by Dominic Wood
Elite Systems Ltd
Crash Issue 33, Oct 1986   page(s) 24

Producer: Elite
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Dominic Wood

The Second World War is hotting up between the war torn countries. Out in the pacific sporadic dog fights between the warring factions rage up in the skies. The enemy forces are seriously building up their airborne craft and it's up to you to try and limit their numbers before they obliterate the goodies for good. Yup, ELITE have turned their talents to converting 1942, a very early Capcom game.

You are taken into enemy zones on the deck of an aircraft carrier. When the situation becomes too dangerous for the carrier to go any further into hostile waters it's time to fly up into the skies to meet the enemy. As usual they appear to outnumber you grossly.

The enemy are pretty mean shooters and do their best to blast heroic pilots right out of the air. However, if this wasn't enough, those dastardly baddies are so committed to their cause that they've turned into Kamakazis and will willingly sacrifice their own lives... They seta collision course and if they meet up with you in those lonely skies then it's curtains, and into the drink. One more life is lost from a dwindling supply.

Fortunately, ammunition is not in short supply - it's seemingly endless. Firepower can be souped up by collecting POWer points that appear at random on the screen. Just as well, as the aim of the game is to fly over enemy islands and stretches of sea shooting anything that appears in your path. The enemy are quite sneaky and sometimes appear from the rear and often follow quite random paths of flight so you never know where they're going to pop up next.

When each level is completed, return to the aircraft carrier and you are transported to the start of the next level where the fun starts again - and there are thirty two levels to fight through. There is also a two player option in the game so you can compete against someone else, and see who wins superiority in the skies first.

Apart from being able to move the plane backwards forwards and from side to side on the screen, you can also perform rolls which come in handy in tight spots. Picking up a white object in the air has a smart bomb effect, and obliterates all the enemy planes on the screen. Mother chance to be a hero of the skies comes your way


Control keys: redefinable directions. 0-4 to Roll
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive enough
Use of colour: lots of colour, resulting in terrible clashes
Graphics: small, but fairly detailed
Sound: lots of clicking sound effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: 32 scrolling play areas

After the brigade of great arcade conversions, I expected a little more from the father company of classics like Bombjack, but it seems that they have let their standards slip a little. Paperboy maybe wasn't quite as good as it could have been, but 1942 is definitely lacking. The graphics aren't amazingly good, but the game is averagely playable and addictive. I probably wouldn't go out and buy 1942, because all it is is a fancified shoot 'em up. If you're really amazingly into 'blast the enemy until they are nothing but a clutter of misplaced pixels games,' then there's a fair chance that this game will appeal to you, though it doesn't exactly grab me. But then there wasn't that much to the arcade original in the first place...

This game didn't really impress me in the arcades, so I wasn't that interested when 1942 poked its head around the office door. I'm sorry to say that is seems to have lost a lot of its addictive qualities and playability in the conversion to the Spectrum. The various characters used are not detailed so they look a little on the shoddy side and the use of colour is suspect. The sound is a big disappointment as there are no tunes and only a few effects. Generally, I am a shoot em up fan, but this one doesn't really appeal to me as it simply isn't fun to play.

This must be one of the worst games to come out of the ELITE offices in yonks. 1942 contains extremely basic graphics and colour that is used very unimaginatively. The sound is not too exciting, and does more to get on your nerves than compliment the game. The presentation of the game is the usual ELITE stuff, consisting of all the options and a nice little highscore table. I can't say that I've seen the arcade game, but if this is all that it contains then I'm not looking forward to it. The game is not very responsive and the collision detection is appalling. I also noticed that planes can often fire at you even if they're in their own explosion. 1942 has none of the addictiveness that all the recent ELITE games contain and they have tarnished their good name with this release.

Use of Computer: 70%
Graphics: 65%
Playability: 67%
Getting Started: 68%
Addictive Qualities: 61%
Value for Money: 64%
Overall: 63%

Summary: General Rating: A reasonable conversion of a game that wasn't very good to start with.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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