The arcade-style shooter market was high during the early 80’s and then had a rebirth during the Playstation One time period where many shooters were released on the 32-bit platform. After this timeframe, shooters started falling to the wayside with other genres taking over and less shooters being released. Then with the release of the XBOX 360 and the XBL Arcade games, we had a nice little game come out by the name of ‘Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved’. Housemarque in 2008 released ‘Super Stardust HD’ on the Playstation 3’s PSN store for a mere $9.99 with an add-on pack that followed a few months later for $4.99.
‘Super Stardust HD’ is simple yet is challenging as you command a spaceship which flies around a grid that has enclosed a planet as if it were force field. Why the grid? The grid is there to protect the planet from asteroids, rocks, aliens, alien ships, creatures, to name a few of the adversaries that you must blast through. In ‘SSHD’ you are flying your spaceship blasting into anything that is a danger into penetrating the grid and destroying the planet.

You can play in either Arcade or Planet Mode as both offer a load of fun. In Arcade Mode, there are a total of 5 planets to play through and each planet has 5 phases that you need to complete with a boss fight on the final phase. In Planet Mode, you select the planet that you want to play through without progression, provide it that you have beaten each planet to unlock the next. The graphics aren’t going to be mind blowing, but the game does run in 1080p and everything on screen looks good from the asteroids themselves to the multiple explosions going on at one time.

As you try to not only defend the Planet, your goal up front is to defend the grid from being compromised. There are several weapons that can be used in your arsenal. There are 3 different weapon types that are available at anytime during the game. Each one of these weapons can be powered up as you progress through the level making it more powerful. Trust me, the boss fights get tougher with each single planet so powering up not only helps get you through each phase of the level, but it is important for the boss fights. There is a boost attack which helps cut right through asteroids and even enemies. You can also collect shields for your spaceship which is a needed bonus at times as things get chaotic. This is where bombs are a big added help, because when things get chaotic with multiple enemies and asteroids coming your way the bombs will make a huge difference in not getting hit.

To be honest, I wouldn’t have purchased ‘SSHD’ unless if it weren’t for the Trophies. I am glad now that I purchased ‘SSHD’, even without the Trophies this is a fun little game that is worth the $9.99 and could get you countless of hours worth of fun.

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