Monday, July 2, 2012

NES Replay: 1943

1943 Title Screen
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: 1988
Killing Your Ancestors: Yep

In NES Replay, we go through each NES game from A-Z to see if they're any good. Today: 1943.

It’s amazing what a difference two years makes in NES terms. Compare 1942, with its merely-okay graphics, weird music and repetitive levels, then play 1943, with its great graphics, excellent music and enormous bosses, and it’s fascinating to see how far games came in just two years.
If I were just to show you a gameplay video, you would assume that 1943 is just a prettied-up version of 1942, a shooter where you kill the ancestors of the developers in a recreation of their nation’s troubling past. However, that wouldn’t tell the whole tale. Right from the beginning you notice the difference when you find that you can upgrade your stats. Want to be stronger offensively? Upgrade it! Want to be stronger defensively? Go for it! Want to obliterate your opponents with stronger special moves? It's your choice! That little tweak makes a huge difference and makes 1943 feel more like a shooter-RPG hybrid than a straightforward "shoot-everything-that-moves" game.

1943 is a lot more varied too, though a lot more difficult. The first part of the level feels like vintage 1942, as you fly over islands and shoot down ships. In the second part of each level, you get closer to the large battleships and finally swoop in for an assault on the battleship proper. Don’t kill the ship on the first run? You have to go back through the second part of the level. You only have one life, though you can take multiple hits. If you die, you have to restart the entire level over. Good luck!
Don't mind me. I'll just hide over here for a while.

I’m also going to single out the tremendous music in this game. I found a track that should show you what I'm talking about:

See, that’s great stuff! I can get into that! I actually had to force myself to quit playing after my appointed 20-minute time limit, and I still feel like going back for more. 1943 is really, really great.

Final Rating:

Next Week: 3D World Runner
Looking for more NES games? Click here for more!

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