SNES A Day 166: Super Strike Eagle


Approximate Release Month: March 1993
Genre: Flight simulation
Developer: Microprose
Publisher: Microprose

Though it is impressive in a technical sense, playing Super Strike Eagle today is a painful experience.

Most of that sentiment is because of my distaste of flight simulators, especially the 16-bit ones that have popped up a few times on SNES A Day. The low resolution of the Super Nintendo combined with a limiting and ancient controller means these kinds of games have a high bar to cross to be enjoyable today. Super Strike Eagle fails to do so.

But boy is it pretty, with amazing Mode 7 effects and a decent approximation of 3D. The only times the graphics let Super Strike Eagle down is the first-person dogfighting missions, where the muddy visuals often blend in together in a very unappealing way. If it weren’t for the targeting computer, I wouldn’t be able to see enemy fighters most of the time! Also, it’s easy to get turned around when entering one of these sorties and end up flying upside down and unable to figure out which way is up.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to complete the first mission of Super Strike Eagle*. In grand console simulation tradition, to win you must be able to land your fighter jet on the aircraft carrier. It’s challenging, and after three runs through the first mission just to crash and burn at the end, I gave up. I was having flashbacks to Top Gun on the NES.

I hate saying this, but given my personal distaste of the flight sim genre, it needs to be said: if you’re into these kinds of games, check out Super Strike Eagle! These things are the antithesis of fun for me, but there’s enough cool stuff going on with surface-level technology and graphics that it should be able to capture some sim-fans’ attention. Just not mine.

*I did when I redid the video for this update. It’s still hard!

Later: Will Tecmo Super NBA Basketball be as good as the developer’s classic football games? Probably not.

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