Star Wars (Famicom) Retro Review

Star Wars is a 1987 action platformer for the Famicom developed by Namco and published by Namco Home Entertainment. It is based on the first film but does have levels based on the other two films as well. Note this is the only Star Wars game to be Japan exclusive.

Being a japanese only game i couldn’t really understand why the scrolling text at the beginning was in english despite everything else being in japanese. Title screen was quite simplistic and nice although the complete lack of sound wasn’t. The menu gives you two choices and i had no idea what the difference was so i just took turns on which one i played. Cutscenes were interesting, luckily anyone that has watched the movies can kind of guess whats happening from the pictures alone.

Getting into the game the graphics seemed decent although its worth noting Luke has black hair due to obvious color limitations. The music in the background was obviously meant to be the Star Wars theme and its cool the first time you hear it but it loops meaning I started to get tired of it after awhile (especially since it was still playing as i typed this…). As for gameplay i found the controls easy although the attack looked kind of retarded and for some reason you die in a single hit (even though you’re the one with the lightsaber aka laser sword). The menu was easier to figure out than i thought, the top seemed to be some sort of currency counter, the middle was basically a shop for temporary powerups and the bottom was a lives counter. It was embarassing how many times i got a game over even if it did feel like the game was just screwing me over, especially the bosses. I couldn’t even win the first level with game genie codes i found online like Infinite lives and crystals which let me continuously use the sword beam powerup.

Spending a crazy amount of time working out what to do before realizing i could spam the dumb looking float ability, i finally beat the first level and got to a space mission. However it was for absolutely nothing because even the spaceship dies in a single hit and i don’t even think its possible to shoot their projectiles. Basically you have to be the god of videogames or something in order to even have a chance at this game. I definitely wasn’t going to give it any more chances,  totally hate it, in fact i have to wonder if there was a reason it was japan only.

Overall i cannot recommend this game, some people that are used to ‘Nintendo Hard’ games might like to give it a try but i don’t think anyone should ever play it for an extended period of time.



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