Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 08/06/02 | Updated: 08/06/02

Not the final game, but definitely one of the finest in the series!

19XX is one of the final games in the 1940 series that has spawned a ton of offshoots and clones over the years. Featuring some of the best visuals, upfront action and complete destruction in the series {right next to 1944}, you’ll find that this game has everything that you could be looking for in a top-scrolling shooter game. With the availability of different planes that all have their own skills and attributes, you’ll find that there is plenty of diversity here to keep even the most stalwart of shooting genre fans happy! Exceptional difficulty, blazing visual and audio mastery makes this one of the best.

-The Game Play-

It's the same game play that the rest of the 1940 games had; only with three different planes this time around! The flip trick, as well as the weapon upgrades and the bonuses still appear where they should, even though the addition of a cooler looking laser was nice to see. You still roll through several different stages, fighting off the enemy while trying to capture the goal of blowing up everything in your way. All you have to do is maneuver your fighter plane around a screen full of enemies while firing off shots and collecting as many points as you possibly can before you are either shot down or the stage ends.

That’s all that you have to do, and the only thing that works against you is your patience because the game stages are so damned long it seems, that your butt goes numb from sitting there for too long! The stages themselves really never change from one to the next, with the main enemy of the stage being a huge battleship that fires out continuous bullets and you have to try and strafe the different targetable portions of the ship in order to defeat it. The challenge really rests on your ability to clear the different waves of enemies, which can range from small ships flying in from either side to larger ones that float ahead of you. Through this, you’ll collect power up items that will allow you to upgrade your gun and therefore help you on your way to victory overall!

Again, everything is the same here as it was in the other 1940 games. The flip trick is performed with the start button, weapons are used with the firing button, and the movement of the plan hasn't changed one bit! If you're looking for anything else on top of it, you won't find it here, as this is merely a topical upgrade. The new weapons require nothing special, only the presses of your firing button, so the fact that the game controls are familiar is a definite plus! The control is all still here, including the roll option, which will ultimately save your skin from getting blown out of the sky!

The easy to learn, but hard to master back and forth will take practice when it comes down to the heavy fire that blazes across the screen, so learn and master ways around the incoming fire, and you'll do fine! Gamers who have any sort of experience in this type of game play will find that the game really isn’t all that hard to figure out and play with. Beginners may have some trouble in the later stages when it comes down to actually making it through the incoming enemy shots, but it’s nothing that a little practice and some patience can’t accomplish with some time thrown in for good measure.

-The Visuals-

The stages have also been revamped to give a fuller and richer look to the game that include explosion fires and cloud shadows on the islands far below! While this may not seem like much, compared to the other games, this version, visually, kicks the crap out the original in every way! One gripe that I personally have with the game, and that most people will see is that the game really doesn’t variant from one stage to the next. This is something that is noticeable, but it really depends on how much of a stickler for detail and variation you really are in the long run. Special effects are limited to the planes exploding and even that really isn’t much of a leap from the first title, so be prepared to see more of the same but with slightly better color!

-The Audio-

The sound is back, but something more of a kick to it. Each stage music has something a little different with it, and the droning of the planes as they come in for their attacks drone with a heavy buzz! Explosions, propellers buzzing and gunshots ringing round out the audio roster. With the same theme with the variations on the damned music that stuck in your head from the first game, you’ll find that it has been recreated and spruced up yet again over the other 1940 games. The sound effects are also of the same origin, in which your planes exploding and the machine gun fire is all blaring and blazing through your television speakers. What would have been nice to see, is some variation on the game music, because once you’ve heard that damned March of Midway tune, you can’t get it out of your head for weeks.

-The Verdict-

Though this game is nearly the best of the series, only the last 1940 game, 1944, destroys this game without having too much trouble. You’ll find that with the different planes that you can use along with the visually spectacular presentation and the ageless theme of the reworked March of Midway all blend together to make one hell of a game. If you happen to see this game, it’s well worth a few bucks to spend on playing, and if you’re a shooting game fan, then this should definitely be a part of your gaming resume!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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