An Amazing Arcade-Shooter for the Hardcore
Super Stardust HD is a futuristic 3D Asteroids, basically. There's more than that though, but on paper, that's exactly what it is.
You may notice, in the title, "...for the harcore". Why for the hardcore? Because this game is really, really hard. It doesn't go easy on you. When you first start the game and try out the first planet your gonna get your ass kicked, but then, once you get the hang of it you'll start to feel good, but then it'll get harder, and harder, and harder. It's pretty insane.
So, there are 5 planets: Lave, Coventina, Nemain, Taranis, and Segomo. In each planet you'll have to destroy asteroids, and tokens to earn points. When you destroy the asteroids you'll get points, and they will often break into green tokens, and when they are destroyed you'll get something; either another ship, a shield to absorb one hit, and upgrade for your gun, or just points. These downgrade over time, so if you see a ship token, better grab it quick! The ship and shield tokens are pretty rare, but the weapon upgrades are moderately common.
On the weapons side, you have three of them; the Rock Crusher, Gold Melter, and Ice crusher. And each of these weapons has a respective asteroid that it will do more damage to than the other weapons. The Rock Crusher destroys Rock asteroids faster, the Gold Melter destroys Gold asteroids faster, and the Ice Crusher destroys
As I said, all of these can be upgraded. When you first upgrade it'll get faster, then after a few more it'll start shooting two rays of bullets, then 3, 4, and when it's maxed at 100% you can get it in overdrive at 200% that makes it extremely powerful, but only lasts a half a minute or so. The Gold Melter, which is a laser-type gun that you can swing around in circles and such. As you upgrade it it gets faster and longer. The Ice Crusher, when upgraded, will shooter faster and shoot more.
Now, to the basics of the planets. First, you'll start out with a few huge asteroids, you break those into smaller asteroids, and more asteroids spawn, then eventually enemies will come, and a bar at the bottom of the screen will tell you how many are left, when you destroy them all you'll complete the phase, there are 5 phases in each of the 5 planets. The enemies range from little snake-like-creatures to explosive objects that spawn in huge numbers, to little extremely small but easy to kill and avoid, but they really get annoying when you have 200 of them on the screen. 200? Yea, I'm not exaggerating. Then, in the fifth and final phase you'll fight a boss. There isn't a boss for each planet though. In "Planet 1" you'll fight "boss A". In "Planet 2" to you'll fight "boss B. In "Planet 3" you'll fight "boss A", but this time two of them. In "Planet 4" you'll fight "boss B", times two. Then in "Planet 5" you'll fight "boss C". The bosses are huge UFO ships and big long space dragons(?).
Now, for t he modes. There is two modes that ship with the game: Arcade, and Planet. Planet Mode is just, well, as it sounds, you just play that planet. But in Arcade you'll continue on in a never ending cycle of the 5 planets. Once you beat them all, or just beat the fifth one you'll restart on the first planet again, with all your ships/shields/upgrades, but on a harder difficulty.
The game does have Co-Op, but it kind a sucks. The camera is wonky, it's only offline, and overall, it just isn't as fun as you would expect.
There are leader boards, so you can go "WTF?!" at the 1,000,000,000 point score at the top. They kinda give you something to strive for, I guess.
SSHD's $10 price tag is pretty generous. The game will last you awhile, depending on how addicted you get to it. Plus it's difficulty adds onto it's play value, since it may take you tons of attempts to beat a certain planet. Great great, great graphics, great price, it's... great? Yeah, great.