I can still remember being a kid and playing Super Star Wars on the SNES. I remember the legendary difficulty causing me to have a tantrum each time I died and was forced to start all the way at the beginning. What I don’t remember is getting all that far into the game, but it turns out my younger self wasn’t too bad at it. In fact, he was much better at it than the man typing this review.
I knew from the second I booted up Super Star Wars on the PS Vita that I was in for a horrid time. It’s not that the game is bad. It’s just so damn difficult. I found myself playing through the first level with Luke Skywalker, briefly pausing every now and then to point out to the Mrs. that I remember a certain enemy and such, with a bit too much care. I stopped whenever I saw an enemy. I held my blaster shots until I was almost certain I could hit my target. These were all my mistakes; I tried to apply modern game principles to a game that’s almost as old as I am.
After dying countless times and using up my ‘continues’ (such an ancient mechanic!), I threw caution to the wind and started firing on all cylinders. I still died a lot, but I at least passed the first couple of levels and got to the landspeeder section. It was at this point that I said “I think this is the farthest I ever got as a kid” to my nonplussed partner. A couple of tries later, I made it to the crawler section where I had to navigate the outside of the mammoth-like sandcrawler to get inside. This took an age and a day, but by this point I’d managed to actually take a second and look through the game’s menus and options. You can actually save your game at any time and then load it up if you run out of continues. This is a lifesaver, and for me, a necessity.
I’ve still not actually finished the game. Despite bumping the difficulty down to ‘easy,’ which isn’t as easy as you may think, those platforming sections are killer no matter the difficulty level. Sure, you take a little less damage, but sometimes the platforming just comes down to luc- er, the Force.
The game retains its original graphics, although there are a few options that allow you to apply a different filter over the image. You can also play the game in its original 4:3 aspect ratio with some fancy artwork on each side of the screen, or you can blow it up to full size. On the Vita this doesn’t look too bad, but on a big HDTV it just looks messy. To each their own, though.
It’s nice to be able to dip into this re-release every now and again, but the impression it left is not as strong as when it originally released on the SNES. As a child, I could sit for hours on end playing the same levels over and over, but as an adult who’s spent the better part of his gaming life being spoiled by generous checkpoints and auto-saves, it’s just not sitting right. For those who want a trip down memory lane, it’s a great throwback. For those expecting a simple platformer to breeze through: you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Disclaimer: This review was conducted using the PS4/PS Vita version of the game and was bought from the PSN at the reviewers expense. For The Games Cabin’s review policies and practices, click here.