Virtual Console Wrap-up – 9/7

We all had a funny feeling what this week’s VC release would be. We have a trilogy to complete after all. So lets get right to it: Super Return of the Jedi!

Super Return of the Jedi
Publisher: JVC
Developer: LucasArts
Original Release Date: 1994
Cost: 800 Wii Points.

Ashe Collins: And this one completes that collection. Let’s hope they keep it on a roll.

Mark B.: Well, the good news is that Super Return of the Jedi is pretty much the best game in the series. The different characters you can select (Leia, Luke, Han, Chewbacca and Wicket) all have notably different abilities they can use (Luke uses Force Powers and the lightsaber, Han uses the blaster and grenades, etc), there’s a good bit more variety to the stages and level designs, and the game finally implemented a “collect one hundred of a specific item to get a one-up” mechanic to give the player something of a fighting chance at earning more lives. Dying also doesn’t completely nerf your character, and most stages offer you a choice of playable characters instead of simply dictating who you play as, like Super Empire Strikes Back did. If you want to own a Super Star Wars game, this is probably the one to own.

But once again, the bad news is that Super Return of the Jedi is STILL a Nintendo Hard platformer with some awkward driving and flying sequences thrown in. You’ve STILL got your blind jumps, your flying enemies that try to kill you while you’re making precision jumps, your constantly respawning enemies, and your bosses that are defeated less by pattern recognition and more by just shooting and hoping for the best, only NOW they take something like a million years to kill on TOP of it all. The controls are still spotty and the jumping still feels weird, three games in, and the various platform jumping stages still aren’t very fun. Your character still doesn’t get an invincible moment between hits, so you can still get jacked-up in a corner and cheap-killed. Enemies can still push you around, so landing on a ledge an enemy is on is nearly impossible and enemies will frequently push you off of ledges to your death, just because, or they’ll push you into other enemies so you can bump back and forth into enemies and die in a cheap fashion, again, just because.

Once again, if Super Return of the Jedi weren’t a broken mess, it’d be a fun game for people who aren’t fans of the franchise and/or nostalgic; the bosses can be challenging, there’s a good variety of enemies, and there’s plenty of different weapons and powers to use and fool around with. But the game is STILL mechanically broken at a base level, and there are STILL about a hundred other, better “hard” platformers on the VC that are hard because the developers knew what they were doing, not because the developers were lazy. If you HAVE to have one of the trilogy games, Super Return of the Jedi is the one to own, but it’s still not especially good and time still hasn’t been terribly kind to it.

On Wii Ware this week is the revival of Contra, Contra ReBirth, at 1000 points, and some stupid looking game called ColorZ, which picked the worst time to come out between freakin’ Star Wars and freakin’ Contra! It’s 700 points if you’re interested, but I’m going for Contra. Now, if only we could get the original on here…

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