I can remember the first time I saw Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype. SideQuest Studios’ side scrolling shooter was making waves on the PS3 and after enjoying the first in the series, it was a no-brainer that I had to pick up the sequel as well.
Featuring 10 huge and visually-diverse levels, the bullet-hell shooter had me hooked. With a choice of ships on offer, a great selection of powerups and impressive high power attacks, it ticked all the boxes I was looking for in a perfect arcade shooter. That was enhanced further with the stunning visuals and superb soundtrack throughout, from the epic score to great sound effects. There was nothing not to love about the game.
Söldner-X 2 On The Vita?
So it was something of a shock to learn that it was coming to the PS Vita. If I’m honest, like most others at the time I had doubts about the Vita port. With the amount going on in the game, despite the Vita’s capabilities I didn’t really think the portable could handle it, or if it could what compromises would be made to get it to run?
On a technical level first, this reminded me so much of all of the initial hype that surrounded the Vita when it was first launched. We were promised console quality gameplay – in essence a portable PS3. While some of the early releases did deliver on that promise, few lived up to their PS3 counterparts.
A Huge Relief
We needn’t have worried when it came to Söldner-X 2 though. This was identical to the original in every way – sound, graphics, presentation and most importantly it still retained the incredible 60fps performance the console version was renowned for. This looked like a dream, even more so on the PSTV where it looked like a real console game.
But technical proficiency doesn’t matter if the gameplay isn’t up to scratch. Fortunately Söldner-X 2 doesn’t disappoint. Right from the second the game loads for the first time (and it’s blindingly fast for a Vita game) you’re thrown straight into the action and you’re quickly drawn into the addictive gameplay.
While you’re mesmerised by the visuals and may find yourself distracted at first as you take it all in, you’ll quickly find that you won’t be able to waste time admiring the scenery for too long. Pause for too long and you’ll become space dust – the action comes at you thick and fast – just the way a bullet hell shooter should be.
Not Your Average Shooter
But Söldner-X 2 is far deeper than you realise as you play. Instead of simply flying through each level, collecting powerups and taking out each boss, how well you do it matters too. In addition to the basic scoring system, there’s a points bonus multiplier system in place as well as rankings awarded as you complete each level, providing an added incentive to replay the game in the same way the Devil May Cry series did on consoles so successfully.
Online Leaderboards add to this element even more allowing you to challenge your friends or other players around the world, and as with most Vita games it’s got plenty of Trophies to aim for as well. And in this case these are brand new for the Vita port so if you’ve played the PS3 version before expect some new challenges.
This is probably one of the best side-scrolling shooters to land on the Vita. It looks incredible, has plenty of variety, the action never lets up for a second and it’s remarkable value for money. As an added bonus the digital version offers Cross Buy support with the PS3.
Two limited edition physical releases were also produced – one by Limited Run Games and a second by Eastasiasoft.
At A Glance
- Title: Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype
- Developer: SideQuest Studios
- System: PS Vita
- Format: PSN Download / Limited Edition physical releases via Limited Run Games/Eastasiasoft
- Memory Card Spare Required: TBC
- Cross Buy: Yes (PS3)
- Cross Play: N/A
- Online Multiplayer: N/A
- Local Multiplayer: N/A
- PlayStation TV Compatible: Yes