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 Amstrad CPC version is ok, featuring colorful graphics (with accurate colors) although the sprite animation and screen scrolling suffers quite often. The overall gameplay is pretty slow compared to the MSX2 and C64 versions. The game also suffers a bit from its sluggish controls, which is common in all 8bit ports of this title. In contrast to the Commodore version, a music score exists only on the title screen, while the game offers a few simple sound FX during your battles like gunfire and explosions. Nevertheless, this game is fun to play and people really enjoy having it on their 8bit system although it's quite tough to master.
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.