Review: Super Star Wars (PS4)

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Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita

Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save Yes
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Super Star Wars
Format: PlayStation Network Download (47.49 MB)
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Code Mystics (Conversion)
Original MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: E
Super Star Wars is also available on Wii (Virtual Console) and Super NES.
The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita download versions were used for this review.
A copy of this game was purchased by the reviewer.
PS Nation Review Policy

The 1992 Super NES hit Super Star Wars has been updated for the current generation of consoles. Does it live up to its classic reputation or is it better left back in time?

Gameplay:
Super Star Wars was originally published in June 1992 by LucasArts and Sculptured Software. Based on the 1977 movie Star Wars, the game loosely follows the original plot, and areas were added that were not in the movie. Code Mystics has faithfully ported this classic over for the next generation of gamers.

Super Star Wars is a classic side scrolling adventure, a genre that was frequently found in the SNES era. You move your character left to right in most cases, collecting power ups and health bar upgrades. Interspersed between levels are vehicle sections that break up the side scrolling sections.

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For the most part the levels are fairly similar, with differences ranging from some having more jumping sections, or some being straightforward with more plentiful enemies. After a while though, the game feels repetitive and it’s tough continuing at times.

… one of the most difficult games from that era …
As I stated before there are vehicle levels designed to break up the monotony, and for the most part they do. The downside to all of the levels is that there’s not much to them – kill this many enemies to move on and collect power ups to make them easier. This becomes repetitive, but growing up in the era, I loved these types of games and still do.

The controls are a throwback to the classic days, but modern gamers may have issues with the twitch controls, especially while jumping or sliding. I recommend using the directional buttons instead of the sticks for better control.

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If Super Star Wars is known for one thing, it’s that it is one of the most difficult games from that era, which remains true to this day for the most part. Your character has four lives to make it through the entire level with no checkpoints. There was also no saving and going back to finish the game, which meant you would have to finish it in one sitting. This is pretty hard to do in this day and age, as I am no longer able to sit in front of the television hours at a time.

… leaderboards and trophy support …
This brings me to the new save feature that was implemented in this version. Fortunately, you can save your spot in the game to play at a later time, although it is not very intuitive. You first have to start a new game, then load your save.

I have used the new save feature to get through difficult spots. If I failed I would reload my previous save and try again, instead of eating through lives and continues. So far this has served me well, and I am able to play in a small chunks as time permits, unlike the good old days. This new feature is the biggest change and most welcomed by me. Other new features include leaderboards and trophy support.

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Visuals:
The 16-bit era is strong in this title and the 90’s are back in full force in Super Star Wars. However, this is where the second big change comes into play. There are three different screen sizes you can choose from, 4:3 which is the original aspect ratio. 16:9, which is three quarters of the screen, and full size screen, which blows up the pixels to a point where it doesn’t do the game justice.

You can also change the scan line option which, depending what you choose, makes the game crisper and cleaner. As I said up top, the game is still in its 16-bit glory, but depending on your tastes you can give this old title a little modern gleam in the graphics department.

… from the John Williams score to the sound effects we all know and love …
Audio:
As anyone could tell you, sound is important to a Star Wars game, and Super Star Wars has never failed. Back in the 90’s it was one of the first titles to feature digital sound. This serves the re-release well, as the sound is one of the best aspects of the game, from the John Williams score to the sound effects we all know and love. The audio ties the whole game together and is an important part of the experience.

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Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
It’s rare that a SNES game finds its way to a PlayStation console. Luckily Super Star Wars is a good addition. While mostly unchanged, the added features are a smart choice for modern gamers and televisions. While it is still a very challenging game, you can play to fit your style, either saving every few minutes or playing straight through like you did back in the day.

If you never played Super Star Wars back in the 90’s, the cheap price point and the addition of Cross-Buy makes it a good deal and worth checking out. The gameplay does not always translate well and it’s a product of its time, but there is a sense of accomplishment when you finally get through a tough section. I recommend that people who are curious, or people who want a trip down memory lane, check it out.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

 

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