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed), Xbox (Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed), PSP (Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed) (1990)

1941 is a giant leap forward, fixing many of the problems of 1943 and by extension, 1942. Now that the game takes place in Europe, you fly over actual scenery. All of the levels are very evocative and take full advantage of the setting, such as ruined cities during the blitz, or secret Nazi missile silos. It's also easily the shortest game in the series, sporting six levels, which is completely normal for most shooters, but short compared to its bretheren. Many of the stages actually take place indoors, and include walls. Fortunately, crashing into walls does not kill you, but just makes you spin out of control, which can be annoying but strangely useful, since this lets you shoot enemies approaching from the rear. The sound is also greatly improved. 1941 has some of the catchiest music in the series and never reuses anything. Despite staticy synth, most of them are fast, upbeat, and accompany the frantic action very well.

With the longer and more involves stages come gigantic bosses. Most of them are large war machines covered in turrets such as a huge battleship or gigantic planes. There are some more original fights, though. One particularly memorable boss is at the end of level three, a rocket carrying enough explosives to carpet bomb an entire city. If you can stop it, the rocket detonates over a forest, hopefully not doing too much damage. Another one of the more memorable parts is the final boss, a clearly alien spacecraft that breaks out of the remains of a previous boss. It even uses strange attacks that are never seen before in the game and flies much differently from anything else. It's also remarkably fast and can dodge your shots, making it a very formidable adversary.

1941 also adds a couple of new weapons, such as the powerful shadow. Most levels open with a gold power up, which shifts between the options and the shadow. The options have changed a bit and are still powerful, yet breakable small planes that fly alongside you. The shadow stays with you for the rest of the level, giving you three shadow images of your ship that follow you wherever you go. It's a pretty cool power up, similar in function to those in Ninja Gaiden II, and is not seen in any other game in the series. The other new addition is a charge shot, which becomes a series mainstay.

Even with all the improvements and changes, 1941 still plays like a 19XX game. Power ups are still temporary and obtained by blasting enemy formations and scoring still rewards you for defeating every enemy you ever see. For changing and improving so much without losing its distinct feel, 1941 is one of the greatest games in the series. Its greatness is be eclipsed by the next game, though.

1941 was ported to the SuperGrafx. It's an excellent port, save for the colors looking a little bit washed out and the difficulty being a little bit lower. The screen is smaller than the arcade version, making everything feel a little bit more cramped, but it's not bad enough to drastically affect the game. Otherwise, its only ports are part of the Capcom Classics Collection.

1941 is also believed to have introduced a long standing shooter tradition - whenever you continue, you get a single point added to your score. Since normally points are awarded as multiples of 10, it acts as a sort of mark of shame to indicate how many times you've stuck in an extra credit.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Noritaka Funamizu
  • Rekite

Genre:

Themes:


1941: Counter Strike (Arcade)

1941: Counter Strike (Arcade)

1941: Counter Strike (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


Comparison Screenshots

19XX: The War Against Destiny - Arcade (1996)

Arcade Flyer

19XX is an even bigger improvement than 1941. Dropping the World War II setting, 19XX takes place during a fictional war, possibly set in the future. Everything from artillery cannons with ten guns, to trains that shoot lasers, to walking tanks is present, showing some very imaginative enemy designs. 19XX's graphics are easily some of the best in the series. The sprites are large and colorful. Most of the levels take place in very lush, natural environments such as dense jungles or remote and beautiful islands.

19XX drops the health bar in favor of a more traditional shooter feel, so you now die in a single hit, and it uses a standard bomb stock instead of spending health to clear the screen. The bullet patterns are also thicker, While there are bullet patterns to navigate, 19XX opts more toward faster, Raiden-style bullets and never makes the patterns too complex. It works very well, as 19XX feels both contemporary and old school. The arsenal has been reduced to three weapons: the vulcan, the 3-way missiles, and the laser. You also have the ability to charge your bombs. Hold down on the bomb button and release when the bar fills up. Your bomb will be much more destructive and inflict a lot more damage the more you charge it. Unfortunately, lower level bombs do not clear the screen like normal bombs, and the higher levels can take a while to charge up, leaving you a sitting duck while you charge up. It's a cool idea, though.

While 19XX does a lot to revolutionize the series, its biggest contribution is the addition being able to select your fighter. There are three planes to choose from, all of them being powerful in their own way.

Fighters

Lightning

Lightning is good all around. It has above average homing and speed, but it is a bit lacking in power. Its special weapon is a powerful vulcan cannon that pours molten hot lead into anything dumb or slow enough to get in its way. Fitting Lightning's theme, the vulcan shots do not do too much damage, but their rate of fire is very fast, making it deceptively powerful.

Mosquito

The Mosquito hits hard, so hard that it sacrifices its homing and speed. Its special weapon is a spread gun that shoots in three directions. At first, this seems like a pretty bad weapon, as it spreads out The Mosquito's deadly power and makes it harder to hit with. However when it upgrades, the spread shot shoots three additional tiny missiles in the center, not only focussing the attack, but keeping your previous spread shots to cover you from the sides. It is an ingenious weapon that takes some time to get used to, but quickly becomes one of the best weapons in the game.

Sinden

The Sinden (sometimes spelled Shinden) is the fast plane of the bunch, being easily the fastest of the selectable planes. Its power and homing are pretty bad, but all that speed can make jetting around and blasting enemy formations a breeze. The Sinden, like the other planes, has a special weapon that easily compliments its strength. It has a laser that pierces straight through enemies and is great for clearing out formations. With the Sinden's speed, you can zip across the screen and sweep away anything that even tries to get close to you. When upgraded, the laser doubles in width and power, making it easier to sweep the screen than ever.

There are seven levels in total. It is not nearly as long as some of the other games in the series, but the levels are long and portray a variety of exotic locations. The missions are also more interesting, from fighting a diving war machine in the Red Sea, to a battleship raid in The Arctic, to a secret tank base in the jungle behind a waterfall, 19XX takes you all around the world. All of this culminates in the main villain, a nameless pilot flying a black fighter jet, shooting two nuclear missiles that must be stopped. The final battle is very intense and one of the highlights of the game.

A few new scoring elements have been added. 19XX keeps with the trend of grading your performance, even giving you a letter grade after every battle based on a number of conditions. It also adds medals. There are three sizes of medals, small medium, and large, that are dropped by certain enemies or are revealed from blowing up scenery. Medals increase your score and are sure to give you a higher grade. Unfortunate, despite its quality, 19XX was never ported.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • I. Satsuma
  • Tomonori Nonaka
  • S. Obata

Genre:

Themes:


19XX (Arcade)

19XX (Arcade)

19XX (Arcade)

19XX (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
1942
1943: The Battle of Midway
1943 Kai

Page 2:
1941: Counterstrike
19XX: The War Against Destiny

Page 3:
1944: The Loop Master
1942: Joint Strike
1942: First Strike

Back to the Index