I just watched part of a long play of this version of Wing Commander on YouTube, and the guy who did it complained that the AI in the game is dumb and that you never get shot at. Is this true, and is this version of Wing Commander too easy?
That is not true, Wing Commander on the SNES isn't known for being especially easy. (The big problem with the SNES version is that the controls are very clunky for anyone who is used to flying with a joystick on the PC.)
One exception that he might be talking about, though: the SNES version of The Secret Missions has two difficulty settings. If you choose rookie instead of ace at the beginning of the game is IS very easy. (But the fact that they had to add that for the sequel should tell you the first game was considered too hard, not too easy!)
It's different. I wouldn't say it's less difficult. In fact, there is at least one thread here on the CIC where people complain that it's *more* difficult.
If you already own the PC version, then SNES Wing Commander will feel crude at times, the controls are a little more awkward, the graphics inferior, and a few corners were cut in order to fit the game onto the cartridge - for instance the Jalthi doesn't have its own sprite, it just looks identical to a Salthi but a different colour.
There are still reasons to play though, any Wing Commander fan will enjoy it as a curiosity item if nothing else. There are a few interesting changes, animations and quirks - like Hunter's missing cigar and the squadrons having different names. Not to mention the music.
It's worth playing, but most will say it's inferior to all of the other ports.
While SNES is definitely a cool version given that it exists, after seeing the SegaCD version on All Wings Considered with full voice acting (and different voice acting than the Super Wing Commander game) and completely different music, I think it's my choice over this one.
I don't remember it being any easier. The most annoying design decision about Wing Commander SNES I remember was that the AI would truly attack you one at a time (true to the lore in Claw Marks were Kilrathi wingmen would take turns to attack), while the other AI would keep a perfect distance from you that could never be closed. This is also true on 1 v 1 where the AI would dive bomb you, then retreat to a perfect distance, rinse and repeat. You could never close that gap even with afterburners. There were also other things changed due to limitations, one that stands to mind is your wingman sprite had less rotations, asteroid fields only had 1 collidable asteroid which would spawn directly in front of your path, heading towards you, on a regular basis.
My experience of WC SNES stopped me from picking up the Secret Missions on the SNES, solely due to the PC version being a much better experience.