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Review

Super Stardust Delta Review

  • Game release: February 15, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • VITA

Super Stardust Delta is a solid dual-stick shooter with vibrant visuals that make it a great showcase for the PlayStation Vita's display.

by

With their bright colors and dazzling explosions, the Super Stardust series of dual-stick shooters can induce a trancelike state in which you're entirely caught up in the action. The PlayStation Vita features one of the brightest and most dazzling screens to ever grace a handheld device. So Super Stardust Delta is a fitting launch game for the Vita's download store. Delta's gameplay won't impress you with its originality, but it's a solid shooter that puts on one heck of a fireworks show.

You move your ship around with the left stick and fire with the right stick, traversing the spherical surfaces of the game's five planets to blast asteroids and avoid enemy fire. You frequently need to switch between your ice weapon and your fire weapon to more effectively cut through obstacles, which makes the moment-to-moment action more absorbing by giving you one more thing you constantly need to consider.

Blasting things to smithereens looks spellbinding. The intense colors pop off of the Vita's screen, and although the sparks that fly everywhere as you destroy asteroids might occasionally obscure your view of the action, it's a small price to pay for the rewarding feeling of causing such an explosive spectacle. Pulsating music complements the visuals, and the combined effect creates a dance-club vibe in which it's easy to lose yourself.

You have a boost you can use to get out of tight situations, and if you select the Delta control option, this boost is accompanied by a brief period of slow motion, which makes it easier to weave through enemy fire. You also have a limited number of special weapons that are good for decimating dangers. With the Delta option selected, you have three special weapon types at your disposal. Giving the Vita a quick shake triggers an EMP bomb; tapping the touch screen sends missiles out from your ship in all directions; and touching the rear touch pad opens a black hole that sucks up everything in its vicinity.

Don't question how fire can exist in the vacuum of space. Just enjoy the show.

It's easy to accidentally trigger this last weapon while just trying to comfortably hold the Vita, at least until you've done so a few times and become aware of the importance of keeping your fingers away from the touch pad. The alternative to the Delta option is called Pure, which does away with all the touch- and accelerometer-related controls, as well as the slow motion that accompanies your boost. The EMP blast (triggered by a button press rather than a shake) is your only special weapon in Pure, which is fine; it's the only one you ever need.

Your choice of Delta or Pure doesn't impact the content you experience. There are five planets, each of which has five phases of enemies, with the last phase on each planet pitting you against a large mechanized boss. As you collect the stardust left behind by things you destroy, you build up score multipliers that are wiped out each time you die, so survival is essential to getting great scores.

And that's what Super Stardust Delta is all about. It won't take you long to see the game's five planets and beat the five bosses, but you're shown how your score stacks up against other players on your friends list, and the prospect of beating them is a compelling reason to keep coming back and improving your performance. Still, it's too bad that the game doesn't include more modes that change up the way you approach the game.

There's Arcade mode, in which you begin at any of the five planets you've previously reached and progress until you complete the mode or run out of lives. There's also Planets mode, in which you play only one planet for as high a score as possible. Compared to other dual-stick shooters, such as Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, this is pretty bare bones.

The bosses are big, but it won't be long before you've turned them all to stardust.

As you progress, you do unlock five minigames that use the Vita's touch and tilt features. Crush has you squeezing asteroids between your fingers, while Disc Slide involves moving a blue disc around with your finger and trying to avoid red enemies. These are decent demonstrations of the Vita's abilities, but they're not particularly fun on their own terms. The best of these minigames is Rock & Roll, in which you carefully tilt the Vita to roll an asteroid around, but even this one is too basic to be worth coming back to more than a few times.

But the core game is a good one despite its familiarity, and it's reasonably priced at $10. Super Stardust Delta's range of difficulty options means you can have a good experience with it whether you just want to relax and enjoy blowing things up or you're looking for a stiff challenge. And its captivating visuals show off just how bright and gorgeous the screen on your new Vita really is.

The Good
Colorful and captivating visuals
Enjoyable dual-stick shooting
Good leaderboard implementation spurs you on to beat your friends
The Bad
Very similar to numerous other games in the genre
Only two main modes of play
Unlockable minigames add little to the package
7
Good
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Discussion

59 comments
DrHyde
DrHyde

I imagine SSD would score a little better with the old system Gamespot used to have. Grading each item along with the Tilt in my opinion created a much more balanced approach as opposed to just picking a number.

blaket81
blaket81

I'm sorry to bring this up and I hope i'm wrong but I have been visiting GS for years now and have noticed something. They tend to favor all things MS and are more critical towards all things sony. The vibe, or spin they put on anything sony always leans towards negative where if something bad comes from the MS camp they cram as much positive as possible to try and tip the scale. I'm a fanboy of neither, I own all consoles and work in IT and support and use MS products. I am merely explaining what I see.

N1C0L45E3
N1C0L45E3

ign 9.5 gamespot 7.0 ?????????? WTF!?!

thunderseagull
thunderseagull

as a whole, gamespot review scores seem to be more consistent and accurate than IGN's. those guys are facing a serious overblown score epidemic. all too often are games hyped to ridiciulous levels, then handed obligatory 8+ scores to appease the rabid fanboys they helped create. also, kudos to the review author for personally addressing all the metacritic worshippers.

indiannoob
indiannoob

Secondly @carolynmichelle I was hoping for an 8.0 but will respond after playing it myself :)

indiannoob
indiannoob

Firstly enough with the GS / IGN comparisons! Just like spanky even I am a bit of an old GS user and what I have noticed is that GS has upped its own standards for games year after year and expect the games to be of a certain level. Sometimes reviews do get a little unbalanced but the GS staff are human not machines, atleast I hope not. :P Either way if you agree or disagree with the reviews its your opinion just like the reviewers but there is no need to compare it with IGN or any other website.

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

@4quarters No, that review says that Touch My Katamari is "the first portable game in the series to use twin analog sticks." And it is the first portable game in the Katamari series to use twin analog sticks. The review doesn't say anything about it being the only Vita launch game to use both thumbsticks. ;)

mamajoe
mamajoe

A critic is only a person with a point of view, not necessarily everyone else's. I always watch the vids and that usually lets me know if it's a game I want to play. A 9.5 score means nothing if it's not your kind of game. If you need a reviewer to give a game a high score before you play it...well that's just sad.

4quarters
4quarters

funny- The Touch My Katamari review just stated that game was the only dual -joystick using launch game....Oh Gamespot get the facts straight

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

@neo_anomaly We do review the games and not the consoles, and we never concern ourselves with what the Metacritic score is. We review games according to our own [url=http://www.gamespot.com/misc/reviewguidelines.html]review guidelines[/url]. Many of our reviews for many games across many platforms don't "match up" with the Metacritic average; that has absolutely nothing to do with the Vita. People sometimes like to make a big deal about it when a review doesn't match up with the Metacritic average, as if that means that that review is factually wrong and that the reviews that fall around the average are factually correct. But that's not the way reviews work, and if it was, then there would be no point in having different review outlets. We could all just rely on one outlet to tell us factually which games were 10s, which were 9s, which were 8s and so on.

jvm22
jvm22

Looks like a highly addicting game. If I ever get a Vita, This would be the first game I would find.

neo_anomaly
neo_anomaly

@CajunShooter- it's right now like 10-20% right, so even going by your theory of 50/50 this is way off. I have been visiting this site from past 8-10 years and this is the first time I am being so vocal about their scores. These days I just check metacritic and make a decision instead of trusting gamespot . And about ign do agree that they are too generous with their rating scale but atleast they show the breakup which gives you an idea of why they are giving the final score. Just remove 0.5 to 1 depending on the game/series and you are good with IGN scores.

neo_anomaly
neo_anomaly

@CarolynMichelle- Respect your opinion , but tell me one thing, why are all the Vita game scores so off from the average scores on metacritic? If you didn't already know ,this game has a score of 83 on metacritic which would have been, making a guess here, around 85 or more if not for gamespot score of 7. Review the game please and not the console.An iOS game costing 9$ gets an easy 8 but a Vita game which is longer with tangible controls and even better graphics doesn't?

painpas
painpas

@CarolynMichelle that is cool that you responded. Cheers!

CajunShooter
CajunShooter

If people looked at Gamespot's review breakdown on Metacritic they will find that 45% of the time the reviews are higher than the avg and 49% of the time they are lower than the avg. That is fairly close to 50/50. Meanwhile if you look at someone like IGN they review 60% over the avg. Seems to me Gamespot is more consistent with the nearly 50/50 reviews than IGN with the 60/40. Standards also should change throughout a gen as there are more examples of what "great" games really are. It should be harder to reach a 9 now than it was in 2007. IGN hasn't increased their standards apparently and rarely rate any big blockbuster game below a 9.0.

CajunShooter
CajunShooter

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Lord_Spanky
Lord_Spanky

I agree that ign's 9.5 is a little generous, but only a little. As i said on page one, this game is a solid 9. At the time i posted that remark i had not looked at any other scores. Ive been a member since 2003, and when i want to read about a game i b-line it to gamespot. In this i trust gs. However, occasionally you guys disappoint, and in this case your score for this game actually shocked me. Your only valid complaints revolve around value, basically. Yet the game's price reflects the package. In this case you pay for what you get. For that matter i think the game has great replay value in the form of score attacking. Ultimately, thats what i believethey were shooting for and in that respect they suceeded. Score grinding, for me, is still super fun. 8-9 is the appropriate range, tho i truly believe 9 is totally deserved. Im not a fanboy. I never even owned a sony device till ps3, and ive been an xbox man since 2001. Im also not an emotionally unbalanced adolescent, im 31 y.o.

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

@carolynmichelle Thanks for clarifying :) I guess I'm just a little confused about the general negativity towards the Vita, sorry if that showed in my comment about your review. I'm sure you know what you're talking about.

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

@DethAngel22 7.0 is not a "negative" review. It is a positive review. I wouldn't compare our scores directly to IGNs. For us, 9.5 is an EXTREMELY high score that very few games earn. In the past year, IGN has given 19 9.5s. In that same period, GameSpot awarded 2. It has nothing to do with the Vita. A ten-dollar dual-stick shooter is a ten-dollar dual-stick shooter. Super Stardust Delta is a good one. It's not extraordinary, but it's good nonetheless.

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

How high is the standard for a $10 psn game? IGN gave it a 9.5 Why is Game Spot so negative towards everything Vita?

angelstorm112
angelstorm112

So how come Gamespot's Vita reviews are way lower that almost every other site's?

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

@painpas "Is standard setting is the bar then to get a good review from this site or you personally?" No, being a good game is the key to getting a good review. Super Stardust is a good game, and it received a good review. "I have watched the hotspot many times and there seems to just be opinions from various people who post reviews..." What do you think reviews are? Do you think we can plug a game into a scientific instrument and be given an entirely objective, factual assessment of its quality? No. Reviews are subjective. I think Twisted Metal is great, and I gave it an 8.0. Some people think I'm crazy for not giving it a much higher score; others think I'm crazy for giving it as high a score as I did. There is no score I could have given it that everyone would have accepted as "correct." We can't concern ourselves with trying to give games scores that we think everyone will agree with; that would be both impossible and dishonest. We can simply provide as clear and honest an evaluation of a game as we are able, with review text that explains our assessment of the game. With regard to Third Birthday, that is a game that is not just gameplay; story and characters figure heavily into the game, and need to be evaluated as part of the overall experience. I found Aya a maddeningly weak character who didn't really work within that story. If I review Tomb Raider and if I find Lara similarly too weak to make the story work, you can bet I will comment on it.

painpas
painpas

@Carolynmichelle Is standard setting is the bar then to get a good review from this site or you personally? Here is where the contradictions will start to rear there ugly head. We will see if this is adhered to in the future reviews on this website. Many should note this or I hope that you clarify your statement whether you are speaking on behalf of the site or yourself personally. I have watched the hotspot many times and there seems to just be opinions from various people who post reviews in general. I dont want to bring this back up but you seemed to suggest that you felt that Skyward sword was not given its due. This in turn should show everyone that reviews are completely subjective and there is no standard because not everyone will have the same opinion. This is why I liked to watch or read many reviews from the same person to get a feel for what they think is great and deduce whether or not they are cunningly critical or are trying to just set up the potential dissappointment with a game that they enjoyed playing. I have read and watched many of your reviews and Third birthday was when I started to question some things that were mentioned that had nothing to do with gameplay. In that case one would try to deduce that you did not like the Tomb Raider demo from this past E3.... you should see where I am going with this. I will look to see consitency from you in the future I hope I did not offend you. I was just stating MY OPINION. (grain of salt inserted here)

pkinq
pkinq

Gamespot does not like the vita, they hate

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

@painpas We always give games the scores we think are "proper," the scores we think they earn. In my view, Super Stardust Delta is a good, fun dual-stick shooter. It lacks any qualities that would make it great or superb, but it's still a good game. Compare that to, for instance, Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2, which earned a score of 9.0. For the same price (ten bucks), it has a host of terrific new modes that required you to approach gameplay in different ways, a number of distinct enemy types that you have to use different techniques to avoid and destroy, and awesome cooperative and competitive options. Super Stardust Delta is a good game--a score of 7 is a recommendation--but it doesn't come close to setting a new standard for the genre. It is "just" another solid and engaging twin-stick shooter, and that is no bad thing.

DyranLK
DyranLK

7 = Good. Therefore, Super Stardust Delta = Good. Not all games need to be great or superb, guys, lol; the reason for GS's recent harshness on their reviews (which doesn't just pertain to the Vita, if you've been paying attention) is because they're aiming to actually do something that almost no publication does any more, which is to use the entire scale; other sites, however, (*cough* IGN *cough*), usually make use of only a 7 - 10 system for any games worth your time, while anything below that is pretty much terrible. Technically, though, that's not supposed to be true. Anything at least 5 and up should still be good enough to check out; problem is, most sites seem to emphasize the positive connotation of an 8, 9, or 10 so much that anything lower than that seems bad now, which is absolutely false. But whatever, lol. Just thought I wanted to put that out there; I know it'll take time getting used to, and because of such standards, one score from GS may be considerably lower than another publication's yet still equal the same general quality (think of inflation), and may end up blemishing a game's record and whatnot, but overall, I think this is for the better. Not gonna lie, Gamespot has been getting a little soft over the years, so this return to a restraint on the grading scale is pretty welcome, imo. Yet main point is, before I get off track, basically, there's nothing bad about a 7; besides, what's the point of a 1 - 10 scale if you were to only use three digits?

painpas
painpas

I hope the reviewer is reading this. You know why this game is scoring really high on other sites because they KNOW that if they go by your logic they will contradict themselves in the future. That is why you have to give a game its proper score don't worry about high review scores or anything just give the game the score it deserves it will help with consistency and less fumbling about in the future. How can you score COD any higher in the future with this type of review? You stagnate the industry too. If there are elements added you highlight the differences you give the game a higher score and be done with it. But, make sure that you highlight that this game can be found here or there. Also, state the Kasavin trademark and I paraphrase because this is the most important part of the review which I see Watters do and Van Horn "If this is your first game in the series go out and buy it without a thought it is a great game, If not (you know the rest)". This type of review ensures that people who have never touched a Katamari game know that this is an 8.0 game or Super star dust is a 9.0 game for them rather than supposing that they played the other games WHEN THEY DID NOT. Uncharted GA may be the first that someone has ever played. Look at the number of units sold. The whole world did not by all the UC games. Anyways...../rant

ALLoY1717
ALLoY1717

Give ALL the games a 7.0!!! (insert pink shirt, yellow haired character here)

neo_anomaly
neo_anomaly

@wavelength Yup he might have picked a wrong example to explain his point but that doesn't take away the main argument in his comment- it's a genre based game and sticks to that genre, so why the biased rating? Also before calling it a crappy port please have the decency to play the game and then talk, if not check the other reviewing sites before calling it that. @Bruno ya portable games might have received scores no higher than 8.5 on gs but this is one of those games which deserves the top most rating for a portable game,which is definitely not 7 Last but not the least if anyone still thinks gs is being non-biased just go check metacritic and you will see that gs is almost always the one that gives the lowest score on all Vita games.

wavelength121
wavelength121

@cloudtigerbb If the reviewer isn't into hand-helds and thus scores their content lower in general, who are we to argue? It sounds like it isn't the critic's opinion that is broken, but your crappy subjective standards. "Generic military shooters" as you call them provide a level of realistic immersion that makes up for the lack of modes, where is the immersion in this crappy arcade port's lack of options? Stop taking everything so seriously and don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

wavelength121
wavelength121

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

wamsy102938
wamsy102938

Not my type of game, but whoever likes should get.

BrunoFurstBrito
BrunoFurstBrito

Portable games rarely receives scores higher than 8.5. It's not just the Vita ones.

wikedvw
wikedvw

Wow GS is continueing the tough reviews for the Vita. This is easily a better game then they scored it.

moglesby12000
moglesby12000

JohnF111 Uhhhhh.........I am American, and I like every platform if it doesn't suck. Thanks for generalizing an entire countries' population. Its so much less biased.

moglesby12000
moglesby12000

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cloudtigerbb
cloudtigerbb

Ohh, and just by the way, the way I see it, every rehashed generic first person military shooter also has only two game modes: single player and multiplayer. That's it. Will you be taking points off of them for that? Probably not if the check doesn't bounce... Hate on this all you want, but I won't back down on how I feel about this. Sure they are two different genres completely, but they are still video games and it's STILL the same quality - good or bad. Give Vita a rest, man.

cloudtigerbb
cloudtigerbb

Uggh.... Rant begins... now. I've been coming here for years to receive unbiased opinions on games, but I've disagreed on anything Vita from these reviewers. I've played Super Stardust Delta, and it's easily a 9 based on its ONLY $10! Presentation, sounds, the overall quality of a product so inexpensive is not 7-"good." It's GREAT! Uncharted, it's great. Wipeout, great. Gamespot is really not liking Vita games, and man I gotta say that these games are really great. Other websites really have the right idea about these games... Gamespot is WAY off right now. I'm starting to not be okay with this number system. "THIS GAME'S STUNNING!! Hmm, what shall I give it? ....7!" What's your rating system? Really, because it just doesn't make sense. I mean, if you're at least going to pull a number out of your ***, then originality and similarity as the main gripe for knocking a great game down to good doesn't cut it for me. If that's the case, then I better start seeing some serious points taken off of every single generic rehashed first person military shooter being released right now. It won't stop me from playing them because I'm a serious gaming junkie, but c'mon Gamespot. Let's not have a double standard here. One standard will do just fine. Happy gaming everyone.

JohnF111
JohnF111

American company ofcourse they hate Sony, they only like Kinexbox in USA.

chimera1984
chimera1984

Again another review from gamespot on a vita related item thats far more negative than anything else on the internet, now i aint a sony fan boy, but what is it with gamespot hating this device.

moglesby12000
moglesby12000

Agreeing with other comments. Gamespot apparently hates Vita, or is it just Sony? Reviews just not inline with the rest of the gaming community. Inconsistency and bias will cost you credibility, and thus traffic Gamestop. FYI - member on this site exclusively since 2004. This is coming from a fan, not a hater.

Raziel_0
Raziel_0

stop hating VITA gamespot... microsoft is not developing any portable system. so please calm the f down, IGN score this with 9.meta.84 and GS,,,,well..

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

I have the Aqua 3DS, and I can't help but feel Big N shot em selves in the foot (an arrow to the knee, if you will) by only having 1 analog pad by default. Not too mention only making 1 screen 16:9. It's hard to imagine a 2D (bitmaps) castlevania on the 3DS, and looking at something like Resident Evil: Revelations I get this bad feeling the 3DS may end up suffering the same fate as the original PSP,ie shovelware (except of course Nintendo will have good 1st party support).

PSPFAN14
PSPFAN14

The Bad: Very similar to numerous other games in the genre Oh I don't think I have ever seen them say that about the million FPS games out there!! Wow, I know everyone has a right to their opinions, but this site is getting worse, and worse by the day! Honestly F*&K this site

cameio
cameio

Gamespot is like a crazy woman's mood!!! u know like suddenly she want to be so pro and harsh with her 7s rating and when she see a handsome man (Xbox 360) she just can't resist giving him all 9s but u know i see this man Vita is the most handsome man so i will be getting him soon lol ;) guys just remeber all the 3DS 4.5 and 5 score!? they were really so garbages games but 7 is good i'll be getting Vita and 5 games of 7s :D

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

What is with Gamespot? I was giving them a pass on many 7s for a good reason but now this game too? This game has been incredible reviews everywhere else. I am a bit surprised. They seem a bit bias and I rarely complain about reviews but geez...

miltpauris
miltpauris

Am I the only one that thinks Gamespot is very b****y lately?

Super Stardust Delta More Info

First Release on Feb 15, 2012
  • PlayStation Vita
The PlayStation Network shooter comes to the NGP in the form of Super Stardust Delta.
7.7
Average User RatingOut of 89 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Super Stardust Delta
Developed by:
XDEV
Published by:
SCEE, SCEA
Genres:
Action, 2D, Shooter, Fixed-Screen
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Everyone
All Platforms