1944: The Loop Master

-Capcom (2000)


The Story

With his incredible flying skills, ace pilot Jonathan Striker had become known to as the Loop Master. He has perfected the loop attack, but in expense of another skill he used to hone, the Tsunami Summon. Perhaps someday he will get to practice it again, but it will have to wait. Striker has his toughest mission ahead of him.

Soldiers on the Allied and Axis sides of the war have been displeased with their respective countries' results during the war. Through coded transmissions, traitors on both sides of the war have formed an alliance and now fight their former Axis and Allied comrades. One of the Axis commanders is a survivor from Strikerís XX secret mission. He has brought with him the laser technology that his descendant originally brought from the future. Lasers have been added to many of the larger planes and vehicles. Once again Jonathan Striker must fight against technology from the future. Fortunately, a spy in this deadly alliance has given Striker and his new wingman lasers of their own.

This new force has unleashed surprise attacks on each of their countries, hoping to turn the tide of war in their direction. Because of this treachery, Striker has joined forces with an ace Japanese Zero pilot named Ryu Tsunaka. Striker and Tsunaka must set aside their feelings for their former countrymen and each other. The two must find the mobile base of this new threat and end this conflict before the war gets any worse.

My Thoughts

The biggest difference youíll notice in 1944 from the previous games is the screen orientation. Capcom has forgone the typical vertical screen position for this installment and has made it a horizontal screen ratio. It doesnít affect the gameplay too much, only that thereís less crowding when playing with two players.

This game is incredibly fast-paced when compared to the previous games in the series. For that matter itís faster then a lot of shooters. The only time you have to breathe is between stages. The stage quantity has been beefed-up to a bigger number again like the 1942 and 1943 with fifteen intense stages.   

The familiar power-ups are here and you have limited loop ability depending on the number of special power-ups collected. If Iím called the Loop Master I want to loop de loop at will. This time a shower of missiles destroys your enemies when you perform the loop. You get mini support planes, too. Collect enough of the needed icons and more planes get added to the inventory. Youíll get so many that there will be an endless supply of mini planes at your disposal. About halfway through the game the support planes are upgraded to laser planes. The charge attack also returns but is much cooler than before. Upon completing the charge the plane flies to a higher altitude and fires greens death lasers down on the enemies below.   

The bosses are tough and each has a name like New Type Heavy Tank Chouto and Super Gigantic Battleship Kaijin. Many of the bosses come in twos. Two bombers fight you, two tanks, two battleships, and a couple are actually three. The final stage/boss is a massive mobile base with tons of guns, cannons, missile launchers and the like. This is a great game all around. It's fast, has an excellent number of stages, and nice power-ups. Something damn cool are the symbols of the new alliance, which you get to see in a collage of pictures after defeating a boss. Some of them are like air forces symbol, but with a sword through it. Others have eagles or eagle wings with arrows or sais. Awesome stuff.

Score: 8.0








More shooter action from the 1940s: 1941, 1942, 1943, 19XX.

More 1940s shooter action from Psikyo: Strikers 1945, Strikers 1945 II, Strikers 1945 (PS One), Strikers 1945 III.

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