Ever spend a Saturday afternoon sitting in your mom’s basement, unwashed, and in the same outfit of sweatpants and filthy, pizza and beer stained wife-beater tank top you’ve been wearing for 3 weeks, playing Asteroids? Ever then decide you would like to move on to something a little more modern, but still has that delicious retro feel to it and think, Geometry Wars? Ever then think to yourself “man, it would be awesome if I could combine all the best parts of Asteroids, and Geometry Wars AND play in full 1080p? Well you can, and have been able to for almost 2 years now if you own a Playstation 3.
Alright, I suppose I can’t expect that there’s very many out there that played asteroids, moved on to Geometry Wars, and then wished they could mix the two. I am hoping that there’s at least some that have decided that a modern mix of Asteroids and Geometry Wars in 1080p is a good idea and are thus going to check out.. Super Stardust HD.
Normally, I would have an action packed in-game picture as the headlining image, but in the case of SSHD, a still would not do the game much justice. The action is constant and is certainly something to behold. Even a low quality youtube video won’t do it much justice, but I am including one here as a teaser. Check it:
As evidenced above you play a small space ship (I am starting to see a pattern emerge with these New Classics) flying above a small planet. Shooting the large rocks that aimlessly float about, as well as waves of enemies that appear. Firing at the rocks cause them to break apart, and the ropnel (rock shrapnel?) floats off of the larger mass in all directions. Hidden within the boulders are weapon upgrades and score boosters which you can collect, or not, whatever suits you. I suggest you collect them.
Available to you are three types of primary weapon: Rock Crusher, Gold Melter, and Ice Splitter. I hope the purpose of the primary weapons are self evident. Although you can use any weapon to destroy any type of boulder or enemy, certain combinations of weapon and boulder/enemy are easier. There is also a bomb option that you can use to vaporize roughly half of the objects on the globe you are currently playing.
Control is tight, using the Geometry Wars on Wii Classic Controller scheme (same on xBox?). Use the left analog stick to control your ship, and the right analog stick to fire your primary weapon in any direction. The shoulder buttons switch between your 3 primary weapons, drop bombs, and give you a temporary boost of speed you can use to jet away from a boulder bearing down on you.
Little did I know when I bought it, but this game is a sequel of a sequel of a modernized (that is, for the early ’90s) clone of Asteroids for the Amiga called, simply, Stardust. Gameplay video of the original 1993 Stardust is available on Youtube HERE, as well as the 1994 sequel to Stardust, oddly named Super Stardust, HERE. Of course, there’s the obligatory video of the classic Asteroids for comparison:
And then a video of Geometry Wars, also for comparison:
I have been having a lot of fun playing SSHD over the last few days. The price isn’t bad, at $10, although there is additional downloadable content available if you want it. I have yet to cough up the additional $8 for the complete bundle of add-ons, so I can’t speak for it, however what you get from them is clearly labeled. For $10, I’d say it’s well worth it. I mean, it’s 1080p, I paid $6 for Bit Trip Beats and that’s like 142i or some shit.