Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (SNES) Review
Licensed franchised games were often a mess when they made it to a home console from their success of the motion picture. Like The Wizard of Oz that was just god awful and don’t even get me started with Batman Forever. These were probably some of the worst games in the Super Nintendo library. Does Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back turn a new leaf with movie franchises? In today’s review you’ll find out.
Super Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back is a run and gun game and the second one in the franchise that was released on the Super Nintendo in 1993. It improves on the original release with similar controls but adds a double jump. You can also deflect enemy attacks with the use of Luke’s lightsaber, just remember you’ll have to stand still in order to do so.
So now you have the blaster and the light saber. You can press Y to shoot or hold Y for auto-fire. It’s kind of cool having built in turbo on a super Nintendo game. I always hated games where you needed to fire fast and had to mash Y all the time.
Press B to jump or pressing it twice will do the double jump for you.
You can also roll by pressing the diagonal and B button. This was helpful from getting out of certain dangerous situations.
You’ve got a ton of playable characters in Luke Skywalker, Han Solo even Chewbacca makes an appearance.
Super Star Wars takes a break occasionally from the run and gun levels and lets you fly around chasing down AT-AT's or AT-ST’s. Man these mode 7 stages are fun although the low frame rate is less than what you’d be used to for 2022 standards.
There are also some stages where you’re flying the millennium falcon and face off against tie fighters in levels that are almost like a trimmed down version of the popular x-wing and tie fighter games that were popular at the time. I thought that this stage was great, the was no slowdown at all.
To add to the variety there’s also these horizontal shooter levels that really remind me of Gradius. You’re just blasting away at enemies which is really great.
The insane difficulty from the first Super Star Wars game is still here in Empire Strikes Back. It might not be that bad once you’ve played the first game. If it’s your first time playing through Empire Strikes Back, I would suggest looking at a playthrough first before attempting this one. At least there’s a password system that lets you put down the game and pick up where you left off instead of having to play through it straight.
One really cool thing about the Empire Strikes Back is the use of the cutscenes and text in between stages. This really helps break up each of the stages and gives you some perspective that you’re playing a star wars game, Even if it doesn’t follow the movie exactly.
Luke also has added all kinds of really cool force powers that really help you feel like you’re a Jedi when using them. You’ve got to scroll through them by pressing L or R to cycle through them. He’s got Invisibility, Elevation, Mind Control, Deflect, Super Light Saber, Anti Motion, Freeze and Health.
These force powers were a great addition in order to help you make it further in the game. Especially since you can use the health powerup to convert the force orbs you’ll pick up along the way over to health.
I thought that the boss battles were just insane. The bosses have just soooo many hit points and take on so much damage I thought that there was no way I would survive long enough to take any of them down. Oh and don’t get me started on Darth Vader. You’ll be lucky to survive 5 seconds on this fight on hard.
There are a couple of different game modes, Easy, Brave and Jedi. We’ll I’m not brave enough to choose the Jedi or brave mode so I put it on easy and wow this game puts hard Super Nintendo games to shame. Even the easy mode is harder than some quote un quote hard SNES games. There are ways to farm health since the enemies respawn so be careful and take it slow while picking up hearts along the way.
So yeah, Empire Strikes Back definitely improves on the first super star wars game with the addition of the double jump and giving you the blaster and light saber right off the bat. I also really liked how the game is broken up between the platforming stages to the shoot em up stages as well as the flying stages.
The reviews were always great back in the day and that was really nice to see. I would say that Super Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back is a top 100 Super Nintendo Game of all time. If you can somehow manage getting through the bosses, Super Empire strikes back is definitely worth playing today!