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Super Stardust logo  AGA 

The return of the deadly, drop-dead gorgeous shoot-'em-up from hell! Jonathan Maddock primes his trigger-finger and prepares to take on the might of Professor Shamund once more.

During the run up to Christmas 1993, a game created by Bloodhouse, a then unknown software developer from Finland, arrived on the Amiga games scene. It was a shoot-'em-up of epic proportions and its name was Stardust.
Bloodhouse had taken the good old classic theme of Asteroids and tweaked it beyond belief in the graphic and sound departments. Stardust, although hard, soon became a firm favourite with Amiga games-players everywhere and slowly climbed to the top of the software charts.
When System previewed Stardust back in late 1993, we mentioned that Bloodhouse was the only, potential, contender to beat Team 17 for sheer quality. Now in 1994, Bloodhouse has returned with an enhanced version of its classic shoot-'em-up for A1200 and CD32 owners. The odd thing now is the fact that Bloodhouse has switched publishers. The latest incarnation of Stardust is being handled by Team 17, which when you look at it, is one of the licence deals of the year.
Bloodhouse really tested the A500 to the limits
with Stardust and gamers were genuinely shocked at just how good it was. Some people wouldn't or couldn't believe that the infamous "Warp Tunnel" sequence was created on the Amiga.
The A1200, launched after Stardust, is ten times better than its A500 counterpart, so no-one was more interested in how Super Stardust was going to turn out than myself.

One year has passed since Stardusters defeated the evil Professor Shamund. Little did anyone know that the mad professor had only departed on a temporary basis and was busy patching up his wounds.
As expected, Professor Shamund has returned, but this time he's being backed up by an even more evil army of destruction. He is making another attempt to re-capture Princess Voi Levi, but with one major difference this time around. The evil one is intent on getting revenge and getting even with you, as you spoiled his plans for galaxy domination last time. Thus, it is time for you to jump into your space-craft and get back to business. The business of some serious shoot-'em-up action.

I do whinge rather a lot about everything, but when it comes to games nothing gets my goat more than the low standards of music contained within them.
Super Stardust is a fast frenetic blaster, so it needed an apt soundtrack to accompany the action. Cue the most outrageous rave/dance tunes ever to appear on the Amiga.
A plethora of hardcore breakbeats and some of the hardest and nastiest noises pound at your ear-drums while you maniacally bash away at your fire-button. The tunes are diverse and range from the soft (played between levels) to the seriously harsh (belted out while you fight the end-of-level guardian). It's hard to put into words what the actual tunes sound like, but imagine a dangerous concoction of the Prodigy, Underworld and Orbital and you're getting close.
A handy tip for the sound is to put your Amiga through Hi-Fi and then pump up the volume as loud as you like. If you haven't got a decent stereo, then plug a pair of headphones into your monitor and once more whack the volume up. The various tunes and effects are simply not done any justice if you let them play through ordinary TV or monitor speakers.

Publisher: Team 17
Developer: Bloodhouse
Disks: 5
Price: £29.99
Genre: Shoot-'em-up
Hard disk install: Yes
Control: Joystick/keyboard
Supports: A1200
Recommended: 68020

Super Stardust

If you were to go back through time to about 1979, you'd find Stardust in an arcade somewhere. This was, roughly, when a game called Asteroids was released and it literally left gamers gob-smacked.
Now almost 16 years later and you can still find its influence in the majority of shoot-'em-ups. Technology having progressed immensely, you now get 256 colour graphics, stereophonic sound, but the gameplay still remains the same.
Stardust, when released in late 1993, was an immense success and although Super Stardust is merely an enhanced version, it is the only game to come close to beating the original Asteroids for sheer addiction and playability.

Super Stardust

Do I really even need to write anything in this box?
Sit back in a comfy chair and admire all those magic graphics. Beautiful just doesn't seem an adequate enough word to describe them.
Show me a shoot-'em-up game that looks better than this one and I'll laugh in your face because nothing looks as good as Super Stardust. Utilizing the new AGA technology, Bloodhouse has rendered all the ray-traced sprites to perfection.
The backdrops are also a sight to behold and although they're immensely detailed, they don't interfere with the game, meaning all the asteroids and enemies are easy to pick out.
While the main graphics are amazing, you will go seriously nuts when you see the new and improved warp tunnel sequence. It's hard to put into words just how good this looks when it's moving along at a rapid pace, but you can't fail to be impressed by it.
The warp tunnel sequence could be made into a game on its own rather than just a sub-section that likes the five levels together. Super Stardust is the best looking shoot-'em-up ever created on the Amiga, what more do you need to know than that?

Super Stardust

Amiga Computing Gold Award When a game has got graphics, sound and playability as good as this, shouldn't Super Stardust get 100%? Yes, it should, but there is a fatal flaw in Team 17's plan.
Firstly, the game is virtually identical to the original. Admittedly, the presentation is far, far better, but that's because the game is utilising the power of the AGA chipset.
Secondly, the game costs £30. This means that if you've got an A1200 and haven't got Stardust, then Bloodhouse's shoot-'em-up is an essential purchase. For those people who have already got Stardust, then I suspect you might only splash out £30 if you're a Stardust fan.
Apart from that minor indiscretion, Super Stardust is, in my book, the shoot-'em-up of 1994. Some people complained that Stardust’s difficulty level was far too high. Super Stardust isn't any easier than the original, but if you spend lots of time playing the actual game I guarantee that you will get a lot of long-term satisfaction and enjoyment out of it. Me? I'm off for another serious bout of blasting with the volume turned full up.

Amiga Computing, Issue 81, Christmas 1994, pp.106-107 (System)

Super Stardust logo  AGA  A1200 Speziell

Ziemlich genau ein Jahr mußte verstreichen, bis aus dem normalen „Stardust“ für normale Amigas die super(be) AGA-Version wurde. Und, oh Wunder, das teil trägt seinen vielverspechenden Namen zu Recht!

Super Stardust Bereits das Original kassierte ja traumhafte Grafiknoten, doch nun hat die Bloodhouse-Crew gemeinsam mit Team 17 die optisch wohl spektakulärste Amiga-Knallerei der letzten 2000 Jahre vorgelegt. Die Gegnerformationen, Sprites und Hintergründe wurden teilweise ganz neu entworfen und im Raytracing-Verfahren mit 256 Farben komplett neu animiert – das Ergebnis ist ein irrwitziges Grafik-Feuerwerk: Stellt Euch fein schattierte Gegner vor detailverliebten Backgrounds vor, und addiert bildschirmfüllenden Meteoriten, die nach Beschuß in einem riesigen Feuerball explodieren, um sich dann in kleinere Bruchstücke aufzuspalten...

Inmitten dieses Chaos rotiert des Spielers Raumschiff und schießt auf alles was sicht bewegt, und zwar so lange, bis es sich nicht mehr bewegt. Das ist gar nicht so einfach, denn man muß sein Vehikel in „Asteroids“-Manier mit einer gewöhnungsbedürftigen Rotationssteuerung über den Screen lenken. Und dabei darf man sich dann auch noch meist um mindestens ein Dutzend Space-Felsen und Angreifer gleichzeitig kümmern, die bei einer Kollision den Schutzschild abknabbern und sich nach Ablauf eines knapp bemessenen Zeitlimits in lauter lästige kleine Kamikaze-Gegner aufspalten.

Super Stardust Gesteigerte Aufmerksamkeit verlangen zudem die Zwischengegner verschiedenster Bauart – das gilt nicht minder für die Beschaffung der von manchen Feinden hinterlassenen Sammelicons für frische Schildpower, mehr Beschleunigung, Zusatzleben, Plasmalaser, Bouncebomben, Flammenwerfer oder Zielsuchraketen, die anschließend auf einem separaten Screen einzeln zuschaltbar sind. Nach jeweils sechs der insgesamt 30 Spielstufen versperren besonders aggressive Aggressivlinge den Weg, danach findet man sich in einem rasant zoomenden 3D-Warptunnel voller Hindernisse und einem weiteren Obermotz wieder. Echte Könner am Stick nehmen darüber hinaus an den beiden Freiwilligen-Missionen teil und suchen im „Thrust“-Stil scrollende Unterwasser-Labyrinthe nach Power-Ups ab. An Abwechslung fehlt es also nicht, dagegen läßt die Fairneß doch etwas zu wünschen übrig. So wird trotz des herben Schwierigkeitsgrads mit dem Levelcode lediglich die Anzahl der Leben, aber nicht die sauer erarbeitete Ausstattung gespeichert. Erfreulicher ist die nun mögliche HD-Installation, selbst wenn zum Zocker immer noch die Keydisk verlangt wird. Und die Präsentation setzt sowieso neue Maßstäbe: Nie hat der A1200 bunter und bewegter ausgesehen oder sich lauter angehört – die (abschaltbaren) Techno-Nummern und FX erschallen aus acht Soundkanalen, obwohl der Amiga eigentlich bloß besitzt!

Trotzdem kann Super Stardust aber eigentlich nur den Actionprofis empfohlen werden, bei der angekündigten CD-Version sollten die Entwickler den Schwierigkeitsgrad also besser ein wenig zurückschrauben. (rl)

Amiga Joker, January 1995, p.18

(TEAM 17)
Amiga Joker
2 MB