Hands-on: Super Stardust Portable

What is Super Stardust Portable? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a PSP version of Super Stardust HD, ready to play anywhere you go. The PSN download-exclusive title is making the big jump from PS3 to PSP, and Housemarque (developers of the original SSHD) have succeeded in creating an authentic Stardust experience for the handheld.

There are obviously going to be two big questions on everyone's mind regarding SSHD. Firstly, the controls. PSP may not have a second analog stick, so how will this work? Well, you simply use the face buttons to shoot in the direction you'd like. It may take a little while to get accostmed to, but SSHD vets will be boosting, bombing and shooting in no time. (ProTip: To do a circular attack with the Gold Melter, press all the face buttons at once.) Secondly, the graphics. While the visuals are obviously toned down from the PS3, the PSP version is able to render a surprising amount of enemies on screen while maintaining a silky smooth framerate. It may not be PSP's best looking game, but for a quick pick-up-and-play title, SSP offers more than enough detail.


Surprisingly, the team at Housemarque has added all the content featured in the subsequent SSHD expansions into the PSP game. Expect the terrifying red enemies which will fill the entire screen in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, there are also nukes at your disposal, which sends a shockwave through the entire planet, destroying everything in its path.

For those that are unfamiliar with Super Stardust HD, be aware that the original PS3 game earned such an overwhelming response from fans for a reason. Navigating your ship around an endless stream of falling asteroids and enemies is just good old fashioned fun. The careful balance of weapons and bombs adds a bit of strategy to an otherwise reflex-driven game. Check out PS3 Fanboy's review to find out more about the original.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.