SUPER STARDUST PORTABLE / Sony / PSP

Super Stardust began life on the Playstation Network, and I've seen some complaints that this port is inferior to the "big boy" version in a number of ways. I'm not saying those complaints are invalid, but as someone who has never played the original version and thus has no frame of reference, I still found this PSP version to be a goddamn blast, and it has earned a permanent place on my memory card as an excellent little mindless-but-fun time killer for bus commutes and such.

Whoever designed this really "gets" compelling arcade-style shooters, and struck a very nice balance of challenge without dipping into masochism. It's sort of a modernized take on Asteroids, as you fly about with the analog nub and fire in 8 directions using the 4 face buttons, but aside from lots of debris there's also various enemies roaming about, and a boss battle every 5th level. Using the face buttons as directional fire is maybe the tiniest bit awkward, but there's a technique you soon learn with centering your thumb in the middle of them and then just sort of leaning it in the direction you want that makes it perfectly playable.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video

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