Super Stardust AGA

Title		Super Stardust AGA
Company         Team 17/Bloodhouse
Game Type	Shoot-em-up
Players		1 or 2
Compatibility	AGA
HD Installable  Yes (not 040/060?)
Submission	Jason Compton

	This Amiga Report review appears here by courtesy of Jason Compton

Did you think you had hit the height of Stardustdom?  Enter Super
Stardust. You'll be pleased.

Super Stardust AGA is a high quality, high class project. For those of you
unfamiliar with the game, it is the 90's Asteroids. Wonderful high-detail
rendered asteroids with beautiful backdrops, one big (TOO big for the job,
if you ask me) ship flying around trying to blow them all up. In the
meantime, enemy ships drop by and try to kill you in innovative ways, like
dropping bombs, shooting fire at you, or cloaking and becoming invincible,
flying around, then decloaking just long enough to shoot a rocket at you.
If you're particularly lucky, the power-ups you get from the asteroids
will keep you alive, and the weapons you can steal from destroyed
transports will keep you fighting. After 6 repetitions, a huge imposing
ship with lovely graphics and nasty weapons tries to kill you. After that,
you're dropped into a tunnel, where the asteroids zoom by you at high
speeds in 3d while you shoot them and avoid mines.

Don't worry about the plot. It's silly. An evil professor kidnaps the same
princess he kidnapped in Stardust and wants to destroy everybody else. But
it does make for a good Star Warsian scrolling intro text, (whose quality
outshines that of X-Wing's attempt...)

There's really not much else to say. The game is visually stunning. Were I
a British reviewer, I might go so far as to say it's gobsmacking. But in
any lingo, the game is incredibly beautiful to behold. As far as
playability goes, it is a bit difficult to coordinate weapon changes, as
it requires pausing the game with the spacebar, making the changes, and
resuming...but dropping a hand from your controller to hit the spacebar is
a lot to ask for. Things can happen so fast in the game...

Speaking of control systems: it IS worth pointing out that there is a CD32
version of this game available. Team17 only sent me the AGA version, but
the manual covers both, and indicates that the CD32 control system for
switching weapons is far superior. However, for some reason, it wasn't
implemented on the AGA floppy version. Now, I understand that there's no
real reason to play the floppy version on a CD32 with the CD32 pad, but as
we move into the 3.1 age, CD32 controllers CAN be a reality for AGA
machines. Strange shortsightedness. I mean, it wouldn't have hurt to allow
for it...

The game isn't, of course, a direct rehash of Asteroids. The concept of
depletable ship energy (drained by collisions) and a shield (limited
usage, of course) come into play, and the old "hyperspace" escape is gone.
The aforementioned graphics are a far cry from the black and white
wireframe of long ago, and the sound is terrific...even from floppy, the
musical tracks are mixed cleverly with the sound effects and strange voice
which informs you of which power-up you've obtained, in case you were too
busy watching the 6 small asteroids hurtling at you to notice. When the
game is done, you're presented with a detailed summary of your gameplay,
and an insulting one-line ranking. (Well, let's just say it's insulting
below the pre-programmed high score.)

While it's PAL-only, it's at least nice enough to boot directly to it
without any user intervention. If you like, the 5-disk extravaganza can be
installed to hard drive. It requires a reboot of the system to play from
HD, however, and we were unable to play from HD on our 4000/040. (it works
just fine from floppy, however.) A password system exists, but it's a bit
harsh...the passwords place you BEFORE tunnel sequences, meaning you have
to survive them and complete the entire 6-screen world each time you

Speed difference is undetectable between the CD32/Fastram and 4000/040.

My feelings about Super Stardust can be summed up as follows: Take a CD32
or 1200HD, put it in a stand-up console, wire up a sturdy arcade-style
controller, and stick it in an arcade, coin box and all. It's really that
good, and it's really that playable.

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