Stardusting

25May12

Oh Super Stardust Delta, can I count the ways? Friends know I am not exactly Sony’s biggest fan. Terribly fluffed launches like the PS 3 one a year after Microsoft with fewer functions and a much higher price tag have left a bad taste and it’s a shame because I adored the original Playstation and knowing some people involved in its launch enjoyed their stories. Years later their passion and hunger for a success was evident in every tale told.

This is why I’m so delighted that my PS Vita is entertaining me so and restoring my faith in Sony. It’s a really solid platform. Nice hardware which looks and feels like it’s expensive and well crafted. A feature set which is comparable with the competition, front facing camera, touch screen, gyro, good battery life, but also has some features that set it apart, size and quality of screen, performance and twin sticks. There’s a very large library of titles available to download, most new releases are available direct and I’m also very excited by the number of titles being announced for both PS3 and Vita which mean that we’re going to be treated to full blown experiences but on the small screen.

The title I’m most pleased with this sunny Friday afternoon is the addictive and brilliant Stardust. It’s not the most complex concept but taking the bullet hell shooter, turning some of those bullets into asteroids and mapping it to a sphere is a combination of simple ingredients that combine into a mouthwatering dish. The game hasn’t changed a great deal from its PS3 debut, something which is very welcome. The core planet hopping mechanic where you destroy asteroids using the weapon type that causes most damage to them, fire on fire asteroids, an ice splitter on the ice ones etc.,  is challenging enough to warrant the price but this reworking of the original game also includes fun mini-games aimed more at the unique features of the Vita. Asteroid squashing being the first where finger and thumb must be used to squish enemies using the trouchscreen and unique rear touch.

There’s also a special control method specifically developed for the Vita which uses shakes and screen taps to trigger extra weapons and controls. It’s a neat set of tricks but purists will stick with what they know (read people like me too old to learn something new ;) ) Pleasantly the performance is also very very good. Not a hint of slowdown and so much on screen all at once.

In short get ye to the PS store now, grab a copy and start blowing up those darned asteroids and faceless space monsters. It’s put a huge grin on my face this afternoon :)

 

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