1943: The Battle of Midway (NES)

1943 Box Art

1943

System: NES

Release Date: October 1988

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up

It is lucky for us all that Capcom has dumped Micronics for 1943. We played 1942 nearly two game years ago and here is its sequel. I’m going to tell you right now, this is a better game all around. Has a whole lot changed? No, not really, but it’s competent now.

You shoot with the B Button. This is your main attack. Planes come on screen and try to take you out in this vertical scrolling shooter form the top of the screen. Take them out as quickly as possible for your safety. The first upgrade you see in 1943 is that one hit doesn’t kill you. There is an energy meter that decreases with time, getting hit, and using the special attack with the A Button. This hits all enemies on screen and stops the scrolling for a moment. You can also do the loop the loop from 1942 by pressing both the A and B Buttons at the same time, but this usually results in the special attack at the end of the loop.

I was about to give up without being able to beat level two, when I realized that if I held the B Button, I would get a powerful shot. This made defeating the bosses much easier and I stuck around for another half hour past when I would have quit. Doing this allowed me to try some more of the special weapons. When you shoot a squad of red fighters, they drop a POW symbol. If you shoot it, it changes to a shotgun. If your special weapon is leveled up, you can also get a 3-way shot, an auto shot, and more (I didn’t power my special weapon up past 3). The 3-way gun changed my playing. I could hold the B button for rapid fire, then it would automatically powerup. The big planes were child’s play thanks to this method. Same with the stationary guns on the bosses.

I ran into a wall, though. You can power up your offense, defense, energy level, special weapons, and special weapon time limit. I’m not sure I did it correctly, as I spread the powerups evenly. I think I should have spent more on energy level and special weapon time limit. You can powerup during levels by shooting special spots and unlocking special icons. Some icons will give you more energy, but the flower and dragonfly will take you to the upgrade screen. I thought the 3-way gun was best for finding these, as well.

Graphics: 2.0

The graphics aren’t great, but at least they aren’t monotone. The planes are fine and the ocean has some details to it.

Sound: 1.5

The music isn’t great, but at least it has tone and pitch to a point where I don’t want to kill everything.

Gameplay: 2.5

There are powerups, stats, and special weapons. I can’t complain much.

Difficulty: 3.0

Do you have what it takes to go through 24 levels? Even with continues and passwords, I don’t.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I was having enough fun to want to come back and try again. I’ll give it that!

Overall Grade: 2.3

1943 earns a C+. Getting rid of Micronics was the best move Capcom made. 1943 is competent and totally worth a playthrough.

1943: The Battle of Midway Video Review on YouTube

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