Super Stardust HD is the first PSN title on the PS3 to actually take advantage of the idea of these downloadable titles. It’s budget priced, looks great, and brings an old gem of a genre to a new generation of gamers. The gameplay is both simple, and deep with a level of strategy that most games ignore with a challenging and satisfying experience. Trophies add icing to the cake without being too easy to be irrelevant which hopefully serves as a guide for other developers so that Trophies don’t turn into achievements.
At one point I believed that all twin stick shooters were the same, and finally after Geometry Wars, and then this we have seen a revival of a great genre. Super Stardust HD in particular brings a strategy element giving the player 3 different weapons that can be upgraded, with each of them being most effective against a different type of enemy or astroid.The game is split into 5 levels ,with each level consists of 5 phases with the last stage being a boss fight. This formula works very well, and the difficulty is ramped up with each stage, and to say the least this game is not easy. Even on Easy mode it takes a great deal of skill to be able to conquer this game, and get the much sought after Trophies.
The graphics are stunning to say the least, and really live up to the HD in the title. The visuals are bright and colorful with dazzling explosions and other great effects. If all downloadable titles lived up to the apparent care, and production values that were put into this title then the downloadable game craze would become even more relevant in modern gaming. Each stage brings new, and interesting enemies for the player to combat.
Fun is where SSHD really excels, and seperates it from other games even further. It’s hard to describe what makes this game so fun, but in my opinion it has a lot to do with the fact that the game always seems to keep you on the edge of your seat. The intensity is ramped up in later levels, and with no continues you must start all over again which is something I commend the developers for. It may not be for everyone but its definitely a game for the fans of the genre.
Super Stardust HD takes an old genre and reinvents it in a way that gives us fond memories of past games along with delivering an intense and challenging game. The visuals are top-notch with great music and fun new developments in gameplay and effects. It’s a steal at only $9.99 and a must own for anyone with fond memories of twin stick shooters.