Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Super Stardust HD

Developer: HouseMarque
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: June 1, 2007
System: PS3
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Asteroids: the Next Generation

0:01 The online user agreement is 15 pages! Who's gonna read that?
0:02 I feel guilty playing a game with HD in the title on a non-HDTV
0:03 Concept seems simple enough -- shoot rocks, get power ups.
0:05 My first two deaths come because I'm too busy staring at the beautiful spinning rocks. They're really mesmerizing.
0:06 Phase one is over? But there were still asteroids left. I think.
0:07 Ah, the rocks stay around for phase 2.
0:08 Game over already. 21,395th place on first try. Oh yeah. I'm the man.
0:10 Now that I know what I'm doing I go two phases without dying. Gotta be less timid.
0:13 I continue to be amazed at the exploding rocks. They just look so organic as they break apart and spin.
0:15 Up to phase four now, and while the action is pretty frenetic, it doesn't reach the fever pitch of Geometry Wars. This is a good thing and a bad thing.
0:17 I die just as the first Asteroid-sucking boss appears. 8,722th place this time. Moving on up in the world.
0:20 The music is nice and catchy without being repetitive.
I get to phase three this time without losing a ship. I'm playing in a trance. Then I snap out of it and die four times in a minute. You're either in the zone or you're not, I guess.
0:27 I love the edgeless sphere playfield. Makes it easy to find a way out and impossible to get caught in the corner.
0:29 Whoa! I stumble on a mega-bonus rock by hitting some rocks with countdown numbers. Little surprises like this are key to making a game like this last.
0:32 I just noticed my ship is always in the center of the screen and the whole planet rotates around it. Cool beans.
0:34 Gripe #1: It can be hard to tell the different power ups apart.
0:36 There's nothing worse than losing your last life with four bombs left
0:38 Gripe #2: There are power ups for the ice- and gold-destoryers despite there being no ice or gold to destroy.
0:41 I take back what I said about Geometry Wars. It does get that frenetic, just not as consistently. There are large portions of calm, which is nice.
0:43 Just as I'm hitting my stride and work up to a 5x-multiplier, bam, something lands on me.
0:49 The asteroid sucking boss gets a lot less scary with no asteroids around.
0:50 It took me the better part of an hour to beat the first planet. This is gonna take a while.
0:52 Finally, a chance to use the ice splitter weapon! I die as a I switch. D'oh! 7262th place.
0:54 OK, the ice crusher sucks, mainly because I haven't upgraded it. Also, how can an icy meteor dodge a laser? I ASK YOU!
0:59 I just now realized that some of those rocks are gold. The two types look way too similar.
1:01 Spinning the gold melter around not only looks cool, it's a great way to fend off practically everything. Cool!

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes.
Why? Great controls, mesmerizing graphics and a simple, fun concept.


Joran said...

Clearly, it's time for you to get a HDTV and deduct it as a work expense.

Henry said...

Yeah, I've been playing it on and HDTV @720p, and I've had no problems telling the powerups apart despite being partially colorblind.

The Toy Guy said...

Love the blog! I just started up something like this myself, just reviewing toys instead. This weekend i'm revamping, the default templates are so boring... I love your game break downs, reminds me of Sean Baby reviews! Keep up the good work!

My first review - Transformer Toys!