Super Stardust is a game that is seemingly going to last forever, with Housemarque’s title being originally released on the PS3, then Vita, then PS4, and now PSVR. This is by no means a bad thing, as it’s a fantastic game, but does it really suit itself to Virtual Reality? Well, yes and no. Let’s have a look.
Game: Super Stardust Ultra VR
(Review code provided by publisher)
Housemarque’s modern takes on classic arcade titles have been some of the most fun I’ve had on consoles over the past few years. PS4 launch title Resogun remains to this day one of my favourite titles on the system, and the original Super Stardust HD was so addictive that I think I’ve spent more time with that than I have with some members of my family since I purchased it.
If you’ve yet to play Stardust at all, it’s essentially Asteroids, if Asteroids were put through a mid-90’s nightclub, complete with pulsing music and insane colour schemes, then wrapped around a planet. You take control of a little ship, with 3 different weapon types, and have to destroy any and everything in your path. It’s immense arcade fun, and if you’ve yet to play it, you really should do.
What, then, does PSVR add into the equation? The answer is that there’s not a huge amount, but what it does add in is interesting enough to give it a look. First up, there’s the traditional mode, which lets you play the standard game with a sense of depth that hasn’t really been seen before. You are suddenly plonked in the middle of outer space, with a huge planet in front of you, your craft in some crazy orbit, with explosions flying at you from all angles. It’s very cool, and when the fireworks go off at the end of a wave, you can’t help but smile at the graphical effects. Gimmicky? Sure, but any excuse to dive back into Super Stardust is fine with me.
The other mode is called Invasion Zone, and is essentially a small arena based tank mode. This is somewhat standard fare, and doesn’t add much new to the conversation, particularly if you’ve played Battlezone, which is far superior in pretty much every way to this mode. The arena is pretty small, and the enemy waves don’t really get interesting until the point where you feel like you want to head back to the main game to get your rock-shooting boots back on. Much like some of the other VR modes in standard games, this mode is functional but not worth hanging your entire purchase of the VR unit on.
If you’ve yet to play Super Stardust at all, and are picking up a PlayStation VR, then there’s not really too much of an excuse not to. There is an option to upgrade to the VR version if you already have Super Stardust Ultra, but the upgrade price is somewhat of a mystery at the moment, so it’s going to be a personal choice as to whether it’s worth it. As I said above, any excuse to dive back into a Housemarque game is welcome in my eyes, and this has made me realise just how Super Stardust is all over again.