Top 100 SNES Review: #73 – Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1993)

Best Movie, Worst Video Game.

This is the weakest of the SNES Trilogy.

Title ScreenSydlexia’s Ranking: #73/100
My Rating: Star

Woah. This was a rough one for me.

I want to know how I was able to achieve so much more at 9 than 31. The snow covered hills of Hoth and cloudy city of Bespin were impenetrable. What made it worse was how tedious it all was. Instead of reliving the best moments of the movie, you get to explore…caves. Then, you are rewarded with…more caves.

Super Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Hot Water Heater
My favorite boss fight: a bug tussle with a boiler heater.


In observance of the tradition where Act 2 is reserved for the protagonists to encounter their hardships, the shit hits the fan.

Super Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Prett
Eat your heart out Monet.


Overall, the transition from silver screen to side-scroller was not so good.

The lightsaber health bar, thermal detonators, and blaster upgrades all felt right. The reenactments of classic scenes were, uhh, a little rough. Then you descend into the downright weird, encountering bosses and situations nowhere to be found in the original script.

This game really likes to send you down extended corridors with repeated enemies. Finishing a stage is reason to celebrate: no more aimless Rebel base meandering! Except the next stage is the same thing with very few twists to keep it interesting.

It also has a little bit too much NES in its veins. You have to be perfect in the early stages and acquire enough blaster powerups to be potent. Any misstep leads to starting over with a a weeny blaster and death. This means that the first levels, where you excitedly explore multiple caves with vortex winds, are crucial to getting anywhere.

While this is doable in the beginning, the end stages are down right brutal.

Super Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Not Enough Room
Good luck getting onto that little ledge with him.

There is one moment in Bespin where Chewbacca must land jumps perfectly at his apex or fall to his death. The game likes to send enemies just at this time, leaving you with no space to get on the new ledge and having no time to retreat back to the old one.

If that isn’t bad enough, there is one monster that spins around the stage, knocking you side to side helplessly and pushes you over the edge to die. Even with a maximally upgraded blaster, the monster takes 10 seconds to destroy.

Super Star Wars The Empire Stirkes Back Seizure
Seizure alert.

Not only do you have the aforementioned filler of long hallways and a cruel expectation of luck > skill, the game sends you into battle with a bunch of bosses you do not know. It really all amounts to a bunch of crap.


Thankfully the people in the movie didn’t have to face enemies this hard or they’d all be dead.

Other People’s Takes: 

  • Every Game…Ever: “I’m adept at jumping into the icy pits on Hoth that first murder your tauntaun, and then Luke very shortly after.”
  • The Hande: “Finally, the one thing I had expected this game to have would have been the great revelation of Darth Vader’s identity”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s