Star Wars – Nintendo Entertainment System
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Developer: Beam Software
Release Date: November 1991
Nerd Bacon Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Reviewed by: bbpower
There have been very few franchises that have impacted the word like Star Wars. The original films are simply great and have a lot to offer. They were some of the most expensive movies made at the time and the characters and story is still entertaining after decades. Also, the ultimate super villain, Darth Vader, was created from these movies. In return, Star Wars made an excellent foundation for creating some entertaining, yet challenging video games over the years. This is the first NES game to start them off.
Star Wars, which was good enough to be published on several different consoles, is essentially a recreation of the movie in a video game. In this one-player adventure, players control Luke Skywalker through four different level settings, which all lead to destroying the Death Star. Only four levels initially seems like a bust, but each level has different areas to explore and find different team members waiting to be found on the way. Even though it is not entirely following the movie plot, this aspect gives the game a fun twist to assemble the team and gain items on the way to assist in the journey. Each level is different and the enemies vary to give a variety of opponents to destroy with the light saber or blaster.
The game starts off with Luke running around Tatooine in a land speeder hunting for his friends in a system of caves. This level can be frustrating and the enemies are adamant that Luke does not progress with ease. This semi-open level map is great and gives the gamer freedom to roam the level and find energy orbs to revive life bars. However, there is a certain path to follow if you want people to come with you, or you may find yourself returning to the same level only because the story will not progress unless you did the correct steps in order. I found this tedious, but it keeps the player on story line and adds difficulty. This level includes fun settings like Mos Eisley’s bar and the Sandcrawler where R2-D2 is located. However, the designers shoved Obi-Wan Kenobi in a random cave, which did not seem too creative.
The second level is commanding the Millennium Falcon through a ridiculous asteroid field. All I can say here is be sure you grabbed as many power ups on the first level to give the Falcon enough shield to have a fighting change through this poorly assembled level. There is very little players can do besides fly around in first-person mode and miss as many asteroids as possible. It may take you a time or two to get through it and it is going to be a joy (not). I thought this level sucked and was nowhere near as good and exciting as the rest of the game. Players cannot shoot asteroids, but just move the Falcon through the field in hopes you will not take too many hits before you finish the level.
The third level is navigating through the Death Star. The storm troopers have gotten much better at shooting than in the movies, so be prepared for some ruthless enemies. This level is fun though, and requires some thought to get through. This level is maze-like and is easy to go the wrong way and end up back at the beginning. Get through this level with Princess Leia in hand and you are now ready to move onto the final stage and destroy the Death Star with your convoy and defeat the GALACTIC EMPIRE!
Overall this is one of those classic NES games that will make you irritated, but I love to play it. Sometimes you will have those moments where the enemy hit you when it really didn’t and this throws off your whole vibe. The light saber is difficult to get used to and accuracy has to be precise, because it is easy to miss the enemy. The enemies encountered are diverse and movie exact, which is another great detail and adds more points to this game’s score. Some enemies cannot be killed, even with the light saber, which I found to be ridiculous. Like, what can really survive a light saber strike to the face? Also, one minor upsetting detail is Chewbacca does not have a character in the game that players can control; he just pilots the Falcon if Han Solo dies. Another small note that I did not like; Luke can die and you come back to life, but if you die with Han or Leia, you have to go find them again and this gets old fast.
Still, with all my complaints and how mad this game made me on the road to success, Star Wars earned a Nerd Bacon 7.5 out of 10. I like that this game is genuinely fun and it does not ride on the Star Wars brand name to sell like many other video games based around a franchise. This game has appreciated since I scored a copy a decade ago for two bucks. A decent copy will demand roughly $30 American and in my eyes is worth every penny. So instead of dinner and a movie with some hot date, skip on those nothing-to-show-for events and indulge yourself with Star Wars for the NES! Game on!
Also, if you liked this game, or want to keep collecting Star Wars stuff. Check out Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back to continue the adventure and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Both released on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
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