I still like 1942. It's simple and has a miserable NES port, but since it was the game that got me into the SHMUP genre I'll always have an incomprehensible love for it. Let's face it, even if you're playing the arcade version this game hasn't aged that well. Maneuver around the screen, shoot your enemies, collect a few power-ups. The genre has involved so much from here that it's really hard for those who never played to see it as anything more than a relic.
1942 is ugly. There are worse looking games out there for the NES, but 1942 gets no points for being aesthetically pleasing. Much of the game is played against a blinding blue or green background, and in motion, the archipelagoes of the Pacific Theatre do little more than muddy up your perception of the enemy planes. Acoustically, the game is worse, spewing out the hardware's best approximation of a drum corps that grates the ears like sandpaper. Kinaesthetically, it feels slow and clunky, since the port job is so shoddy. 1942 gets points for being our first shmup, but I feel no urge to return to it.