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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Housemarque
Genre: Shooter
Players: 1-2
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: June 28, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Written By: Matthew Prunty

The past few weeks, both Xbox Live and the Playstation Network have been competing, trying to offer gamers some immersive action-packed titles to play in-between key console titles. Xbox Live Arcade offered gamers Geometry Wars, which set the mark for successful shooters in the future. Itís the first title that proved the analogy that ďgameplay is more important than graphicsĒ. Ever since Geometry Wars hit the market two years ago, there hasnít been a title to come close to mimicking the action and flare. Sony tried with Blast Factor, but it couldnít live up to expectations, so Sony gave it another try with Super Stardust HD, which shares similarities with Geometry Wars, yet retains its own identity and even surpasses the creativity and flare of its counterpart.

For a simplistic, yet intense shooter, the name of the game is strategy. The farther and longer you play the game, the more hectic the action gets. There are multiple enemies within the game, for which the three supplied weapons are being constantly used. Some enemies take the shape of the rock, which is best dealt with the rock crusher. Others are made of ice, which of course the ice splitter is the best weapon to deal with the situation. Nothing is stopping you from sticking to one weapon to destroy everything, which you can, but since the game is all about speed and timing, switching from one weapon to another, is key to keeping yourself out of hot water.

The world of Super Stardust HD is comprised of 5 worlds, each having 5 phases to battle within. Though this seems like a very short game to play, you will soon realize that this game takes a lot of time dedication to ensure your survival of each phase. You have free control or traveling around the surface of the world and the ability to play the game using one of two screens. You can play the game with the action close up on the screen, but if you want to see your enemies coming from a far distance, the far view setup is the best way to go. Just from playing the first couple of phases, itís very clear that this game isnít a pushover. Housemarque developed this game from the ground up for the hardcore gamers around the world.

For a downloadable title, Super Stardust HD boasts some of the best graphics seen on the console. Though the game isnít highly detailed and stylized like Resistance, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, etc., the game is full of vivid colors, detailed textures and character models. There are moments within the game where thereís thousands of objects on the screen at one time, which slows down the frame-rate a tad, but doesnít keep you from enjoying the experience. Several of the effects, including the fiery effects, look very realistic and authentic.

What makes Super Stardust HD an entertainment paradise is the simple control scheme. The left analog stick allows for movement of your ship, while the right analog stick allows you to shoot your weapon. You have the ability to perform a dash move, which allows you to use a speed burst to fly through big rocks and/or get out of tight situations. Within the game, you have three weapons to choose from; a rock crusher, a gold melter and an ice splitter. To switch between weapons, you would either press either the L1 or R1 buttons. Last, but certainly not the least, you have the ďcosmic bombĒ, which allows you to destroy everything on screen with a fiery blast.

In regards to the musical score, thereís nothing really to the game. The music is simple and different within every world and boss fight, so there is no since of repetition at all. Special effects are a blend of current and futuristic weaponry, which enhances the actions on screen.

If the single-player options arenít enough, you have access to a two-player co-op mode. While this is a sure fire way to blast through the game, you will have to deal with some concept issues. One of these issues is the split-screen action, which makes it hard at times to see where your enemies are coming from. Another hindrance would be being able to perform the dash move correctly, without running into a giant boulder and or robotic creature.

For a mere $7.99, you are looking at the best investment for the Playstation 3 console. It combines are the key elements of several different genres into one intense, action-packed adventure thatís worthy of any console. The Playstation Network has other good titles like Blast Factor and Calling All Cars, there is nothing quite like Super Stardust HD.


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