Date: 03-19-2011 19:01
Author: Mason King

PDC profile: Mason

After its PC release back in 2008, Stardrone has finally come to the PlayStation Move with some HD polish, and itís certainly something youíll want to play.

Ship Tethering
In Stardrone you donít directly control the ship, instead you tether onto special blocks and use special items around you to move about. You control a pointer similar to a PC cursor with the Move, and you hold the Move button down to tether onto the tethering blocks once you have pointed at them. You use this ability to catapult yourself around to complete the various goals you're set with, such as reaching a certain area, or collecting all the stars in a level. Since the game is set in space, thereís no gravity, so once your traveling in one direction, you wonít slow down or change direction until you tether onto something else. Throughout the game you come across many special items, including boost pads that send you speeding out in a certain direction, and bounce pads that bounce you away from them.

A game is not complete without its set of dangers, which come in the form of deadly spikes and metal-faced enemies. What I enjoyed about this game is that the developers decided to not add a couple of guns to the front of the ship to blow up enemies. Instead, you must collect several stars to build up your toughness, eventually making you so tough, you can just blast through the enemies, killing them in the process. You can also collect a special power-up through some levels that temporarily makes you invincible to the round-metal monsters, and also gives you the same effects as the stars, too. There are other power-ups that allow you to become invisible, and another acts as a magnet, to collect any stars around you without having to directly pick them up. These are just a small part of the brilliant variety of game-play in Stardrone.

Keeping It Fresh
The game contains 53 levels that all feel unique, testing you with new game-play techniques each time, which kept me interested for the whole game. Even after completing a level, you can go back and replay it to get a better score than you did previously, earning medals if you do especially well. Your scores also get uploaded to the online leader-board, where you can view global and friends' scores. The only disappointment here though is that there doesnít seem to be much competition on them, since I played from start to finish, dying regularly, and I found myself at number 13 on the global boards, with the game already being out 2 weeks.

The game can be quite challenging at times, especially towards the end of the game. I saw myself re-playing the same level over and over because I kept dying, but eventually I learned the path and it became easier. It seems to get tricky when there are a lot of spikes, which all need to be dodged. Some patience is required; but the dangers are not impossible. The game does help you by unlocking a few new levels at a time, so if you're stuck on one level, you can skip it and go to the next one, without needing to go back to it for a while. By the time I got back to these skipped levels, I had become more skilled, and usually completed them on my first try.

Once youíve played all the levels the game has to offer, the game is done and dusted. There are no bonus modes or features, unless you want to replay levels for a better scores. Some additional challenge levels, or even a simple level creator, would have been a nice addition to help extend re-playability. The game does have trophies, although youíll earn most of them by playing the levels through once. The game lacks custom soundtracks, but luckily the game soundtrack is quite upbeat, and kept me interested. There is also a game-play speed modifier, which allows you to speed up the pace of the game, getting you to think faster about the levels, which provides a little more of a challenge.

The game is also compatible with a DualShock 3 controller, something i found out only after completing the game with the move. When using a normal pad, you use the left analog to direct your stick when you first take off, then you hold the button to tether onto the closest block around you. This was both awkward and inaccurate, and I recommend not buying this game unless you own a move controller.

Conclusion
Stardrone is certainly a game you should play, with simple, but at times challenging, game mechanics. Thereís a lot of variety that will push you through the game without getting bored, and itís all presented with good graphics and an interesting soundtrack. The game felt a bit lacking to me in terms of additional features, but I don't think that should turn anyone away from playing this game.

Stardrone is produced by Beatshapers, and is out now on the European PlayStation Store, with a North American release expected April 5, 2011. I spent over 8 hours playing through and completing the game using my Move controller for the whole game. A 3D patch is also expected for the game at a later date.


9/10
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