Otaku USA Magazine
1942: Joint Strike

1942: Joint Strike is yet another in a line of Capcom franchise reboots that have, so far, delivered in full. Coming from the same team that most recently resuscitated Commando, 1942 thankfully falls along the same lines of success as Wolf of the Battlefield, bringing a fairly priced, addictive addition to the shooter legacy that won’t disappoint fans of high-scoring, bomb-dropping war time action.

The premise is simple, and takes place in an alternate reality in which war still rages on and land, sea and air are filled to capacity with mobile death-dealers just looking for some ragtag heroes to call cannon fodder. You’re not here for story, though, because the hero is you, and if you’re fortunate enough to know some people that share a similar fondness with blowing away digital daredevils, a friend can join in cooperatively, as well.

That’s where the real action of Joint Strike lies; hence the name (which also references the potentially destructive dual-attacks). I’ll go ahead and get that out of the way, because most vertical shooters aren’t very kind to those that want to toss a quarter in the second slot and blast along. It’s usually impossible to tell what’s going on in multiplayer affairs within the genre, but thanks to Backbone’s solid HD graphics and a presentation that was geared from the start for a 16×9 display, it’s rarely a chore to keep an eye on who’s who.

As fun as it is to roll through the game simply trying to survive, the scoring system that beats in the game’s chest will drive any ambitious player to fly kamikaze-style, which is more than half the battle. Your score multiplier increases depending on how close you fly your ship to the enemy, granting players a 16x bonus for practically kissing the nose of an opposing bomber. This can lead to some really intense moments (and some brazenly stupid ones), especially in co-op, in which both players are risking pretty much everything just to get the higher score and stare death right in the eye for a few fleeting moments.

Death is a cruel mistress, no doubt about it. 1942 is difficult enough to make going through the game on normal a somewhat arduous task, and adding in the fact that there’s no continue option just makes it all the more frustrating. Though it doesn’t detract from the overall experience, it would have been a nice option for those wishing to learn the ropes from beginning to end without booting up the first stage again after a failure on the last boss. Then again, the Old School rules in Capcom’s downloadable world, so it’s probably best to suck it up, pull the controller out of that crack in the wall, and lift off again with bandaged thumbs.


At ten bucks, you can’t go wrong with 1942: Joint Strike. Supporting quality like this is as easy as a few button clicks, and your friends will thank you until they get tired of your reckless, score-hunter flying getting in the way of actual game completion. Companies like Sega should hurry up and take note of the way Capcom is handling their classic franchises.

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
System: Xbox 360 / PS3
Available: Now
Rating: RP