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SuperStardust HD Multiplayer Pack |

I bought the multiplayer pack for SuperStardust HD on my PS3 a little while back, but I didn’t have a chance to try it out until last night.

Steve and I gave it a whirl in both standard co-op split-screen mode and in versus mode. The first mode is identical to the co-op mode that was there before, except that it’s now split-screen instead of shared screen. I did notice a decrease in quality, or at least I thought I did. It was hard to pin down. The easiest way to describe it is to say that everything seemed slightly less smooth. But it was still entirely playable, and after some reflection I guess you have to take a performance hit if you’re showing twice as much stuff!

Steve and I also played versus mode, but only got to try Deathmatch before we moved on to some PixelJunk Eden and Army of Two.

I was surprised, actually, by how many multiplayer modes there are. There was Deathmatch, of course, but there were others too, including King of the Hill. I am hosting games night on Wednesday, so four of us will hopefully be giving that mode (and others) a try. So I’ll update you on that later.

But even Deathmatch is a blast. There we three rounds, and we had to do a lot of experimenting to find out how to switch to and use all the new weapons. Steve seemed to default to some red homing missiles and I got smaller yellow ones. We need to figure out how that works! It was a blast to play, however, and I hope that Steve adds his comments to this post. The levels aren’t just empty or with asteroids. Instead, there are permanent rocks that you need to navigate through and around, and this adds some more strategy to the game. It is odd to be able to see your enemy almost completely on the other side of the world, though. But it was nice, because I could shoot some homing missiles at him! There’s also a big tower on the level that adds an extra element to the game. If you destroy it (while it’s trying to destroy you), you get some extra bonuses to use. Some bonuses in multiplayer mode are timed, which is different than single player mode. Ah well. I want to try the game a lot more to figure out all the many options and weapons. In the end of this particular match, Steve won two rounds to one. 🙁

  • Steve

    My videogame gene takes over again!

    Those homing missiles were a lot of fun. It took Henning a while to figure out how to select them, I think, and during that time I had a noticeable advantage. After that I had to start dodging his missiles while firing my own, which was tricky! The best technique I found for avoiding those missiles (no chaff or flares in this game) was to dodge to the side just before hitting one of the rock emplacements, which causes the missiles to hit the rocks and explode – if you’re lucky. Of course they have to be fairly close to you in order for that to work, and so if you don’t time it just right, they’re right on your tail! Speed bonuses are your friend here.

    The tower emplacements are another tricky strategic component. They have a range which is just fractionally shorter than the default range of your own weapons (guided missiles don’t home in on the towers, you have to use dumb-fire rock blasters or ice melters). So it is possible to take them out without taking damage from them, but it takes a lot of firing, and during that time your opponent is likely setting up to take you out!

    I’m not sure whether I like the split-screen co-op mode more than the single-screen co-op mode or not. In split-screen, you can wander off and do your own thing regardless of where your ally is, but the main benefit of co-op mode is getting a proximity bonus for your weapons, so for maximum effect you are going to be near your ally most of the time anyway. In that case, the display looks much better in single-screen mode, although I can’t tell whether it’s just because it’s twice the size, or whether the extra processing power available actually improves the frame rate or image detail or anything like that.