Super Stardust HD(1)

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Year: 2007
Developed by: Housemarque
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PS3, PSP, Playstation VR, PS4
Feeling Like: Free Flying in Asteroids

I’m always skeptical of any company or app that guarantees your online safety. I’m not saying it’s not worth it to take measures to protect yourself, I’m saying if Microsoft and other tech giants can get hacked, I don’t hold much hope for anybody else. If you’ve read Kevin Mitnick’s book, Ghost in the Wires, you’ll also know that sometimes a security breach is as simple as social engineering; somebody asks for access under false pretenses, and gets it. You’d be surprised.

I don’t really feel like researching when Sony had a massive breach, so I’m not going to – it’s not that kind of blog. A few minutes on Google and you can find it yourself. Regardless, I can assure you that Sony was hacked, the Playstation Network was down for a few days, and everybody got to pick two games for free, out of a selection of five. It was Sony’s way of apologizing. Considering I didn’t use the Playstation Network all that much, I figured it was a good deal. I selected Infamous as one of them. This was the other.

Super Stardust HD(2)
Gorgeous, and deadly. Just like me.

The beauty of the colliding colors is overwhelming. Instead of a 2D flat game area, like in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, it’s a three dimensional planet. This adds a new layer of challenge and strategy as you can’t see everything that’s flying your way, and you do have a few more routes of escape. It’s not a big area, though, and you certainly won’t win by trying to hide.

I suppose it’s really just an updated version of the classic game Asteroids, where there’s no “goal” or “story” as much as there is a need and desire to go as far as you can, while obtaining the highest score. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if I’m playing something by myself and it doesn’t reach the peak of my interests, I’m not really all that interested in going for a spot on the online leaderboards.

Super Stardust HD(4)
However, if the whole game consisted of the Fire Whip, I might have changed my mind.

There aren’t any special weapons, there’s no secret unlocks. It’s just your little ship, two analogue sticks and millions of rocks heading your way. Have fun!

Fun was had.

Super Stardust HD forces you to focus every single second. It’s punishingly stimulating at times. Blinking’ll cost you. You have limited bombs that you’re going to save for when things get dicey, but what happens when things are ALWAYS dicey? Upgrades are necessary to survive, and I loved how the game forces you to switch up your weapons depending on if you were shooting rocks, gold or ice.

Eventually, the screen gets too frantic and I died – many, many times. I’m obviously distressed that giant corporations that hold untold amounts of private information are hacked on a seemingly daily basis, but at least THIS breach allowed me to enjoy Super Stardust HD for a brief period of time – and that’s more that what we usually get when our privacy is violated, no?

I will say, a nice consolation prize for hacking is this awesome commercial.

Edit: I also didn’t realize that I picked Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Super Stardust HD back to back. I totally didn’t mean to do that. What a way to end Firmly Planted!

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