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Super Return of the Jedi

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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

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