Image via WikipediaAh, 1942... One of the better known arcade games from Midway... Control one of the best allied fighter plane and shoot your way across the Pacific and destroy the Japanese Navy after Pearl Harbor. Now that it has gotten a mobile port, is it any good? Unfortunately, no, at least not this particular version.
1942 is a vertical shooter... You "fly up" the screen, enemies come down the screen. Well, you get the idea. Occaisonally some enemy bombers come along, and at the end of level you need to shoot down a "boss", could be air target or surface target. During the fight you can pick up different weapons, which includes heavy MG, fast MG, "shotgun", and so on. In emergencies you can do a "bomb and loop", which is equivalent to a "nuke em all" (destroys all enemies on screen except bosses).
The problem with the port is... Various problems... My LG enV has a "landscape" screen, but 1942 was meant to be played on a "portrait" screen. Thus, the action is very squashed, but the planes look normal, so the scale is completely wrong. Second, the pace is also completely wrong. I have played 1942 in arcades, and this game is WAY TOO SLOW. Third, the power-up icons are WAY TOO SMALL, so you can't see which weapon you're picking up. This causes are LOT of problems as some weapons are much better for other sections than others. Also, this multi-weapon feature was NOT really 1942, but actually introduced in its sequel, 1943, so this is NOT an authentic port. The ability to "choose" among 3 different planes (P-38 Lightning, Dehaviland Mosquito, Japanese Kaizen?) adds to that.
The actual play is not that bad... But enemies are not varied enough. The "bonus" formations that you shoot for powerups are not shown separately from the regulars. What the heck is a "battleship cruiser"? How can I be flying so slow so I'm almost hovering? No escorts? A SUBMARINE that can go as fast as a plane? A railroad gun car that can do the same? Typical problem wtih such "bosses". WAY too powerful.
And that "railroad gun car" has a "flame thrower" (!?) that shoots 3 streams of fire that "sweeps" the screen. You can't move fast enough to dodge it. Maybe in that very weak but very fast plane, but what's the point in sending up an enemy that' can't be beat? And it has four additional turrets that are armored, and invulnerable until it opens to take a shot. Why can't I just bomb the rails to stop it, then bomb it from high altitude? Huh? But then that wouldn't be "fun", right?
The bosses aren't authentic either. The super-bomber appeared more than once, the "battleship cruiser" appeared more than once. No fun, man, no fun! Some levels didn't even HAVE bosses!
The graphics are okay, but as explained before, the planes seem to have the wrong scale, the "speed" seems to be wrong, and the sound doesn't help much. No anti-air except for the occasional tanks and patrol boats.
All in all, this weird combination of 1942 and 1943 isn't that much fun to actually play. The way-too-small power-ups makes the game a lot less fun than it could be.
Overall rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: seems to be more 1943 and than 1942 with multiple starting planes and powerups
Cons: scale wrong, speed wrong, powerups way too small, overall just not fun
Verdict: Arcade classic got some weird revisions that looks like the original, but doesn't play like the original.