1942: Joint Strike First Hands-On

The classic vertical shooter is heading to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network with 3D graphics while paying homage to other games in the series.

Among the games Capcom unveiled at its Digital Day press event this week was an Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network remake of 1942. What makes this port of the classic vertical shooter different--aside from its new title, 1942: Joint Strike--is a host of features ranging from full 3D graphics to a liberal number of elements lifted from other games in the series.

Visually, 1942: Joint Strike looks to make full use of its new home on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game still features the same top-down perspective as the original, but with a full 3D engine and graphics. Besides presenting the game in HD, Capcom and Backbone also decided not to crop the screen on widescreen televisions to reflect the game's original narrow field of vision. This is both a blessing and a curse, as you can see much more happening on the screen (while admiring some of the neat effects, like the way the sunlight is reflected off the water), but it also means having to deal with a 16:9 aspect ratio's worth of enemy fighter planes.

Joint Strike will support both single-player and two-player co-op gameplay modes, which is supported online and over Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. While teaming up with a friend, you'll be able to use new weapons, power-ups, and Joint Strike attacks. Our favorite from the time we spent playing was the chain lightning attack, which connected a destructive band of lightning between the two players, allowing them to spread across the full screen and take out anything in between.

Fans of the series will notice Joint Strike doesn't strictly follow the source material. A variety of features from the other games in the 194X collection have been plucked to make this version of 1942 a better representation of the series as a whole. While many of the borrowed elements, like enemy planes and sound effects, are subtle nods to different games in the series, some are far more obvious. One such example is multistage boss fights, which weren't featured until later games in the series but have been adapted for use in Joint Strike to add more variety to the battles. Another example is the setting; while the original focused mainly on fighting over the sea, this game had us spending a great deal of time flying over land and naval yards.

While the side-scrolling and vertical shooter genres are often regarded for their advanced difficulty--a legacy of their origins in quarter-powered arcade machines--the developers want to appeal to a variety of players with this version. That's why they're including four different difficulty settings in the game. However, it's still uncertain whether unlocking the majority of achievement points will require playing at the top skill level. One thing we do know about unlockables is that the original version of the game won't be included.

1942: Joint Strike is scheduled for release this summer on Xbox Live Arcade (800 Microsoft points) and PlayStation Network ($9.99). We'll be sure to keep you updated on its ongoing progress.

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31 comments
sombradagato
sombradagato

Does any 1 know if this game is long? I want to know if it has alot of levels.

sombradagato
sombradagato

Does any 1 know if this game is long? I want to know if it has alot of levels.

bustap949
bustap949

why hasnt this been reviewed yet? Its been out for a damn week!

lowkey254
lowkey254

Classic. You can't beat 2d, even if it is on a 3d engine.

WitteKraai
WitteKraai

I will play the demo of this, certainly, whether I spend money on it or not is a different matter. I remember 1942 being a very good game at the time, and its sequels also being very good. I take issue with graphical overhauls of old games, but still, it might make for a fun experience. If I really love the demo, I'll buy it.. But with reservations. Have any of you played Omega Five? ^_^

sdkingsht
sdkingsht

i miss these games. i'll pick this up. i like some simple classics with a new look. now all i need is r-type and my classic shooter fix will be done.

reckeweg
reckeweg

Sweet, this looks like an enjoyable shooter. Is it just me though or does it look like the players aircraft is shooting lasers? Did we have air to air laser combat technology in 1942? LOL

bigdun56
bigdun56

NIIICE, I loved this game stiil do. I will definetly be picking this up!!

Smoolander
Smoolander

Just need a half decent review to pick this game up. 1942 was great for it's time.

t37nguye
t37nguye

I love 1942, will definitely get this game.

Drakorath
Drakorath

game looks cool and i hope they add new airplanes, its been a while since i've played this game... looking forward to it for sure!

slammedc
slammedc

I'll definitely be purchasing this remake of a great classic

Zevicus
Zevicus

I still have 1942, lets just hope this one is just as good if not better

KLONE360
KLONE360

Cmon i want some brand new shooters not these old games with new looks

haesuse
haesuse

hell yeah! capcom just keeps bringing these old classics in new looks and while i am all about future and new IP's, 1942 is definitely worth replaying in PS3 graphics!

T-razor1
T-razor1

I love Capcom and I love these kind of vertical/horizontal shooters! Keep'em coming! Other Devs should take notes from Capcom. Re-releasing old games with next-gen graphics and gameplay rocks! Did I mention I love Capcom!

artson1966
artson1966

Man boy does this game bring back the good ole days in the mid 80s with the arcade game of 1942. I spent hours and toons of quarters at the arcade while skipping a few classes my senior year.. Now i will have teh blessings from the video game gods to get this on my black box of joy this summer... Quess my summer vacation may halve to be shortened a few days while i go back to my youth and relive many hours of pure joy.......

shaunmc
shaunmc moderator staff

The screenshots don't really do it justice; the new graphics look really nice in action.

bofaisel
bofaisel

i hope it's good but looks not good

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

1942 is THE year that so many games based on..... and I don't aim for something.....

mookaone
mookaone

1942 wsa one of the first games i ever played (Amstrad CPC464) and therefore holds a very special place in my heart. As much as i love the idea of this, im definitely not holding any high expectations.

KingTuttle
KingTuttle

Awesome...more please! XBLA is getting some great games this year.

TexasAnMGrad2K
TexasAnMGrad2K

I loves me some vertical and horizontal shooters - they need more of them on Live!

guppieface
guppieface

ALL RIGHt hope its not a remake that makes the game worse like they did to double dragon on xbl

Goffee71
Goffee71

Looks like it was coded by a nine-year old with a grey and brown paint palette