Click New Game. Then click the X in the top corner.
Use ASDW keys to move and J and K to fire.
1942 and the rise of the shoot-em-up arcade game genre
Whether you were a child of the 70’s and 80’s or are a gaming enthusiast who enjoys playing the old classics there’s no doubt you will have heard of Capcom’s popular 1942 world war 2 fighter pilot shoot-em-up video game. Initially released onto the arcade game machines before being ported to several different home consoles this fast paced title proved to be one of Capcom’s more popular titles which went on to spawn a long list of follow on versions, as well as scores of copycat titles by other companies. Although Capcom is better known for its other games, such as Street Fighter or Mega man, 1942 was released at a time when shoot-em-ups were gaining popularity with gaming enthusiasts all over the world. In fact up until its release the majority of shoot-em-ups such as Asteroids, Galaxian or the iconic space invaders were limited to mainly space ship styled story lines with players battling aliens.
1942 came along and turned the status quo on its head introducing a unique World War 2 storyline, various fighter jet characters, each with their own unique weapons, a challenging super fast game-play, level ending boss battles and sharper 3-D styled graphics. Players could also use a roll-plane feature to dodge bullets when things got too hairy and had the ability to continually increase the power of their weapons or change their gun types throughout the levels. Gamers could also choose to either play alone or have a friend jump into the game at any point to help you blast your way to the end as a double team; a feature that has been copied by endless other shoot-em-up games ever since.
The huge popularity of the 1942 title influenced many of Capcom’s preceding vertical shoot-em-up games such as ‘Varth’ which shared almost identical game-play. From 1984 up until the year 2000 the company released 5 follow up versions, as well as porting re-makes onto the Playstation, PSP and Xbox consoles. In fact due to popular request the latest version of this classic came out in 2010 for Apples I-phone, with various other non-official copies being offered under different names and for various types of media devices.
The history and rise of the shoot-em-up
The 1942 shoot-em-up arcade game classic definitely played a big roll in bringing this sub-genre of video games into the spotlight, but it was by no means the first of its kind. If asked, most people will tell you that the popular ‘Space Invaders’ (1978) game was the first shoot-em-up around, but actually it was simply more popular due to the time that it was released. In fact it is widely believed that the first ever developed game of this genre was named ‘Spacewars’ a simple vertical styled shoot-em-up designed back in 1961 and later released into the arcades in the 1970’s; it simply involved two space craft fighting it out in a one on one battle.
Although Spacewars was the pioneering title of this genre, Space Invaders brought this type of game into the public eye becoming an overnight success and actually causing a marked reduction of coin availability in Japan. Initially game developers were limited to space type shoot-em-up storylines because the technology of the time would not allow for colored backgrounds, though during the late 70’s and mid-80’s as money flowed into the industry better equipment allowed for more imaginative ideas.
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