No Exploding Hitler Head Here
You are the steel-nerved pilot of Super Ace, a trusty P-38 Lightning. Your mission is to travel countless miles towards an ambiguous destination while surviving droves of suicidal enemy warplanes. The year, and the game, is 1942. This vertical shooter is 32 stages of lukewarm enjoyment, sonic annoyances, minor eyestrain, and repetition. The Super Ace is adequately responsive, which makes absurd looking strafe movements between enemies all the more possible. Additionally, a dodge maneuver and poorly defined power-ups aid the player’s plight. There are a handful of different enemy planes, most of which bewilderingly try to dive bomb the Super Ace, rather than shoot at it. While the specifics of the protagonist’s mission are unclear, it is apparently critical enough for the Imperial Japanese Army to order thousands of kamikaze pilots to try to quell it. Every so often there is a boss battle consisting of a dull, yet humongous plane that must be ingloriously defeated. Most of the game takes place over large stretches of featureless blue seas, save occasional earth toned islands, which camouflage enemy aircraft and bullets. As the player trudges onward more and more enemies appear on screen, so many in fact, that palpable slowdown often occurs. 1942’s audio is awful beyond comprehension. A sporadic high-pitched beeping sound (Morse code perhaps?) persists throughout the entire game, and forced me to utilize my TV’s mute button. Disappointingly and bizarrely, the title’s penultimate stage contains the last boss battle, and the final stage is a pushover. There is zero resolution when the protagonist lands on that last aircraft carrier, and the parting sentiment to the player is merely “congratulation.” 1942 is somewhat redeemed by the fact that it is not frustratingly hard and that it is surmountable, although it is not worth the effort or earsore.