Super Stardust HD & Expansion Review
Super Stardust HD
Super Stardust HD is a Dual Analog Arcade shooter that is available over the Playstation Network for the Playstation 3. The concept is very simple, rocks and enemies show up, and you blow them up. The game is available for download in demo form and to purchase for $9.99
The game is split up into 5 stages known as planets. These planets are split up basically by weapons. The weapons you can use in the game are the Rock Crusher(a Laser), a Gold Melter (Flame Thrower), and a Ice Breaker (Another laser). The first stage its exclusively to the Rock Crusher, but as the stages move on you’ll have to use more and more of the weapons during gameplay.
This game takes the “Easy to pick up but hard to master” approach to heart. You control the movement of your ship with the left analog stick, the direction of your weapon with the right, a Bomb with the L1 button, and a speed boost with the R1 button. Like I said earlier there are 3 different weapons at your disposal. Each weapon is more or less useful on different enemies and rocks.
What you will be destroying in the game will be mostly rocks, enemy spaceships and bosses. For the most part you will be shooting rocks, big and small that drop from space. These are obviously simple to destroy, shoot and they go boom, however there are special green rocks hidden insides these “normal” rocks that hold power ups and points for the player to pick up. The weapon power ups are essential to make it through the levels.
There are 3 bosses in the game, and now your thinking wait, three bosses but five levels? The math doesn’t work! Well it does, after the initial 2 bosses they are repeated, but multiplied, in the third stage the boss is two of the first one. This is kind of recycling but the added danger of multiple bosses at once will make you forget you’ve fought them before.
The game is a great looking arcade shooter. It runs in full 1080 which makes everything look great. The ship is too small to really comment on but when everything is exploding around you there isn’t a slowdown in sight.
The sound effects and music in Super Stardust HD are good they work very well, but what if your in the mood for your favorite band? Well the developers have thought of us and in a recent update it has included a custom soundtrack option. This option works by going into the audio options of the game and enabling the Custom soundtrack. You then can go and pick out a specific song and it it repeat the song or the entire album. The one flaw with this is that there is no way to use the playlists on the Playstation 3, if they had included it it would have made the custom sound track a lot more useful.
Online Wise there is a leader board system to shows every one’s scores who has ever played the game which gives players something to aim for. To note it only shows your highest score for a particular mode or level, so its one name for one list. There is also a Co-op mode however it is not a feature for online use.
Stardust is the first Ps3 game to use trophies and these really add more challenges for the game, fun challenges for the most part. There are 17 Trophies and they are really make you do things you normally wouldn’t do. They range from the generic “beat this level” to getting to 10x Multiplier (which means playing all the levels in a row without dieing).
Super Stardust HD is a great downloadable game and is one of the best of its kind.
Super Stardust HD Solo
Super Stardust HD Solo is an expansion to the original game. It doesn’t add too many new features what it does add really adds more to the game.
The first feature added is a new Audio Option called Retro that has a Old styled soundtrack for the game. The second feature is a handful of new modes. The modes include Endless, Survival, Bomber and Time Attack. The Endless mode pretty much speaks for itself you are in a level that doesn’t end until you have no more lives left, Survival is a pretty strange mode, its a level where indestructible objects fill the space and you are given limited weapons, the point is to survive as long as you can, bomber is a mode where your only weapon are bombs and time attack, is well a time attack. My favorite of these modes is endless because it can really last a long time and is a great blast to play. I should also note that in these modes, weapon upgrades come a lot more often from destroying the green ores than they normally do which is a big help. The final Feature is the inclusion of a difficulty system for the game that adds an easy and normal option.
Super Stardust HD Solo adds more gameplay modes to the game adding more variety and making the game a lot more fun. Its one of the best expansions I’ve seen.
The Team Pack add on adds a few new features to the game. It adds a new Orchestral Score(The best soundtrack for the game) as well as offline multiplayer modes. What these modes do is help make the game more party friendly. There is now split screen co op as well as a Versus mode. The versus mode has DeathMatch, Grab and Run, King of the Hill and Last Man Standing game modes. These modes make players with others more fun and as i said earlier, makes it more of a party game now. These modes would have been MUCH better if they were online capable, sadly they are not and its kind of sad because this could have gained a HUGE online community based around the Versus matches.
Another new feature is the ship editor. This allows you to customize your ship during gameplay, however the ship is pretty small and the game can get pretty chaotic so it doesn’t matter too much in the long run.
The new offline game modes makes this a much more party friendly game but its kind of disappointing that they can’t be played online. The orchestral score is great but the ship editor is really a needless add on.