Super Stardust Delta preview the PS Vitas touch screen take on Asteroids

If you’ve played Super Stardust HD on the PS3, chances are you’re going to feel right at home with the PS Vita’s own Super Stardust Delta. The game puts you in a tiny spaceship defending a planet from waves of massive asteroids and enemy ships. Weapons range from a whip-like energy beam that breaks up giant space rocks into smaller pieces to having the ability to unleash devastating black holes. We went hands-on with the game to see how it handles on Sony’s upcoming portable.

You control your ship’s movement with the left analogue stick and weapon fire with the right. In Delta, the entire planet is visible on-screen. The camera follows your ship as it circumnavigates the planet, and with a tilt of the Vita, the camera angle can be shifted so you can view what’s ahead. Along with motion, Delta also takes advantage of the Vita’s touchscreen features to activate the game’s super abilities.

One such ability allows a black hole to be set anywhere around the planet, triggered simply by tapping the touch pad on the back of the system. Anything in the immediate vicinity is sucked up in a cyclone of spaghettification, giving you a moment of breathing room. In the opposite fashion, tapping the screen will fire homing missiles outward at every angle simultaneously, which then lock onto close enemies. Shaking the Vita sets off a smaller scale bomb, which is useful for destroying small groups of enemies. All abilities have limited uses per round, forcing you to think tactically.

The immediate impression we got from our hands-on time was that this game is hectic as all hell. If we sat still for one second we were decimated on the spot. We had to be mobile the entire time, dodging asteroids, vaporizing enemy buzzsaw ships and evading flashing red bombs. Using the black hole and missile abilities at the right time was essential to keep from becoming overwhelmed. The game is visual stimulation to the max, with neon-light explosions going off everywhere and almost too many things on screen to keep up with – but that’s what makes it fun. Even after only playing a short demo, we can already see how players will get sucked in trying to get a new high score or complete the next wave.

Super Stardust Delta launches with the PS Vita on February 22.

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