Capcom Plunder-ing 1942 on XBLA, PSN

Backbone remaking Japanese publisher's arcade classic for next-gen consoles; new pirate-themed casual RTS from Certain Affinity in download dry dock.

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Besides unveiling Lost Planet Colonies and the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix beta, Capcom also announced this week that it is readying two downloadable titles for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.

1942: Joint Strike
1942: Joint Strike

The first will be familiar to gamers old enough to remember a time when young people congregated at darkened, loud establishments called "arcades." 1942: Joint Strike will become the latest remake of a classic quarter swallower, in this case, 1984's 1942. The game will feature 3D art and a play style reminiscent of the 2D vertical shooter that cast players as the pilot of an American fighter pilot strafing the Imperial Japanese navy during World War II. It will also have the 1942 series' trademark two-player mode, which can be played both locally and online.

When 1942 came out, even a sixth grader could appreciate the irony of a Japanese-developed game glorifying the ship-sinking and Zero-annihilating abilities of US Navy P-38 Lightnings. However, Joint Strike won't have that dilemma, as it is being developed by Backbone Entertainment (Death Jr., Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix), a member of the Foundation 9 studio collective.

Plunder from down under.
Plunder from down under.

For those preferring less modern high-seas combat, Capcom has commissioned Austin, Texas-based developer Certain Affinity to create an all-new project that will further exploit the ongoing craze for all things buccaneer. Called Plunder, the game will have players assume the captaincy of a pirate ship with a mission to sink enemies, loot merchant vessels, and conquer seaside towns.

Though it's not Bungie Studios' fabled Pimps at Sea, Plunder was designed by Max "Yeroen" Hoberman, the former lead designer of Halo 2 and Halo 3's multiplayer mode. However, unlike Sid Meier's pirates, the new game will focus on "casual real-time strategy" which will support four players locally or eight players online. With their ill-gotten gains, players will be able to buy upgrades to their ships to help them navigate 25 challenges. The game will also have a level-creation tool to allow players to create their own maps.

Though still unpriced, Plunder is rated E for Everyone and set for a summer 2008 release on Xbox Live Arcade, the PlayStation Network, and on the PC. The still-unrated 1942: Joint Strike will be available on XBLA for 800 Microsoft points ($9.99) and the PlayStation Network for $9.99.

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