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Super Empire Strikes Back

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Released: 1993

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: JVC

Developer: Sculptured Software/LucasArts

Submitted by: Mike Wilcox

Following on from Super Star Wars, SESB (i can’t be arsed to type the whole title!) is basically more of the same. The same graphics and same style of gameplay. The graphics, though, have been improved upon, and they look better than the original. Even the music has been improved upon, taking cues directly from the movie (even the imperial march is present!!!). But (there’s always a but)……..

What the hell happend to the difficulty? I mean, what the hell happend there? It’s as though Yoda himself has ramped up the difficulty to almost Jedi levels, even on easy (brave). You need reflexes of Darth Vader to even master the first few levels. Yes, there is some mindless blasting/lightsaber-waving fun to be had, but its harder to hit anything other than thin air!

The jumps range from pixel perfect to leap-of-faith jobs, requiring guess work for where the next platform is and failing miserably as you fall to your death for the millionth time through the same damn jump as you miss-time it again…and again…..and again…..ad infinitum. Am I missing something? Are games supposed to be…..what’s the word….fun? Or something to send you doolally? My money’s on the last option. The saving grace is the password system. That at least makes the game slightly playable. Slightly.

Now, the music and sound, is something different altogether. The music is sublime and sounds just perfect. The music sounds just like it’s movie counterpart, thanks to the SNES’s music chip. The sounds are taken straight from the movie and make it sound authentic and no some cheesy rip-off or cash in job. Its just a shame that the gameplay wasn’t improved upon. Still.

The graphics have been marginally improved, but to be honest, they didn’t really need it, as SSW’s graphics were the equivilant of looking at Kelly Brooke on a beach, wearing nothing but a Bovril Sandwich and a pint of lager. These are like looking at Angelina Jolie wearing the same sandwich at the same beach…..but with two pints!

Its worth a go just to see what could have been instead of what it is: Hugely unplayable but which looks a stunner and sounds like a dream.

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