Super Stardust Portable
Sony brings its out of this world PS3 shooter to PSP.
During its E3 presentation a couple of months ago, Sony had a couple of surprises up its sleeve. Among them was a forthcoming PSP edition of one of its biggest PlayStation Network downloadable games, Super Stardust HD. If you're an avid fan of shooters or like destroying galactic threats, you'll enjoy the forthcoming Super Stardust Portable.
In the game, you control a lone spaceship, skimming the surfaces of planets eliminating threats. These vary, from small asteroids to large rock formations that break into smaller asteroids to all sorts of devastating enemies. Those include little gems that follow you around, buzzsaw-like ships that charge up attacks to cut you in half, slinky worm aliens that are out to eat you and several others.
As you proceed, you pick up three different types of firepower. There are typical green lasers, blue ice beams that blow up colder asteroids and a flamethrower-like red beam that cuts through nearly anything it touches. You can power up these weapons over the duration of the game by picking up icons left behind by destroyed green rocks. There are point icons to find as well that slowly build your high score. Best of all, you'll run into carriers that leave bombs once you destroy them, which in turn blow up anything within the vicinity. You'll need every ounce of firepower you can muster, as a boss enemy awaits your challenge at the end of each level.
In the original Super Stardust HD, you have the luxury of two analog sticks, one for directional movement and the other for firing. With Portable, you move with the left analog stick and fire with the face buttons. You have to press two at once for diagonal firing, and it gets tricky once more enemies pile onto the screen. It still works, but if you're used to the console version of the game, get ready to adjust.
So far, Super Stardust Portable looks just as sharp as HD. The planet textures are smooth, really bringing various elements to life as you shoot enemies. The weapon effects and explosions are equally impressive, even though there are a few slowdown issues that occur every now and then; hopefully, Sony will fix that before the game ships. Expect a lively soundtrack as well, including a few techno selections similar to those in HD.
In addition, several modes are available, including such favorites as Arcade Mode, Endless Mode (where wave upon wave of enemies come at you until you're out of ships), Planets Mode (where you can cruise through the galaxy at your own pace), Bomber Mode (where you destroy enemies using only bombs) and more. There's also a new gameplay mode, Patterns, but little is known about it. The game will also include a multiplayer component through Infrastructure and AdHoc, although Sony has yet to go into detail.
Super Stardust HD kills us on the PlayStation Network (in a good way, mind you), so it should equally slay us when it arrives in portable form later this fall. Be sure to check back for our explosive review.