Game Review: Velocity 2X (PS Vita)

Futurlab’s Velocity series has been around on PlayStation systems for quite some time, making its debut on the PSP with the original Velocity as part of the Minis range. The time-attack vertically scrolling action shooter garnered a cult following, enough to warrant a dedicated PS Vita update several years later.

Velocity Ultra gave the PSP game a complete makeover, with all the graphics getting a complete reworking to fit the Vita’s significantly higher screen resolution. The gameplay, while having some tweaks, was left relatively untouched though. But Futurlab weren’t done with their classic and decided to have one final stab at the series, but this time overhauling the game completely with Velocity 2X.

Velocity 2X – Starting From Scratch…

Futurlab went back to the drawing board to create a sequel to the original rather than the previous HD update before. Taking the game a step further and to deliver a genuinely new experience for gamers, this time Velocity 2X has brought gamers a fusion of two genres, wrapped up in an ongoing story-driven game, while still delivering the high-speed gameplay the series is famous for.

The story kicks off with our female protagonist being revealed. Kidnapped by an alien race, stranded on the other side of the galaxy. Knowing nothing about herself or where she is she escapes captivity and the game starts in the first of the space based sequences…

These are timed vertically scrolling stages based on the original Velocity games. It’s a race to the end of each stage as fast as possible, destroying obstacles, collecting objects en route, using the ships speed and teleportation abilities to navigate the areas ahead of you while destroying anything in your path.

At the end of each you’re awarded medals based on your speed and performance and this rating will decide whether the next of the vast 50 stages is unlocked.

All Change

After a few stages, the game is turned on its head completely. The action shifts inside the space-based structures you fly through and transforms into a Metroidvania style platform shooter. Taking the game’s heroine on foot, the game moves to puzzle based action as you have to get to the end of each stage, shooting your way along, navigating platforms, obstacles, collecting gems and using more of your newly discovered abilities.

Again, you’re rated on your performance at the end of each stage but alternating between modes keeps the game fresh throughout. Each stage has its own objectives that need to be met, so no two are alike so the game is incredibly diverse, far more than any other shooter on the Vita.

Looking Good…

Visually it’s incredibly stylish. Both modes look great and run at a silky smooth 60 frames a second. What these screens don’t show are the stunning lighting effects throughout – every shot and every explosion all illuminate their surroundings and it enhances the game no end. Throw in some meaty sound effects and a superb music score and it all adds up to a well rounded package on the aesthetic front. But how well does it play?

In short brilliantly. Each of the gameplay elements would work well as a standalone game in its own right. They’re each as addictive as the other, and they’re perfectly paced so you don’t get bored of either. They’re challenging but not frustratingly so but with enough replay factor with the rating system so you’ll want to come back until you get a perfect score on each stage.

The fact that the levels are designed so you can replay any you’ve already completed without having to replay the entire game makes it easy to dip in and out without having to play the whole game makes it ideal for shorter gameplay sessions as well as longer gaming giving you more flexibility as well.

Wrapping Up

This is a superb blend of game styles that will appeal to most arcade fans and it’s one of the best examples of the shoot-em-up genres that you’ll find on the Vita. It’s deservedly regarded as being a timeless classic. But if Velocity 2X is this good then why has it missed out on the accolade of being awarded a maximum 10 out of 10 score? Quite simply, the price tag. There’s no denying that Velocity 2X is an absolutely stunning game and without a doubt it looks and plays like a dream but I’m not too sure about the game’s long term appeal once you’ve completed it. Yes, there is always the chance to return to the game to attempt to better your personal times on all of the levels and there is DLC being released adding new content, but it’s not quite there at the current asking price.

At A Glance

  • Title: Velocity 2X
  • Publisher: FuturLab
  • System: PS Vita
  • Format: PSN Download / Physical
  • Cross Buy: Yes (PS4)
  • Cross Save: Yes
  • Cross Play: No
  • Online Multiplayer: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 799Mb

Vita Player Rating - 09

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About Simon Plumbe 1066 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe

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