First Impressions: Super Stardust Delta
Posted by Sammy Barker
Blast from the future
There’s no bigger advocate for the PlayStation Vita’s dual analogue sticks than Super Stardust Delta. Housemarque’s intergalactic shooter series has been a poster child for the PlayStation Network for years, and on PlayStation Vita it is no less important.
The game offers a smattering of play options, divided between traditional and modern controls. The former is the classic Super Stardust experience you’ve come to know and love, relying on lightning quick reactions and slick use of the PlayStation Vita’s small but accurate analogue sticks. The latter introduces a smattering of touch and tilt inputs, allowing you to look around the game’s three-dimensional arena by moving the system in real space.
The PlayStation Vita specific inputs are a nice novelty, but it's the traditional controls that we suspect will draw players in. And we're pleased to confirm that Delta is every bit the companion to its PlayStation 3 counterpart.
Movement and aiming feels slick and fluid, with the introduction of new weapon-specific secondary attacks breathing new life into the core mechanics. The primary laser leash includes the option to distribute a black hole on the stage, sucking everything into the void including your ship. Unlike previous Super Stardust power-ups, the black hole is not a get out of jail free card. You’ll need to be precise with your escape plan, avoiding oncoming debris as a stream of hazards comes flying towards your ship. But as you’d expect, the ultimate pay-off is worthwhile.
Naturally the game looks stunning on the PlayStation Vita’s OLED screen, with the deep blacks of the game’s space setting contrasting against the glow of shattered rocks and streams of fire power. Most importantly, no matter how chaotic the game gets, Delta maintains its buttery smooth frame rate.
It’s familiar but, just like its PlayStation 3 predecessor, it's also ridiculously addictive. More to the point, it’s perfectly suited to the portability of the PlayStation Vita. After all, who wouldn’t want to participate in gorgeously speculative intergalactic space combat on the train?
Super Stardust Delta is set to release on 22nd February for PlayStation Vita.