Super Return of the Jedi
Reviewed by Diane Cote
Can you still hum the theme from Star Wars on demand? How's that Yoda
impression you used to riff off like nobody's business? How many times have
you tried to say, "It's not my fault!" like Han Solo? Have you liked anything else
with Billy Dee Williams in it since this series flew through the theatres?
And, most importantly, did you scream in absolute agony every time you fell off
a ledge in Super Return of The Jedi for Super NES? If you have an answer for
any or all of these questions and you do like to port your games around, have I got
an adventure for you.
The flash of a lightsaber, the shrill cry of fallen Jawas, the excited beeps and
whirs of old R2D2, the percussive blasts of Chewbacca's laser-crossbow, even
the matted fur balls of Wicket the Ewok; they're all in here, in the tiny little
Game Boy cartridge adaption of LucasArts' Super Return of the Jedi, which
Black Pearl Software and THQ have so lovingly delivered to you and I; the
first class Star Wars nuts. They know that we're out there. Waiting for the
word. New Star Wars product? Gimme!
Well, I have to say as unavoidably 8 bit as this game is, it's still pretty cool.
And, even though it will sit side by side some formidable platform games for your
Game Boy, it still deserves a spot in your library simply because of all the Star Wars
goodness they've somehow managed to squeeze into so confined a space.
The graphics are not repellent, which is something that you can sometimes look
forward to on the Game Boy. On the contrary, these, albeit very tiny, monochrome
sprites are just dandy in the detail department. You can even make out Mark
Hamill's face on the 1-up icon. The lightsaber effect, always the coolest element of
the LucasArts SNES trilogy, has been ported down very well. Jumping and spinning
with the lightsaber in your hands (only when you play as Luke, like duh) is very
rewarding although not as effective, from a strategic point of view, as it is
on the Super NES version of the game. The character animation of Leia and Chewbacca
is a little bit of a let down, but you can tell who's who. And it is pretty groovy that
even on this portable version, you get an opportunity to play as a multitude of
individual characters; Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Wicket and that little laughing
slimy thing that hung around Jabba (just kidding).
All of the symphonic accompaniment you could ever ask from a 1/2 inch speaker is
also included in this mini-parcel. Every time you pick up a heart icon, the Star Wars
theme is echoed. No, you won't get bored of it. How dare you think blasphemous
thoughts like that? The laser blasts and enemy sounds have all been truncated from
the SNES version and don't expect to start breathing heavy at the sound of Vader's
heavy breathing. Oh, this might not come as a shock to you but there isn't any
speech samples. Overall, the sound effects and music are satisfactory, not good
enough to warrant throwing out your surround sound system but definitely a part
of the enjoyment of the game.
As far as control goes; get used to many, many falls. There are plenty of ledge type
scenarios and it takes a precise thumb to negotiate those jumps consistently but
you can do it. You've got to blow up the Death Star and save the galaxy from the
Imperial dogs so every footstep counts baby. In a nutshell: The control is as
precise and frustrating as it's Super NES progenitors.
So, what exactly do you get for plunking down your 30 bills on this puppy? Well
you pretty much get everything the Super NES version had to offer in a slightly
compromised form. You get to battle your way through Jabba the Hutt's fortress,
you get to fight on the forest moon of Endor, You get to square off against Vader
and ultimately the Emperor and most cool of all, you get to pilot not only the
Millennium Falcon but also one of those wicked Speeder Bikes to zip around Endor
on. Not a bad little deal if I do say so myself.
THQ, Black Pearl and, obviously, LucasArts have constructed a fine addition to
your Game boy cannon. Super Return of the Jedi doesn't provide the absolute best
gaming that your little mighty mite offers but it does present you the fantastic story
of Star Wars in one more addictive package. For that fact alone, it's worth the
price of admission.
I'm giving Super Return of the Jedi 7 out of 10