Super Stardust Delta

Super Stardust Delta is the latest instalment to the downloadable Super Stardust series that has graced both the PS3 and PSP with its presence. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it’s a modern interpretation of Asteroids where you control a spaceship that is always centred in relation to the screen as you move around a spherical planet shooting asteroids and enemy ships and traps. You have two means of taking down your foes: fire and ice weapons. These can be fired in any direction using the right analogue stick and switched between one another using the R trigger. Both the fire and ice weapons can boosted with power-ups found lurking inside asteroids.

The controls are well suited to the Vita’s dual analogue sticks and this version stands up graphically to the PS3 original. The soundtrack is full of frantic, frenetic retro-techno beats and the sound effects are right at home with every space shooter of the last 30 years.

The two modes available in the regular £6.49 version are Arcade and Planets. Arcade has you play through five planets progressively each with five waves and one boss until you run out of lives. Planets is more of the same, only the game finishes after completing each planet rather than continuing on to the next planet. Each mode has Casual, Normal and Hardcore difficulty modes, as well as two different control styles. Delta controls make use of the touch screen (for the missiles power-up) and rear touch pad (for the black hole power-up) and features “slo-mo” boosting. Pure controls, however, only use buttons and lose the power-ups apart from boosting, which does not feature “slo-mo.”

Five mini games are also on offer. Crush! is essentially the sci-fi videogame version of zit-popping where you use your thumb and index finger to pop asteroids on the screen, making for an intriguing use of the touchscreen and rear touch pad. Disc Slide has you controlling a blue disc by way of the touchscreen, destroying everything blue and avoiding everything red. Orbit Stomper is a Super Stardust FPS that has you aim using the gyroscopic feature and shooting with the L and R triggers. Rock & Roll is the most fiendish minigame, using gyroscopic tilting to move the asteroid you control while taking out green cores and avoiding enemies altogether. Trucker is perhaps the most fun you’ll find here; you use a tractor beam to play virtual asteroid conkers. Each minigame has a corresponding trophy and, depending on how much of a glutton for punishment you are, it’s fair to say that you’re unlikely to return to the more difficult games after having collected their trophies. They’re a mixed bag, sure, but they do a much better job at showing what the Vita hardware is capable of compared to Welcome Park.

If you choose to go for the DLC bundle with Super Stardust Delta and the Advanced Star Fighter Pack for £7.99 you’ll get four more modes and five more unlockable trophies. Endless mode has a never-ending amount of attack waves, Bomber mode arms you with bombs only, Impact mode has you take down enemies using only your boost and Twin-Gun mode allows you to attack with both the left and right analogue sticks, leaving you using the gyroscopic tilt mechanics to control your ship.







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