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RELEASE DATE (NA): November 1992 GENRE: Platformer
// review by Lydia

Star Bores.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

It was a period of pushing out games to make money off a popular movie franchise. Rebel game developers, striking from...wherever, made a Star Wars game that goes against the good tastes of respectable gamers. Seriously, this game is a slap in the face of Star Wars fans everywhere. It may follow the plot and have the characters, but the game is but a hollow shell of the glorious space-adventure-ness that it could have been. If I had to pick one word to describe this game, it would be "vague". It's like dipping into your favorite ice cream and finding out someone left the tiniest amount of it and dug out all of the good stuff. Seriously, what good is cookies & cream without the cookies? And what good is a game of Star Wars without the Wookies?

Everyone should know the synopsis of the first Star Wars by now. Luke leaves the ashes of his home to go space-venturing with Adobe-Wan Kenobi, a fuzzy nerf herder, a walking carpet, and two droids that everyone is looking for but no one sees. If you play this game without being familiar with the movie, you are in for a rough time. The game never explains much of the plot beyond the introduction's scrolling text that's word-for-word from the movie (understandably, of course). You're pretty much on your own from then on. C3PO shows up a few times to give you a general direction. It's like asking a man for directions on how to get to Albuquerque and he responds by saying, "Go west, young man." How far west? Do I go in a straight line or is it more north-west-west? What state is it in? Am I even in the right country? So it goes with Star Wars.

"The princess is scheduled to be terminated." Okay, so...I rescue her? Is that what I'm supposed to do? Apparently not. The game wants you to do something with the computer before saving the space damsel in the dress. The beginning is even more confusing! I had to play through most of the game twice because I didn't know I was supposed to find Obi-Wan and get the light saber. I know that's how it goes in the movie, but because Obi-Wan showed up in the "character select" screen, I just assumed he joined in when I found R2D2. You can get through about 60% of the game without the light saber before you hit a dead end. Even then, it doesn't actually tell you that you need it. You're just firing away at a boss, hoping that you kill him before you drop dead of gaming exhaustion. Finding Obi-Wan will drive you there anyway. You can complete the level he is located in without giving him so much as a side-eye. If you don't know where he is, you will end up roaming around the desert until you give up and decide that you don't need that silly glow stick anyway. Another downside to the game's story is that you cannot use all of the cool characters. I hope you don't want to play as Chewbacca because the developers seem to be prejudiced against Wookies. The only time you see Chewbacca is when a pathetic little picture rendition of him shows up in the ending screen. It's quite disappointing...hey! Just like the rest of the game! How about that...

Oh, and apparently Obi-Wan Kenobi is a general in this game...which was never mentioned in the first three Star Wars movies. Huh.

Even George Lucas wouldn't give it the thumbs-up.

Now we come to the good stuff...the bad good stuff. Everywhere you turn, there is something to complain about. There's something waiting to shoot you in the face once you show the whites of your eyes (or lack of eyes). The first enemies you encounter are water droplets from some stalactites. I know some sites say it's acid, but why is there acid on the roof of caves? If one so much as lightly grazes you, your character will fly forward or backward, oftentimes forcing you to drop helplessly onto spikes. It's no fun if you have to tiptoe through the levels like that! Be a man and take it, Luke! The game gives you health in the form of radiated gumballs of energy. In the levels where you are being barraged by enemies, there is no health in sight; when there is nothing in the level but counterproductive elevators, there is enough health to fill up two giant gumball machines. Oh, Star Wars, that isn't how health is supposed to work! It would be much more useful right after you force me to charge head-on into an Imperial turret! God, those turrets are annoying. They are practically impassable since they shoot immediately once you see them. That may not sound like much of a predicament, but when you can only see a few feet in front of you, you need space to evade the tic-tac laser pellets of DOOM. Your own laser tic-tacs are of no use to you here; these turrets are impenetrable. The game forces you to take a flying leap of faith in order to pass them. If you don't make it safely to the other side, you are dead. Oh, you had full health? Too bad—you dead, try again...and again, and again.

Bad news: this game has fall damage.

Worst news: Luke has some major jumps.

Why does a game that allows the characters to jump much higher than they ought to have fall damage? If you super jump off a conveyor belt and miss the platform, you will lose health. It may not be much, it may be a lot; I'm not sure since it changed as much and as often than a politician after election day.

If you decide to play as a different character (such as Han Solo—who was the best character in my opinion), don't play as your favorite first. If you die as that character, you cannot use them again. I'm not sure if this ever changes, but whenever I tried to use Han after he had died, the game told me "Han Solo is not with you." I guess I just left him lying there all alone on those spikes back there. No health gumballs can bring him back. There's not even a moment of silence for the fallen brethren; there's just a "Nope! Sorry, he dead." Dang, I needed him to shoot down the twenty clones of Greedo! Remember: in the Game of Clones, Han shoots first.

The last grievance that I will air out is the flying through space levels. In the asteroid level, the game gives you crosshairs that do nothing. I was so confused when I came to this part of the game. I mean, it looks like you are supposed to shoot the asteroids hurling at your windshield. I was not sure if I was supposed to be going in a certain direction either. What's even worse? If you die in this level, it's a total game over. That's right, the game gives you no continues if you bump into an asteroid too many times. Overall, there was too little information given about these levels. As it turns out, all you have to do is leave the crosshairs in a corner of the screen until you get to the Death Star. Way to go, Star Wars game! You overcomplicated and overly simple level! It's like having a two-page recipe for boiling water. The last level is a top down perspective as you race down the chasms of the Death Star. Your most powerful guns shoot forward...too bad 90% of the enemies come from behind. The ending of the level is just a square on the floor. I shot it thinking that was how you beat it (you know, like Luke did in the actual movie). NOPE. You just have to run into it. Then the game ends. Hallelujah.

I love the Star Wars movies, so I was deeply disappointed at how weak this game was. There were so many ways that a game about Star Wars could go right, but these developers found that one way to make a game that is annoying and frustrating to play.

"But what about the people who haven't seen the movie?"

Let me tell you this: if you have not seen the movie, you will not beat this game.

In the modified words of Admiral Ackbar—it's a CRAP...


No! Bad Leia! Bad eerie-faced provocative Leia!

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