1943 is no-nonsense. One life, your health constantly depletes, and best of all, the planes maneuver strategically instead of flying haphazardly like they did in 1942. The smaller insect-like planes are the greatest nuisance, with their kamikaze strategy and bird-like patterns, but don’t discount the big boys. They switch between the background and the foreground (avoiding your fire while doing so), and their heat-seeking missiles are a double dose of obnoxiousness and death. If you fail to destroy the last boss before the screen scrolls fully upward, you have to try the entire level over again. This is war. 1942 was a schoolyard scrap compared to this apocalyptic year-after.
But why would Capcom, a Japanese company, produce a series of shooters where you play as a top American pilot going up against the Japanese? Perhaps there’s self-loathing in the subtext of these games. Either that, or the games are the ultimate revenge for WWII: a series of unbeatable shooters designed to inflame American senses. Few among us have the willpower to conquer them. The rest of us – most of us – get frustrated and put up our white flag in defeat. Meanwhile Capcom laughs all the way to the bank. Revenge complete.
1943 was Capcom’s first major sequel and initially released in the arcades in 1987. One year later, Capcom ported the game to the Famicom/NES. Computer ports of varying quality appeared between 1988 and 1989 for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum.
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Capcom GENRE: Shoot-em-up
RELEASE DATE: 06/20/88 – (JP) 10/1988 – (US)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sinclair ZX81/Spectrum