As one of the Vita’s cheaper launch titles, I was drawn to Super Stardust Delta by the graphics, and by early reviews that had compared the game play as similar to Beat Hazard, which is one of my favorite arcade shooters to waste time on. The comparison isn’t quite right, but Super Stardust Delta is a fun arcade shooter with plenty of challenges in its six levels of hot and twin-sticky death.
You move the starship using the left analog stick, and the right shoots. The game can be run in Delta or Pure mode. Delta makes use of the Vita’s touch features, but given how often I accidentally set off a black hole or a flurry of missiles when I didn’t mean to, I tended to play pure more. So this isn’t quite a knock to the touch screen options, just an admission that I’m a bit of a klutz.
What makes this game different from Beat Hazard is the globe you fly around. You’re in a geosynchronous orbit with one of six planets, always keeping an eye on the horizons for the arrival of enemies or giant space rocks. The objective is to clear all the junk out of the airspace using a fire-whip to bust up asteroids, and an ice gun to break up comets. Both types of space rock contain green glowing chunks that will yield power ups for your weapons. Rocks and enemies also release stardust, and by collecting this glowing green dust, you increase a point multiplier and unlock some extra gifts along the way.
I’m not doing the game justice, though. Each planet is vastly different from the last, and the background graphics are gorgeous. The music is pretty standard fare for shooters, but it isn’t grating on the ears. The music and graphics in combination with the simple game play make for a “sticky game” that keeps you coming back for more. (more…)