Super Stardust HD - PS3 Network review

  • Pretty in 1080p
  • Difficult to master
  • Two-player co-op
  • Not much to it
  • Can be frustrating
  • Seizures

Sony was obviously pretty proud of Blast Factor, because there's a real danger that every downloadable shooter for PS3 from now on is going to look and play exactly like it. For all its high-def eye candy, Super Stardust is Blast Factor in disguise, though it also owes a debt to ye olde classic Asteriods sequel, Blasteroids.

There's nothing wrong with that provided you're not expecting to do much more than keep your trigger-finger held down and give your reflexes a severe workout. Each planet you're trying to protect starts with a mass of asteroids swirling around it, and once you've obliterated enough of them, you're attacked by waves of enemies.

There are five phases for each planet, leading to a final boss battle. The only real difference between Super Stardust and Blasteroids is that here you're tied to moving around the matrix-like surface of each planet instead of freely moving around all corners of the screen.

And that's it really because, let's face it, there's only so much you can do with a Blasteroids clone. If you are a fan of simple retro-shooters, then the game should feel like second nature. Its appeal is down to your own skill at mastering the dodging and shooting and both depend on how long you decide to keep going when you hit a brick wall.

Sure, there's some strategy in terms of which weapons you select - there's a trade-off between carving up asteroids more efficiently and creating even more flying debris as well as which power-ups you get from shooting crystals embedded in asteroids - but everything else is exceedingly straightforward. This is a twitch game for twitchy gamers.

Super Stardust is pure unashamed Eighties-retro, but running on a HDTV in 1080p it looks mightily impressive. Explosions have a real meaty look about them, and the flamethrower rather satisfyingly melts away asteroids and enemies without you needing to be a precise shot. Anything less than 1080p and it doesn't look quite so hot.

You should know what you're getting into with Super Stardust, so if you enjoyed Blast Factor, then this is the next challenge up. It's a bit strange playing such an old-school game on a new $600 console though.

More Info

Release date: Jun 28 2007 - PS3 (US)
Jun 28 2007 - PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Arcade
Published by: Sony Online Entertainment
Developed by: Housemarque
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Fantasy Violence

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