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?
The downloaded zip file will extract to an ISO that can be used by either mounting it with DOSBox (imgmount) or by burning your own CD (if you have the burner and software). You must then run the installation on your machine. (See the Abandonia forum discussions for more information on ISO image mounting and burning software. It is really quite easy.)
This game runs very well under DOSBox if you set it up correctly. You must increase the cycles in DOSBox to at least 15000 (if you have the computer to handle it). I played with 17000 and there was no lag whatsoever. You will know when you aren’t giving it enough juice when everything seems to drop into slow motion occasionally and the sound is choppy.
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