Stardust was nothing more than Asteroids for the Nineties. This is something that was accepted from the start, but nobody seemed to mind at all. There were no cries for more up-to-date gameplay, more originality or anything else that could be deemed to be negative. The magazines lapped it up, and so did the public: Bloodhouse found themselves with a major hit on their hands. So, changing publishers from Daze Marketing to Team 17, work began on Super Stardust, an AGA expanded version of the original game, and we've been waiting hungrily ever since.
By way of explanation here's a quick recap: the original game had you flying a solo spaceship, armed with a rudimentary shield and laser cannon, flying through an asteroid belt chock-a-block with huge rocks, which you then have to blast into smaller and smaller fragments until they disappear. This is done against the clock, and bearing in mind that every time you shoot a rock it splits into two, you end up with a hell of a lot of small rocks floating around, all of which need to be avoided if you want to stay in one piece.
So far it sounds like nothing more than Asteroids, but then that's because I haven't told you about any of the bonus parts of the game. For a start, there are barrel loads of enemy craft that visit you on various levels, such as the flame thrower - a round disc-like craft that follows you around the screen blowing streams of fire in your direction, or the Predator, an unusual cloaked ship, that causes a ripple in the backdrop as it moves around before it appears and starts firing homing missiles at you. Hardest of all, though, are the end of world enemy ships that appear when you have completed all six levels of the current world. These are larger than any other ships in the game and as you might expect, are far harder to kill.
Another new addition to the Asteroids format are the bonus objects that appear when you destroy certain rocks. These can be anything from an extra life or a shield bonus up to smart bombs and a strange spiralling explosion that takes out everything within a quarter of a screen radius.
The best part of all, however, and the one thing that most A1200 owners have been waiting for is the tunnel section. This takes the part of a warp gate between worlds, and looks like a large bitmap tunnel with your craft viewed from behind (third person) flying forward at an incredible speed while trying to avoid other asteroids and attacking ships. In the original Stardust this effect was incredible, on the AGA update it's one of the most impressive pieces of game programming ever. You can see from the screenshots on this page just how impressive it looks when it's still, and you really can't imagine how amazing it looks when it's moving at a speed of knots.
The biggest selling point of the whole game has to be the graphics. The original Stardust impressed everyone from the point of view that all the asteroids had been rendered with full light sourcing, but that can't prepare anyone for the sight of Lightwave-rendered asteroids the size of half the screen rolling around. It all looks fabulous, to say the least.
Thankfully, the gameplay matches up. Somewhat faster and smoother than the original Stardust, this is the kind of game you can pick up in a moment, and then get hooked in the next. A solid game from start to finish, Super Stardust has the kind of sheen that not many games ever get close to.
Everybody knows the Spaceship game called Stardust. Fight against meterors, and other interesting things :) Super Stardust is the best Amiga version of that game. Using AGA graphics and the power of CD32. With extra Tunel levels and featuring 12 channel music.
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