Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Wii Virtual Console Game Review

Darth Vader Wii GameRecently, Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was re-released on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console for 800 Nintendo Points.  Known for it’s platforming and action, the game is the second of the Super Star Wars series released in the early to mid 1990’s  on the Super Nintendo and received a lot of play back in the day.   While the game was acclaimed 15 years ago, can it still hold up to today’s standards?

Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back continues on the story of Super Star Wars.  It follows the plot of the first film fairly closely with second film of the series.  Luke goes to Dagobah to learn the ways of the force from Yoda.   Meanwhile, Han Solo, Leia, Chewie and C3PO go through the Asteroid Field and to Cloud City there they are betrayed by Lando.  Luke must face Vader at the end of the game in the climatic battle.

The presentation is similar to the Super Star Wars but a little improved.   The graphics are a bit more polished than the last game which were brilliant to begin with.  The sound is the same from the last game.  The sound effects are perfectly ported from the series.  The music is ported extremely well from the movie onto the SNES’ capabilities and is really a treat.  There are some voices in this game, but very few and not done well.  Darth Vader’s “Impressive” sounds nothing like James Earl Jones.

The controls are improved over the last game thanks to a reworked double jump.  The new double jump makes jumping much easier than the last game and the light saber workings with Luke are also better.  Each character also gets a secondary weapon in the game.  Luke gets force powers while Han and Chewbacca get grenades.  Needless to say Luke’s game is easier.

As for the gameplay, Lucasarts determined that the first game, while already difficult, wasn’t hard enough so they cranked up the difficulty further.  The enemies are harder to defeat and the platforming elements, a weakness form the first game, is even worse.  This game is impossible to play without cheating.   The game is so hard, the annoyance created is unbearable.  Even on easy it’s tough to get through a single level without dying.  I can’t understand why anyone would make a game this difficult. The average gamer could never enjoy this game.

All in All, Super Empire Strikes Back is ruined by its impossible difficulty.  Some games are enhanced by a challenge while others are ruined by it.  This happens to be one of those games.  If I had to choose between playing Super Empire Strikes Back and watching continuous clips of Jar Jar Binks, I’d seriously consider Jar Jar…

Game review by Anthony Lifrieri.

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