Like Stardust, in this Asteroids clone you control your Panther PX-2 ship through successive waves of asteroids and other enemies, which are drawn using ray-tracing techniques. The game features both overhead and 3D sections. In the overhead part, you must eliminate enemy ships and asteroids across several zones in each world. The 3D sections consist of underwater tunnels that link one world to another and they are each defended by a guardian you must defeat.
Wow! Asteroids grew up.
If you are old enough to remember the arcade classic Asteroids (you know - the game that got us all in trouble at work) then you are really going to appreciate the facelift that GameTek/ Housemarque has given it in Super Stardust. There have been numerous adaptations of the original and Activision made the official upgrade to the old Asteroids classic but GameTek was there first and even if it wasn't GameTek's intention to release a new age Asteroids game there is no mistaking that Super Stardust has been heavily influenced by the original. Officially, however, Super Stardust is a sequel to the original Stardust (Bloodhouse) released the year before. The game play of Super Stardust is very much like that of Stardust.
While the game play is similar to Asteroids the graphics and sound are waaaay beyond. Trust me this game will get your pulse going a bit fast as you try to avenge the destruction of planet Earth by the evil Dr. Schaumund. As good as the graphics are I was just as impressed by the sound quality as I was the visual. Turn your speakers up when you play this game and it will rock you.
The game is divided into sectors. Each geographical sector represents one sixth of a world with different worlds being connected by a warp tunnel. When you are skilled enough to have battled your way through all six sectors in one world you must blast your way through the tunnel to get to the next world. The gates are no easy task as you have mines and enemy spaceships (guardians) to avoid all the while. All told there are thirty sectors making up five worlds all connected by four tunnels. After the fifth world you must defeat Dr Schaumund the mutant penguin professor-in-a-top-hat who is hell bent on taking over the galaxy.
As you progress through each level you collect more powerful weapons that you must then learn how to use effectively because the enemies don't get any fewer or easier to kill. Generally, in each sector, before you face any enemy spaceships you must blast through all the asteroids that provide plenty of power ups to replenish your shields and energy boosters. If you are fortunate you can even collect extra lives. Of course God didn't intend for us to beat this game in our lifetime so the real challenge is to better your best score. If you make the top ten list you get to etch your name there for all posterity. Now, go out and avenge us all and may the force be with you; or was that another game?
Super Stardust 96 is an excellent arcade shoot em-up that combines addictive gameplay with breath-taking ray-traced and fully animated 3D graphics, digital music and sound effects, to give you the blast feast of your life. Your objective is simple--destroy everything in sight and collect weapons and power-ups to help you in your quest. Fight your way through 5 worlds and 4 warp gates to reach the end and face Professor Schaumund himself. The game includes more enemies, explosions, debris, action and destruction than most PC games.
According to the official game page at Housemarque, Super Stardust was "the first true arcade blaster shoot-em-up for the PC ever!" and the game certainly lives up to this claim. Among the many features are: true arcade quality, huge and fully animated enemies, realtime glow and transparency effects, digital music and sound effects, and more. The game also deserves mention for its solid coding-as the official site states, "excellence in technical execution meant constant 70Hz screen update and highly optimized code guaranteed unbelievable arcade quality interaction on your own PC." Too bad this PC version didn't enjoy as wide distribution as its Amiga cousin, and stateside published GameTek did a much poorer job than European publisher Team 17, resulting in the game being literally unknown in the US. Still, here's your chance to finally try one of the BEST shoot-em-ups ever made for the PC.
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