Virtual Console Wrap-up – 8/10

Another week, another VC release. But this time the release is something special: Super Star Wars! Licensed games don’t tend to pop up on the VC too often, for numerous reasons, so it’s pretty neat to see one pop up from time to time. Is this one worth your money, though? Let’s take a look!

Super Star Wars
Publisher: Lucas Arts (now) / JVC Digital Studios (originally)
Developer: Sculptured Software
Original Release Date: 1992
Cost: 800 Wii Points

Charlie Marsh: SUPER GOD DAMN STAR WARS!!! Oh hell yea!

Adam Powell: Oh holy shit, awesome!

I played this game all the time. I still remember the Cantina level where you have to fight that big baddie from the R2-D2/Chewbacca chess match… that, and there was a variety of levels I really dug – it wasn’t all straight platforming, there were a few vehicle levels as well (like the Death Star trench fight). One of the few actually GOOD movie tie-ins!

Plus you can do the crazy cheat code so you can access sound clips and annoy your friends with the Cantina music. fun stuff!

ML Kennedy: As a loud and proud Genesis owner, I must admit to coveting the Super Nintendo Star Wars games.

Hmmm. . . I honestly thought licensing would be a problem for something like this game. Does this mean we can get Batman for the NES on the VC?

Ashe Collins:Wait, we’re getting Super Star Wars? Oh hell yeah! This and a few other select games made me really jealous of my friend who had a Super Nintendo when I was still playing on a plain old NES.

Fantastic choice for a change. I’d like to see more like this.

Nathan Birch: Well this is certainly an atypical choice for the VC; a licensed, western-developed game. Apparently a suit over at Lucasarts was wandering around some dusty back room and discovered that, holy shit, they actually have a pretty damn amazing back catalog of classic games that can be exploited. I really didn’t think I’d see the day we’d have new Monkey Island, classic Lucasarts adventure games on Steam and Super Star Wars on the VC all at the same time.

Hopefully this is just the beginning for the VC. How about some of the early adventure games from the Commodore 64? Zombies Ate my Neighbours? Rogue Squadron and the podracing game from the N64? Bring it on!

Oh, and maybe I should say something about the game itself. It was gorgeous and sounded amazing for the time, and was pretty ambitious, throwing all sorts of different gameplay styles at you. Like a lot of ambitious SNES games it may not hold up as well as some of the more standard 16-bit fare, but I think it would still be a solid purchase.

Mark B.: Ah, Super Star Wars. Back in the day, when I only had a Genesis, I was rather jealous of those who had an SNES, and thus had access to this game. I was a big Star Wars fan when I was a kid, so I coveted the game more than most SNES titles, as magazine screenshots made it look all about awesome, and I was quite jubilant the day I finally had the opportunity to play the game for the first time.

I was, in a word, underwhelmed.

For a 16-bit game, Super Star Wars looks and sounds pretty nice, with lots of voice samples and music from the movie, but the game itself is nothing to write home about, as it’s essentially a Nintendo Hard platformer with some awkward driving sequences thrown in. You’ve got your blind jumps, your flying enemies that try to kill you while you’re making precision jumps, your constantly respawning enemies, your bosses that are defeated less by pattern recognition and more by just shooting and hoping for the best, and your character who gets completely nerfed every time you die.

I’m not saying that hard games are bad; Contra, which this game is essentially reminiscent of in a lot of respects, was fine, as were Ninja Gaiden and Ghouls and Ghosts, but those games generally had a fair amount of personality and variety to them. Super Star Wars doesn’t really do this; everyone has the same blaster and the same basic moves, and the only difference between the characters is their speed, health, starting blaster level, and in Luke’s case, a lightsaber that varies in usefulness. Two of the three driving sections are completely identical to one another, and you’ll see several of the same stages over again (here’s some sand, here’s some caves, here’s some sand again, here’s a town, here’s a bar, here’s a town again) as you play.

If you’re looking for a hard platformer, you could just download Gunstar Heroes or Super Ghouls and Ghosts and have a better time with either, but if you’re a huge Star Wars fan, I guess this is okay for the sake of nostalgia.

And on the other Nintendo download services, we have Rock N’ Roll Climber (which looks to be a rock climbing simulator… yeah) and NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, which is apparently NOT about the final boss of Persona 3. We also get Brain Age Express: Arts and Letters for DSWare, in case you like Brain Age.

See you next week!



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