I’ve been a fan of the “Star Wars” movie series since I was a little kid; the mysterious Force, excellent characters, and promise of adventure and action drew me in. So when Super Star Wars was announced as a re-release for Vita, I was on board. Even though you know exactly what will happen, as a Star Wars fan, you should enjoy Super Star Wars.
Super Star Wars is a port of the SNES game by the same name. The game takes place during “Star Wars IV: A New Hope,” and it has you starting as the role of Luke Skywalker as he matures from a young man on Tatooine into a warrior blowing up the Death Star. It follows its corresponding film more or less and you play as Luke for most of the time – later on you can choose to play as him, Han Solo or Chewbacca. Naturally, you start off with just a blaster, until you meet Obi-Wan and he gives you your first Lightsaber and you can switch between the two.
I really appreciate that the game follows the movie and doesn’t add any sort of filler; there aren’t any scenes added to make it longer, and you can’t blow up the Death Star as Han – you have to be Luke. It upholds the standards of the movie and that is what Star Wars fans want in a game.
Super Star Wars is notorious for its difficulty, and the port is no different. This game isn’t for the faint of heart. You will find yourself raging and fatigued as you continuously die over and over again. The caveat is that this game has been given some features that make it more accessible for everyone. The first is the ability to save your place in-game. You can load up as you please and learn from mistakes you make. One piece of advice: don’t be free with your saves. Many times I would freely save and lose lives, effectively backing me into a corner where I only had a single life for the rest of the game. The other addition is the original’s cheat codes, which you can use for various things like invincible mode. On top of that, you can change difficulty in the menu from three options: “Easy,” “Normal” and “Jedi.” Normal is brutal. I struggled through the first few levels on it, so I wouldn’t recommend it for most gamers. Sadly, Easy is too easy. I swept through it. There isn’t any middle ground, and that’s what is duly needed – something challenging, but not too hard.
The levels are actually fun apart from the difficulty. They are well-designed and make you think – having to time your movements and all. The worst levels, however, were the flying/vehicle levels. They were awkward and were a pain to get through. Furthermore, the controls weren’t really laid out well, making them even more difficult. That’s one thing that bugged me overall in the game, you weren’t really told the controls; I didn’t find out what they were until I dove into the menus and found them.
The length of Super Star Wars is fairly short, totaling around two and a half or three hours – that is, if you are doing a flawless playthrough. In reality, even if you play on Easy, you can expect around four or five hours of play, and it’s actually a fun few hours. If you’re a Star Wars fan, then you’ll enjoy your time and think it was worth it. There is one big problem with Super Star Wars, though, and that is it’s graphical quality.
Even though Super Star Wars is a port, it is painfully obvious that it comes from the early ‘90s. The characters are pixelated and hard on the eyes, and I even got a headache if I played more than a half hour from looking at them. The other problem is that the screen is shown in a 4:3 ratio (standard definition) instead of 16:9 (high definition). To make up for the blank space, a graphic of the Millenium Falcon and Death Star wrap around the screen. Strangely enough, you have to go into the menus to make it take up all of the Vita’s screen, when you think it would already use that real estate as a port with added features.
Overall, Super Star Wars is a good game. However, like all licensed games, it can only be truly appreciated by fans of the series. The iconic music and characters will draw you into the fourth movies story and keep you there as long as you’re tolerant of the abnormal difficulty. Again, I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone but Star Wars fans, and even some will be turned off by the dated graphics.