Review: 1943 – The Battle of Midway (NES)

By Drew Wilson

A sequel to the game 1942, 1943 is also a top down auto-scrolling shooter. Did the game outperform it’s predecessor? We take a look.

1943 – The Battle For Midway is the sequel to the game 1942. This game was released in 1988, this game was also ported over from the arcade to the NES just like it’s predecessor.

This game had numerous features including the ability to upgrade your plane. You could increase the maximum amount of life your plane could hold, the amount of time you could use special weapons and what kind of special weapons could be made available to you as you progress through the game.

Another feature is the energy you can have. If you get hit, you don’t necessarily die, but if your energy reaches zero and you get hit, you’ll definitely be shot out of the sky. You can increase your energy by either shooting at secret locations in various levels and collecting the powerup behind it, shooting down the occasional cluster of red enemies or completely annihilating the boss at the end of each level. Your energy will gradually decrease throughout the level, but getting hit will make that energy level fall even faster.

In addition, you can hold down the fire button and charge up your main weapon. This allows you to fire a particularly powerful shot that can go through multiple enemies. There’s also a roll technique that you can use to stun enemies on the screen. This also takes away from your energy reserves, but it can save you some trouble.

I found this to be another one of those really hard NES games. Despite being able to sustain multiple shots, this game is particularly difficult. The game has, I believe, 32 levels. Good luck even getting to level 10. If you like those games that requires really quick reflexes and disallows 99.9% of all gamers from completing it, then this game is for you. If you prefer a slightly easier game that gives you a chance, head for the hills. You are a lone plane fighting against the world’s supply of aircraft and many of these enemies aren’t exactly easy to fend off.

Graphically, this game was pretty decent. The details of the planes were well done. The water and land was decent enough. The clouds dotting the landscapes were also not bad. In addition, the differing colour tones broke up the levels nicely.

The sounds were also a nice highlight of the game. The music was pretty good and the sound effects were nicely put together. So, few complaints in that department other than the fact that there was only a small handful of songs to be had in this game.

Overall, this game had little replay value because it was frustratingly difficult. That’s pretty much one of my few complaints about this game. Once you get over the fact that you get shot out of the sky fairly early on in the game, it isn’t a bad way to kill a few hours.


Furthest point in game: Died on level 9.

General gameplay: 18/25
Replay value: 4/10
Graphics: 8/10
Audio: 4/5

Overall rating: 68%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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