Super Stardust HD on the PlayStation 3 was addicting to play. Fast, responsive, challenging and overall was enjoyable to play. I loved how everything just melded together to make a grand experience. So when Sony showed off Super Stardust Delta for their new PlayStation Vita last year I was excited. Of course I needed to buy a new system to get the game and that's what I did. Delta is incredibly refined from what was in HD.
Delta's graphics aren't the best of the Vita launch games, but they are still very impressive. While there are better looking games at the launch of the new system I had to remind myself this is a PSN franchise. With that out of the way I noticed that when the action ramps up there wasn't any lagging. I didn't have any issues with slow down and absolutely no pop in occurred while I played. If you haven't picked the game up you are doing a disservice to yourself because the action gets crazy. As several enemy types appear on screen I sometimes just acted on instinct.
The enemies stayed fast and furious through my play time. There are only two weapons in Delta instead of the three that were in HD. That might sound like simplifying the game for a handheld, but that third weapon is replaced with an increase of special abilities based on skill. As my multiplier rose so did the special weapons and extra drops. Shield boosts dropped at higher rates as my score increased and after having a shield already equipped the new drops would release a small explosion around my ship to clear a path. As for the new additions there was an Overdrive drop that would increase not only the speed of the weapon I was using, but also increase the range and amount of bullets my ship was firing. Fire and Ice based enemies flood the screen very quickly which forced me to swap between my fire and ice based weapons.
One thing I love about Delta is how the game has one level that is fire based followed by a level that is ice based. After those two the game then says deal with both at the same time! Plus here are enemies that don't have an affinity towards one of the other. The second planet was fun as it was the first full planet of every combination being thrown at me and the transitions to the boss fights are interesting as well. There are patterns for the bosses but it appeared to be at least 6 different patterns that the bosses would cycle through. So it wasn't the same pattern throughout the entire fight and kept me on my toes. One of my few complaints contends with the giant screen. The game got so crazy at times that it was hard to see where everything was and I died a couple times just because I lost myself when the screen became technicolor.
Outside of the traditional arcade mode Housemarque also added a Touch mode. It essentially is the traditional arcade mode with touch features. I didn't dive to far into it, because I didn't like the feel of it. Everything was responsive and things got intense and I'm not going to play intensely on the touchscreens without protective covers. There was the bomber mode from HD, where you use primarily bombs to protect yourself. Throughout my time playing I was unlocking the soundtrack and new modes as my score racked up. I don't know if more will unlock as I continue playing, but I will update this review with the details (not the score) if more unlock.
Super Stardust Delta was going to be a day one purchase for me based on my time with Super Stardust HD. After picking the game up with my new Vita I'm glad I did. For $10 on the PlayStation Store I got most of that back in the first couple planets. If you loved HD there is no reason not to pick this game up. While probably not much of a “system seller” for the Vita this is a title that should be within your first couple of game transactions. If HD wasn't a game you enjoyed Delta likely will not change your opinion because it is more of the same with so many new modes and features.