Joint Strike is a great way to kill a short period of time...just like an arcade game should be. It's brief (you can beat it in about 30 minutes), but that plays to its strengths, as it never feels repetitive during such a short time period.
It's short length, combined with a very forgiving Easy (AKA "Penguin") difficulty level, means that most experienced 1942 fans will blow through the whole game in an afternoon. But if you are a fan, this reimagining is very rewarding indeed.
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Joint Strike's short length is bolstered by its difficulty, but it's hard to see gamers coming back for repeated solo player; co-op is the most impressive feature of this update.
I won't pretend that Joint Strike is the most thrilling shoot-'em-up to be revived and relaunched as a digital download, but it's a damn solid effort and if all classic arcade titles received this sort of careful updating before being shunted into our cyber-pipes the world would be a better place.
1942: Joint Strike is a sweet, albeit short gaming experience for fans of classic top-down shooters. Those who have friends to play with will obviously have the most fun with the game, but even solo pilots will find plenty to enjoy here.
A remake that's peculiarly of its time: a western-style, casual gaming aping of the Japanese shoot 'em up that's less homage than banal dilution, and the game sucks the life and vibrancy from its rich lineage. [July 2008, p.99]