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XBLRadio Review – “1942: Joint Strike” (XBLA)

 2008 seems to be the year for huge retro classics to make their return onto the Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Store. Backbone Entertainment (developer) and Capcom (developer) bring back a great arcade shooter classic, 1942: Joint Strike! Now if you are a retro arcade fan like me, you will find this review very satisfying.

1942: Joint Strike is set in a universe very similar to our own during World War II.  Players take on the role as a pilot flying one of three unique airplanes.  Players get the choice to either fly the Lightning, Mosquito, or the Shinden. The stats on these planes make them different from each other. The stats include Health, Speed, Power, and Missile. After playing the game numerous times, I feel that the Lightning is by far the best-rounded plane out of the three. With these planes that the players pilot, there are three types of ammunition, a wide, spread, and laser. The planes also carry bombs to help you destroy the numerous of enemies you will encounter. The nice touch to the game was the graphics.

The graphics are for an arcade game, so don’t expect too much. The background is similar to the original arcade, but with a more depth feel to it. The subtle touches to the background give it the great depth feel to it. Even with all the enemies, bullets, ammo upgrades, and/or medals happening all at once, I did not see any issues with the game. The only problem I see with the game is the controls.

The controls are simple which make them pretty good, except you have to mash on the “A” button to fire your primary weapons. The “B” button fires your missiles, while pressing the “Y” button launches your bombs, but you only have a limited amount of both the missiles and bombs. Maneuvering your plane is simple, just move your left joystick. So as you see, the controls are simple, with the downfall being your fingers will be sore by the time you finish the game. Now let’s discuss what makes these remakes so much fun…the difficulty!

If you haven’t noticed, some of these retro games have been somewhat tough. This is no different. There are only 5 levels to go through, with each level getting more difficult…of course. There are four difficulties, Penguin, Slick Sleeve, Dragon Fly, and Wing King. I played this on Penguin, the easiest, and the only way I was able to beat it was on co-op. So be prepared to use your quick reflexes and fast fingers.

This game also features co-op play, via locally or online. Here both you and a buddy bust through all the levels to beat the game, but while playing co-op, you get an added bonus to your plane. It’s called Joint Strikes. These three added features are: Shot Link, Chain Lightning, and Clash Blast. These three features link you and your buddy up so that you can take down the enemies just a little bit easier.

My thoughts of the game is, if you’re a retro fan like me, you already know how much fun it was in the arcade and you probably already have it. For the younger gaming fans that didn’t experience the original, definitely give the demo a try. It is fun and keeps you on your toes…er, finger tips. This game is great fast paced fun, with some challenging boss rushes.

 

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