Nintendo recently re-released its Super Nintendo classic Super Return of the Jedi on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console. This games appearance on the Virtual Console completes the re-release of the Super Star Wars Trilogy and brings us all back to what gaming was all about in the early 1990’s. It is currently on sale for 800 Nintendo Points, a fairly cheap price for a game, but does it hold up to the standards of the original movies?
Super Return of the Jedi follows the plot of the film. The rebels begin the game with their search for Han Solo, held captive in carbonite by Jabba the Hutt on Luke’s Home world of Tatooine. After rescuing Han, Luke Leia, Chewie and Han are off to Endor to destroy the shield generator protecting the second Death Star so the rebels can destroy it in a desperate assault. Luke also sets about his final confrontation with Darth Vader and the Emperor.
The presentation of the Super Star Wars Series peaks in this chapter of the saga. All of the graphics are refined further to the point of possibly the greatest accuracy of any Star Wars game. Take for example the stages with the Ewok. The Ewok looks and moves exactly like it does in the film, right down to the wobbly walk. The score and sound effects are also great as always. I dare say the Super Star Wars series has the best sound for any video game series ever made.
The controls are also fine tuned with each character’s controls well done to the point of near perfection. There’s still some problems with jumps but the controls are as good as any action Star Wars game.
The gameplay is still a big time challenge, but this time can actually be beaten with practice. The cheat mode is not necessary and the enemies are a bit more forgiving. The game is mostly made up of side scrolling platforming levels with melee and shooting attacking styles. There are also a few vehicle levels that mimic key scenes like the swoop bike chase and the Death Star assault.
Most levels give you a choice of who you wish to play as including Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, and Wicket the Ewok. Each character has their own special strengths and weaknesses which adds a certain strategic element to the game over who to choose. Choose the right character and you can breeze through a level, choose the wrong one and you’re doomed.
Super Return of the Jedi is easily the best game of the Super Star Wars series. The game is polished with few blunders and provides a steep challenge to most gamers. There’s lots to do with a grand story, pretty fun gameplay, and an awesome presentation. While the games were great back in the day, none but Jedi have held up. It’s not as fun as the KOTOR series or the Force Unleashed, but Super Return of the JedI still provides a fun and inexpensive Star Wars experience that in some ways truer to the universe than any of the other Star Wars video games.
Game review by Anthony Lifrieri.
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