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1942: Joint Strike Review

19 August 2008

1942: Joint Strike is the next installment in Capcom’s successful 194X series. Much like its predecessors, Joint Strike is a classic vertical shooter that also enables you to play with another person via the internet or from the comfort of your own home. Though some may confuse this iteration as a direct sequel to Capcom’s original 1942, that is hardly the case. As it turns out, Joint Strike is a compilation of everything successful from the full range of titles within the 194X canon.

Joint Strike starts off by allowing you to select a plane of your choice, each with their strengths and weaknesses. You can select the Mosquito, Lightning or Shinden plane. The Mosquito showcases flashes of strength mixed with high health, Lightning carries a perfect blend of all statistics, while the Shinden offers great speed and missile power. The title pulls this plane variety specifically from 19XX: The War Against Destiny. Joint Strike is also influenced by 1943: The Battle of Midway, as you’re also presented with a health meter and bombs that can clear the screen of all immediate enemies.

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As you progress through the game, you’ll square off not only against aerial assaults, but against land-based foes as well. You’re able to battle these foes through several tactics and easily navigated control schematics. By utilizing your X button, you burst off an unlimited amount of ammo to take down your enemy. If this happens to be too subtle, you can also dispatch them with bombs (triangle button) or missiles (circle or square buttons). Outside of these standard weapons, you’re able to pick up icon upgrades after destroying certain enemies.

These weapon upgrades range in variety and have several levels of effectiveness. You can gain access to laser-like ammo that can then be upgraded to dual beams instead of just one. On the flip side, you can pick up triple direction ammunition that can then be upgraded to 5-way directional ammo. There are three total weapon upgrades to choose from. Icon improvements are not just limited to weaponry, you’re also able to gain icons for health, bomb replenishment, increased power, temporary missile upgrades and more.

While the bulk of the game is very simplistic and extremely easy, the more challenging aspects of Joint Strike are the boss battles. Unfortunately, these encounters are so minimal that it’s hard to justify the purchase price for the rest of the game itself. You can prepare to wage war against over-sized tanks, aircrafts, and even boats, all of which are difficult to take down due to their ability to shoot you from nearly every direction. Despite a shallow game length of roughly an hour, Joint Strike does somewhat save itself from total mediocrity through its multiplayer aspect.

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As Joint Strike’s title implies, multiplayer relies heavily around joint tactics in order to achieve your objectives of destroying each level’s boss. You’re equipped with three different styles of co-op weaponry, my favorite of which is the chain link. The chain link aligns you and your partner with a chain of electricity that will decimate anything that touches it. Therefore if you place yourselves at opposite sides of the screen and fly north and south, you’re capable of doing some severe damage. Online multiplayer offers the same style of play as the offline, however, there is very minimal lag depending on the type of connection your teammate has. I experienced a minor bit of lag after spending about 25 minutes just trying to find someone else to team up with.

If you’re one of those gamers who has a blast playing co-op, then Joint Strike is probably for you. If you're hoping to head through Joint Strike solo, however, you'll undoubtedly be disappointed.

-The Final Word-

While 1942: Joint Strike offers an enjoyable pick up and play experience, there are better PlayStation Network titles available.
  • Plane variety
  • Co-op play
  • A decent amount of upgrade options
  • Hard to find a game online
  • Game length is terribly short
  • Lack of replay value
7.0
Platforms reviewed : PSN
See PSU's reviews scores on Metacritic and Gamerankings

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