Super Stardust Portable – PSP Review

I was going to get the Super Stardust HD for the PlayStation 3 on PSN but I didn’t because I had so many games to play and so little time at that moment. A month ago, PSN released the PSP version called Super Stardust Portable and I finally gave in. In my opinion this game is better than another shooter called Everyday Shooter where the object destruction is turned into part of the background music. Don’t get me wrong, Everyday Shooter is one great and innovative game but I just prefer Super Stardust Portable’s style of play.

Game play
The concept is pretty much the same as any other classic arcade shooter but Super Stardust Portable pushes a few notches up with extremely fast paced game and amazing graphics (I apologize for not having any of my own images because the game is just too fast paced I can’t take anything worth looking, you can check out the ones at IGN).

Your objective for this game is simple, shoot everything in your sight. Mostly asteroids but there are also others like green worm looking enemies and red bombs that will chase you until they or you are destroyed. You are given three types of main weapons which you can gradually power up and cause even more destruction. The three main weapons are – Ice Splitter, Rock Crusher and Gold Melter. You can also spread out the shots by tapping the button but I hardly use it.

Since this is a classic arcade shooter, it cannot be “classic” without the special bombs. These bombs will blow up everything surrounding you. Finally you also get to use the Impact Boost which is pretty much acts like a shield that will boost towards one direction and destroy anything in the way. The boost can be recharged in time and you should always have it ready because there will be a lot of times where there are just too many asteroids and other things on the screen you will have no time to shoot them all. The boost allows you to rush your way out of the mess while cleaning some of that mess. Occasionally you will also get to replenish your bombs as well as having a shield to protect you from one hit, if you have a shield already the shield item will act like a bomb, clearing the space surrounding you.

The three weapons have their own advantages but you can pretty much clear every levels with using just one of them. The Ice Splitter is more powerful (at least that’s what I think) but its more concentrated while the Rock Crusher is slightly less powerful but more spread out. Finally the Gold Melter is basically a line of fire and if you press all 4 buttons it will create a circle of fire and you are pretty much protected from anything, well most of the time. I should also mention the 4 buttons correspond to each direction, so for example the triangle is shooting up and the triangle + square will shoot at the north west direction. I took me a while to get used to this shooting style though.

This game is very fast paced, each level or “phase” as the game calls it, takes an average of two minutes to complete. There are 5 planets for your shooting needs, each planet has 4 phases plus a boss phase. I personally enjoy the non boss phases because they are much more engaging, there is really no time to rest. My right thumb was basically in pain after completing the first planet, it was a lot of work!

Graphics and audio
Graphics are again, nothing short of amazing, specially for the PSP. I can only imagine how much better the graphics will be for the PS3’s HD version. All the special effects, mainly the explosions for the astroids and how they break into smaller pieces is simply stunning. The audi department did a great job too though you will mostly likely be too busy shooting and blowing things up you will not pay too much attention to it.

Final verdict
Overall I highly recommend this game for anyone that likes classic arcade shooters, this is one addictive game with great game play and graphics. I also suggest getting the PSP version, if you have one, over the PS3 version because this is a perfect game to play on the subway or on a bus while commuting to/from work.


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