Published on February 26th, 2012 | by Charlie


Review: Super Stardust Delta (PS Vita)

Review: Super Stardust Delta (PS Vita) Charlie

Summary: Charlie takes a look at Super Stardust Delta on PS Vita, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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(Please note: The DLC, “Advanced Star Fighter Pack”, has also been written into the review) Very rarely do you find a downloadable title that’s so addicting and engaging. I mean I suppose there’s Angry Birds, and Plants vs Zombies, but very lately, there’s nothing that’s really become as fun as those games. However, in comes Super Stardust Delta (DLC included) and you have the next best thing. Believe it or not, there is a story to this game, but the thing is, you don’t actually realize there’s one. Super Stardust Delta is literally one of those games where story is irrelevant. But the story goes that millions of lives are at risk when evil Professor Schaumund’s sends fleets of enemies and waves of asteroids onto planets. It’s up to you, and only you, to protect the planets from harm, whilst ultimately surviving yourself. How irrelevant is the story? To the extent that you didn’t even know there was a story… until you look on the Playstation Store. The controls for the Vita are, at first, rather naff to get used to, but then every Vita game’s controls will be… at first that is. However, you can fully customize these controls if you wish, which no doubt many PS Vita users would be happy to know. There are some modes which you cannot change the control schemes for though, but we’ll move onto those later. If you’ve ever played a game like “Minigore” for the iPhone, you use the left thumb stick to move, and use the right thumb stick to direct your fire. In basic arcade mode, there are 6 planets to protect. At first, each planet starts off slow, with massive asteroids and minimal enemies. Two types of asteroids will fall upon the planet; red and blue. It just so happens that you have a projectile for that, with a fire beam (which is more preferred to dealing with red enemies and asteroids) and an ice gun (which, of course, is more preferred with dealing with blue enemies and asteroids). Each planet comes with 5 phases, each getting more difficult than the last, with the final wave being a boss. The arcade mode loves to challenge you, as each boss have their own unique way to defeat them, and it’s not always easy. Not only will you have to survive the first 4 waves to get to the boss (by which time, you might have used all your lives), but some bosses will throw so much at you that it gets rather hard to avoid. This isn’t a problem at all; in fact I really do appreciate the challenge, as do many others. And of course if things get too tough, why not just use one of your black holes? Oh how amazing it looks when you see a bunch of asteroids and enemies swirling into the depths of nothingness. It’s a shame arcade mode only has 6 planets, but the good thing is, the other modes make up for the value of the game. Do bare in mind that this game is only £7.99 with the “Advanced Star Fighter Pack” included (£6.49 without). Leader boards are also included in the game, so it helps to defeat enemies as quickly as possible to try and get as high of a multiplier as possible. Just don’t die though. Other modes (which are from the Advanced Star Fighter Pack) include “Endless”, in which the controls are the same as “Arcade”, except you literally have to survive for as long as possible whilst trying to get the highest possible score. There’s also “Twin-Gun”, the mode I believe to be the hardest of them all. Firing requires both thumb sticks, which then makes you wonder how you move around. It’s difficult to move, because you’re required to use the six-axis motion controls of the Vita. It’s a real challenge, that no doubt some people will be really good at, whilst others won’t. There’s “Bomber”, where you have to survive for as long as possible, where your only weapon are bombs that destroy anything around you within a certain distance. You might be wondering: “But what happens when you run out of bombs?” In whatever mode your in, whether it’s Endless, Arcade, Bomber or any of the other great modes, you’ll earn pick ups that slowly move towards your direction. These pick ups can either increase the power of your ice gun/fire beam, give you bonus points, give you more bombs, and more. And if you earn enough points, another pick up may just appear from no where, which might even include a “1-Up” (1-Ups are only in Arcade and Planet mode I believe). These modes, along with 1-2 other modes, help make this a solid download-only launch title for the PS Vita. But then it doesn’t stop there, because you can also play some really neat mini-games (these come with the main game and are not DLC). There’s “Crush”, where you need to crush anything that comes towards your screen using the touch screen and rear touch pad within the time limit. Your spare seconds will total up at the end and place you on the leader board. There’s also “Disc-Slide” where you use the touch screen to move a blue disc around the screen, where you destroy all blue enemies whilst avoiding all red enemies. You destroy the red enemies by using the bombs placed around the planet that destroy a small range of enemies around you. It’s a rough concept, since the disc doesn’t actually stay in line of your finger, so you’re constantly having to move your finger to see where your disc has got to, and by that time, a red enemy may have caught up to you. Each mini-game is unique, and can be rather fun to a certain point. I think a problem many gamers will have is the idea that PS Vita features “have” to be used in order to play the mini-games, such as six-axis and the rear touch pad. With these mini-games, you can’t customize the controls to your liking, so some gamers might feel rather uncomfortable when having to point your Vita all around the environment you’re in, since sometimes the screen moves to where you move your Vita. On the PS Vita, the game looks beautiful. If you’ve ever played “Beat Hazard”, it gets as colourful as that. Sometimes you do get a little too distracted by it’s gorgeous colors and vibrant graphics on that 5-inch OLED screen that you actually lose a life. KEEP IT TOGETHER MAN! You can’t really blame the game for being so beautiful, now can you? And whilst the game has it’s own soundtrack, if you put on some epic rock tunes of your own using the PS Vita’s music app (yes, you can listen to your own music and play a game at the same time you know), you’ll feel so bad-ass that you’ll feel unbeatable… until you lose a life. Super Stardust Delta is extremely fun and addicting, but it’s not without it’s slight weak points. Would it have killed the developers to include a co-op mode, where two, three or even four people could protect a planet from harm in a game of “Endless” or something? That would have instantly given the game more credit than what it has. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played any of the previous Stardust games; it’s pure and simply the gameplay that matters with this game. With solid bosses, fun mini-games and addicting modes from the DLC, with all of it for an amazing price, you can’t go wrong with Super Stardust Delta.

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.

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