Super Empire Strikes Back
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6  |  Super Empire Strikes Back Review (SNES)
larsoncc , 4/30/2003 11:39:54 AM

Super Empire Strikes Back for the Super Nintendo shows off the fact that the SNES had a great color palette, a fantastic sound chip, some cool special effects, and a whole pile of games that should have been cool, but weren't.

Super Empire Strikes Back is bang-your-head difficult. No kidding. Apparently, you're able to control Han Solo and Chewbacca in SESB, but good luck getting to those levels. On the highest difficulty level, you'll be fighting against all odds just to survive the snowy surface of Hoth. Your Taun Taun is completely doomed. If you are an absolute gaming master, you should also be able to fly around in the Millennium Falcon.

Before I describe the good parts of Super Empire Strikes Back, I think I'll describe what are some of the more... odd elements of the game's play. The way that Luke swings his light saber makes me wonder if the game's artists just finished a baseball video game. Or, maybe Lucas is a big baseball fan. Baseball fits in there somewhere, I'll tell you that - no WAY are these animations are accurately portraying how Luke swings his light saber. Another fun little oddity is the COMPLETELY OUT OF PLACE items that show up when you slay your foes. A cute little heart will come jumping merrily out of a slain warthog, and bounce around... It's absolutely, undeniably stupid. The power-ups are like no other element in the game. It's as if Lucas regretted the decision NOT to include Ewoks earlier in the trilogy... And he took out his frustrations on the hapless developers of Super Empire Strikes Back.

Oddly hacked together - that's the feeling you'll have while playing Super Empire Strikes Back. On the positive side of the game, the visuals are stunning. They really are, considering the relative speed and power of the Super Nintendo. Liberal, yet still GOOD use of special effects. You'll want to pull this game out of the closet occasionally to have a look at how well they put together the cuts between scenes, and how effects like snow are handled. But then you get some of the odd elements, like I mentioned above - the weird sword swinging, hearts jumping everywhere, and the feeling that this game is a bit "off."

Likewise, the music is fantastic. Any time I need to remind myself why the Super Nintendo was so popular, I'll just crank up the introductory movie to Super Empire Strikes Back. But the sound effects are sparse at best. The light saber, the pistol, and a few scattered weapon and animal sounds are all that you'll find.

The controls are laid out well - but they are mushy, and you'll find yourself stuck in situations you can't get out of.

So, there you have it. Super Empire Strikes Back is only OK - there are a lot of real annoyances with the game. Beyond that though, it is worth a look, especially if you can find it for a few bucks at your local game store. I give SESB a 6/10.

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