Holy crap, it sure did snow a lot this week, so much so that work was canceled. I haven’t had a snow day since grade school, but I know that the rules are very clear: You have to play in the snow on a snow day. And what better way to play in the snow than to play video games set on the ice planet Hoth?
The first game I played today, Shadows of the Empire (Nintendo 64, 1996), is an awful video game. It is primarily a third-person shooter with frustrating controls, inadequate graphics, and terrible gameplay. It is a big old turd, almost best left forgotten. Except it has a weirdly good first stage. The first stage is a snow-speeder dogfight stage set during the Battle of Hoth, and is a blast. It is pretty shallow gameplay, but it is fun, and it feels like the Hoth Battle should.
After that one awesome stage, nothing else in the game is playable, so I switched systems, and put in Super Empire Strikes Back (Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 1993). For whatever reason, this is the only game in the trilogy I haven’t played before.
It turns out that this is a really damn difficult game. More so than the other two games in the series. So difficult, that after an hour of gameplay I suspected that I would never get past the first stage. But I persevered, and it turns out that the game has other stages, ones that should be somewhat familiar to any self-respecting total loser.
This is a classic side scrolling style game, based on the classic film. You start the game as Luke Skywalker, who has seen what looks like a meteorite crash off in the distance. You head off on your trusty tauntaun to investigate, just like in the movie. You travel into a series of wampa caves where you fight past dozens of wampas, just like in the movie. Eventually you fight and kill a 40 ft. tall ice monster, just like in the movie. Then you head back onto the surface of the planet, where you slide down a mountain riding on a chunk of ice, until you find and fight the Imperial probe droid, just like in the movie. I haven’t beat the game yet, but I assume that the rest of the game matches the film scene by scene in a similar fashion. I can’t wait for the Darth Vader fight on Dagobah.
And that is how I spent my snow day!
Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.