Professor Schaumund, tyrannical bad dude/peculiar mutant penguin thing, is on the rampage again. His vast fleets threaten the skies. Residents of the seemingly-doomed galaxy have no hope of escape. It’s not looking good, I think we can safely say. Fortunately, the Intergalactic Defence Commission has a plan for just such occasions as this. (Foul yourself would be the only strategy I’d be able to offer at this juncture, but that’s likely reserved as Plan B.) There’s a range of starfighter squads available to combat this menace, but they are to remain grounded. Instead, one unlucky victim of rock-paper-scissors heads off in a fantastically powerful prototype fighter to repel the invasion.
Just when it looked to be becoming a romp of Star Wars proportions, (perhaps featuring a few dramatic space battles and unexpected parental revelations from a villain with breathing problems) the scene is instead set for Super Stardust Delta.
After the aforementioned pilot has had a quick grumble about getting the short, shit-encrusted end of the stick, you find yourself in arcade mode. There are five planets, each serving as a sizable level. Octopus-esque dexterity will be required as you weave through asteroids and opponents alike, blasting your way through to that stage’s boss. You’ll alternate between fire and ice weaponry, each effective on different enemies. Boosts, bombs and other special abilities are available to enable a swift egress from hairy moments. (and believe me, such moments are hairier than a tarantula’s testicles in Super Stardust Delta.)
There are also a range of minigames on offer. As is apparently obligatory with such offerings, these range from enjoyable distraction to appalling pain in our collective ass. My favourite of these, Rock & Roll, casts you as an orbiting asteroid. Albeit what seems to be an asteroid of great space-justice. You use the Vita’s gyro-sorcery to steer around the huge shitstorm of murderous spacejunk (even the pebbles floating around seem desperate to kill you) into some kind of green lump. The green lump loves you, evidently, and awards points for some reason when you crush it horrifically under your great rock-bulk.
Super Stardust Delta was one of my first purchases for Playstation Vita, and I was suitably impressed. For a digital-only budget title, it’s a generous package indeed. Fans of the Stardust series or of hectic twin-stick shooters are guaranteed an exemplary experience.
Check out some footage from the game, available on PSN for Playstation Vita now:
Article by Chris Littlechild