Super Stardust HD Hands-On

The omnidirectional shooter craze isn't over yet--Sony is prepping a new one for its download service, and we played it.

If you couldn't get enough of Geometry Wars, Robotron, Blast Factor, Cash Guns Chaos, and all the other shoot-in-every-direction games that have been released in the last couple of years, Sony is cooking up a new one called Super Stardust HD that you'll be able to download to your PlayStation 3. Believe it or not, this one's set in outer space. Well, sort of: You'll take control of a ship that you'll fly around a series of planets, which have lots of gigantic rocks rapidly orbiting around them. Your job is to shoot all those rocks to break them up into smaller pieces, then obliterate those pieces and pick up the resulting power-ups to earn high scores and get better weapons. It's all pretty standard stuff for this style of game.

The trick here is that there are different kinds of rocks flying around--regular rocks, ice rocks, and gold rocks--and you'll have three accompanying weapons, each of which is designed to destroy a specific kind of rock. It seemed to us that using the wrong gun on a particular rock would still damage it a little, but not very effectively. So you'll need to be quick on the weapon cycling to rapidly switch to the appropriate offensive method when the game starts throwing different kinds of rocks at you in quick succession. The first few levels we played were pretty mild, though, allowing us to get a feel for the controls. As you might imagine, you move in any direction with the left analog stick and shoot in any direction with the right stick. You also have a screen-clearing bomb and a quick speed boost that you can pop with the shoulder buttons.

Stardust has a simplistic visual style, but it works well for this sort of game, and most importantly it's fast-paced and buttery smooth. The most appealing aspect is the weapon effects, which are brightly colored and appropriately flashy. You'll power those up as you destroy rocks and collect the power-ups associated with each weapon. From what we saw, your weapons mostly get faster and cover a broader area. We only got to try the game for a brief few minutes, but toward the end of our demo the rocks were replaced by swarming mechanical insects, so apparently it won't all be about shooting at inanimate objects. We'll find out more about what's in Super Stardust HD in the near future and pass along the info to you.

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11 comments
NND1
NND1

Looks Cool but Geo Warz is INSANE!!!!

stinkeyb
stinkeyb

i think i will download this game when it's out

sdkingsht
sdkingsht

ok...and in looking at geometry wars this looks a million times better. geometry wars had some cool visuals but this game from the downloadable trailer and these shots look like it's gonna be incredible in 50inches worth of lcd beauty lol.

sdkingsht
sdkingsht

TheSpidren...their 2nd attempt? flow is a game that was created by a student at USC. sony just put it on a broader scale to the public. sony didn't MAKE the game. and if that's the case you could call every shooter ever made a replica of Doom. let it go. you'e just reaching now. lol. the fact that you're a Sony hater is all too evident.

TheSpidren
TheSpidren

Looks exactly like Geometry Wars. I guess flOw wasn't enough of a replica from a competitor, so this is their second attempt.

mcxps3
mcxps3

Man a lot of cool psn games were announced this week!

coolguy681
coolguy681

if its as good as geometry wars ill buy it

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

It's not really what I would buy a PS3 for. Could be fun though.

Zero_Beat
Zero_Beat

Looks really detailed to me for this type of shooter, nice production values. Hope there's a demo to try out.