I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s fantasized about having their arcade at home. Even though I’m older and live on my own, the space needed to have a few cabinets in my office is just out of the question. While I'm fully aware of some cheaper alternatives to home arcade machines, very few of them offer any sort of experience that's true to the original cabinet outside of what's offered by RepliCade. As I've stated before in my reviews of RepliCade’s Street Fighter II and Dragon’s Lair cabinets, the 1942 x RepliCade is another worthy addition to anyone’s home arcade set-ups.
1942 x RepliCade Is an approximate remake of the 1980s Capcom classic 1942 and 1943: The Battle of Midway. The cabinet mimics an authentic 1942 arcade cabinet down to the smallest details, from its wood side paneling to the softly lit marquee and its premium feeling joystick and buttons. The quality of this cabinet exceeds what you would find elsewhere, and RepliCade's superb attention to detail elevates this from a neat novelty to something you could proudly display in your office or living room.
The machine is a 1/16th scale replica and stands at 11 inches tall and offers the ability to output to an HDMI TV. While playing on a 4K TV through this cabinet isn’t the most ideal way to play 1942, it's still a much welcome addition and got quite a bit of use at my desk when connected to my computer monitor. That's not to say the screen isn’t up to par though. Its 3:4 LCD screen is brilliantly lit and the viewing angle is comfortable and easy to look at for extended periods. The audio quality is superb and never sounded overly tinny or blown out when I had the volume set to max. The lighting on the machine is a near-perfect emulation of the soft glow you would see in a real arcade machine. The illumination from the upper marquee is evenly spread and gives off a soft glow that's not distracting while playing in the dark. It also looks great on its own and isn’t too distracting or busy when left on.
The 1942 x RepliCade comes with a hefty amount of bonus features such as a mini controller, tiny coins, a full operator's manual, and a dip switch that allows you to customize the game and cabinet settings. The second controller is a great addition here, and I found myself using it often to play the game because it allowed me to sit back a bit. While it's not wireless, it's still a great addition, and the build quality is on the same level as the arcade machine itself. My biggest drawback with the controller is that I couldn’t store it inside the cabinet like I was able to with the Street Fighter II x RepliCade machine. The other physical bonus items such as the operator's manual and small coins, while fun, mostly live in the box.
1942 is a pretty old game that I'm sure most people reading this have either never heard of, or have only played once or twice in an arcade. It's a top-down isometric shooter where you pilot a small plane and fight an impossible number of enemies on-screen. Gameplay-wise it's a classic, and while it's far from easy, it's pretty fair and not too difficult to overcome after a few plays. The additional title in this machine is 1943: The Battle of Midway. While this game is more or less the same as 1942, it's an excellent addition to this arcade simply due to its variety and permanent upgrade paths in-game.
I never felt like I was being robbed of a true arcade experience simply because the joystick and arcade buttons feel fantastic when playing 1942. The build quality of the joystick is tight and premium and the buttons felt tactile and clicky. I never felt like my hands were cramped or at an uncomfortable angle when playing either. Simply put, playing 1942 on this felt great. I can't say the same about the bonus mini arcade controller. While it is far from a bad experience or anything like that, it didn't feel as comfortable as playing on the arcade itself.
The sound and overall presentation, while not necessarily part of the gameplay itself, are just as important here as the near-perfect emulation of 1942. One thing most modern arcade machines miss is the accuracy of that original arcade experience old people like me are so nostalgic for. From the cabinet's warm lighting accents to its crystal clear bassy speakers and brilliant packaging, there's so much to the 1942 x RepliCade that makes this small 11-inch machine the full package, and for a moment, takes me back to the days of playing arcade machines in a dingy LA arcade.
1942 x RepliCade Review | Verdict
New Wave Toys has done it again with the 1942 x RepliCade. Everything about this machine makes it worth checking out. Its absurd attention to detail, build quality, and bonus extras included in the 1942 x RepliCade cabinet make it well worth its asking price. While it could have used a slightly larger controller and maybe a few more options to make its games a little easier, it's a must-have for fans of arcade's, retro gamers, or just someone who wants something different to show off in their gaming room or office.
Techraptor reviewed 1942 x RepliCade with a review unit provided by New Wave Toys. You can get one here.