RELEASED: October 1993
AVAILABLE ON: SNES, Wii Virtual Console
DEVELOPER(S): Sculptured Software, LucasArts
PUBLISHER(S): JVC, THQ (SNES), LucasArts (Wii)
I don't need to go over this again, but I'll do it anyway: The Empire Strikes Back is without a single doubt, my favourite Star Wars movie. It has most crucial plot twists in the whole Star Wars universe out of all the movies and spin-offs. "Luke... I am your father" must've be one of the corniest lines in all of movie history when the movie came out, but later, it became one of the defining ones of the whole franchise, the basis of all of Star Wars. In 1993, Sculptured Software and LucasArts developed a sequel to Super Star Wars, which had left many seasoned video game players' asses sore a year prior. They refused to tone down the difficulty of gameplay, but graced players with some slack with the addition of a password system. In Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back we basically have another one of the better movie licenses of the 16-bit era, which is nice to return to due to the authentic Star Wars atmosphere, and because it's based on one of the top films of all time... but all that ice really gives me the creeps.
Ready, are you? What know you of ready?
|This place is hell. This is the only spot that |
was safe enough for me to capture a
The moment you slap in this game, you might falsely think to yourself you've gone and bought the same game as last year, just the packaging is different. Have you been screwed? No, the title card clearly states: "Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back". Whew! Indeed, it's the very same engine. In the long run, the game looks better and more dynamic than its predecessor, but by the first quick glance, you won't know the difference. Which is cool, the game really feels like a solid part of a trilogy, rather than a stand-alone sequel. The sound is still absolutely magnificent, even better than before, in fact. Vintage Star Wars music plays throughout, and even more vintage sound effects are the icing on the cake. Excellent work.
|That animal's as useless as ever.|
Remember the movie the game is based on? What is the main natural element in the beginning of that movie? Yes, ICE. What was the one natural element from platformers that could've made Super Star Wars even more difficult than it already was? The answer is once again: ICE. You see what I'm getting at, here? It isn't just the ice. In the Hoth ice cave, where you must do battle with the wampa, everything that moves hurts you. There are bats everywhere. Not only are they flying bastards, they're HORDES of flying bastards. There are spikes, everywhere - walls, ceilings, floors. Then there are these large creatures that are able to freeze you by breathing at you, making you easy prey for everything that moves. Finally, there are sharp crystals, sticking out of the ground when you are nearby - there are just small graphical hints of where they're located. Once again, this is the second stage of the game. And I'll NEVER be able to beat it. It's just that simple. I have to use a password to be able to make progress. We're not off to a very good start, but from that point on, Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a quite fruitful experience, a true, ultimate challenge to only the most dedicated players. It gets even more difficult later on, of course it does, but at least the later stages don't have ice. That unholy element is quite enough to make me want to stop trying, and there's so much more than that in this cave of horrors.
|Han's last stand.|
|The X-Wing's easy enough to manouver, but |
it keeps getting in your way.
|"Do, or do not. There is no try." He actually |
says that, you know? Yoda's being an asshole!
GRAPHICS : 8.5
SOUND : 9.4
PLAYABILITY : 7.3
LIFESPAN : 8.0
CONCLUSION : 7.6
a.k.a. The Empire Strikes Back, Super Empire Strikes Back