Tuesday, August 12, 2008

1942: Joint Strike PSN review

The review for the Playstation Network version of 1942: Joint Strike is now up at VFH Clasico aka Classic VFH . Enjoy!

1942: Joint Strike PSN review - Classic VFH

While there, be sure to check out the XBLA review of the title. See unlike those big name sites like IGN, we don't just copy and paste our multi-platform reviews, each of our reviews are made from the ground, up.
UPDATE (3/22/10) VFH Classic is dead:

Hot off the heels of the release of Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 comes Capcom and Backbone's next retro-revival arcade title, 1942: Joint Strike, a new entry in the 194X series, this is no remake! The game is released on both Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, this review focuses on the PSN version.

Much like every other shoot'em up game, or any other World War II title at that, the main point is that you're good and you have to defeat every last one of your enemies. So don't expect anything in light of story, as soon as you hit start you're going right into battle. And yes, that's a good thing.

Game Modes
As with Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 there are two main modes. The regular campaign, which can be played as one or two players. Or, you can play the same campaign, but online with anyone. Just like Commando 3 though, no one plays the game. I've come to recognize this as a fault of the PSN though, which doesn't have the same community element of Xbox Live. Other than this, you also have an Online Leaderboard for you to track stats with anyone still playing this game, and hey, chances are you may find yourself on top.

As you would expect, the game plays like the rest of the 194X series though feels more like 1943 than 1942, as all the advances from that game have carried over time. As with the 194X series though, and unlike most shooters, holding down the fire button won't do you any good. You'll have to constantly press X to get your bullets flying, its one of the few problem I have with the title as a shooter. I'm all up for button mashing, sometimes, I just don't want it in my shooters.

There are a variety of weapons to mash up though. you'll start off with a simple two bullet shot, and as you progress and defeat enemies, little emblems with appear to give you more options. Such include 3 way and 5 way shots, almost rocket like, and a one way, what seems to be a laser, which cuts through anything in its path. Each has it's up and downs, and adds further strategy as you progress through the game's five levels.

There are also co-op elements to the game, which is obviously not experienced if you plan to play alone. But basically at certain points, you and your comrade can create combined attacks and clear the field in half the time. And lastly is the boss battles. Unlike Commando 3, the boss battles in Joint Strike actually have some variety; as you'll be fighting giant planes, tanks, and ships, each with their own unique attributes. After these fights, you'll be put into retreat mode, retracting your flight back while trying to avoid enemy planes without the aid of bullets.

No cut-scenes or anything, there shouldn't be, this isn't the place. But prior to each levels there is a short segment of your plane(s) flying into battle, in a vintage sepia-tone film style, with purposely grainy audio to boot. It's not much but it certainly fits the time period and reminds you of how far we've come when you play this on your HDTV.

Much like Commando 3 the main sounds of the game will probably be tuned out my the constant sound of gunfire, but it's a little more conservative this time. What's nice is the team tried to keep the sounds fit for the era, with the grainy audio for short video openings. And menus are constantly playing the loud roars of the propeller planes whizzing bye, it's got a neat effect if you have the right sound system.

Final Thoughts
All in all, this is a much more playable, and more fun title than Capcom and Backbone's previous retro effort, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3. Gone is the cheesy style, poor mechanics, and in comes a proper retro-revival. The game is further enjoyed online with voice chat, but you may have trouble finding someone to play on the PSN. Bottom line, if you like shoot'em ups or the 194X series then chances are you'll want to check this out. If you want to enjoy the online however, makes sure you know someone else who has it.


1 comment:

Hampig said...

VFH, sticking it to the man since forever.