Velocity 2X (PS Vita) Review

By Brian Short 12.09.2014 1

Review for Velocity 2X on PS Vita

In 2012, developer FuturLab released the highly acclaimed Velocity as a PlayStation Mini title. A year later, it was reborn as Velocity Ultra on the PS Vita with upgraded graphics. Now, in 2014, FuturLab has once again tapped into that ingenious formula and created a sequel dubbed Velocity 2X. While the core gameplay has remained mostly the same, there have been new twists and turns added to give the sequel enough originality to stand on its own. Read on to discover just what makes Velocity 2X the next great experience available for the PS Vita.

Waking up on an operation table, Kai, the main character, finds herself trying to piece together what has happened while two aliens speak over her. She discovers some augmentations have been made to her body; she now has the ability to teleport and shoot with her arm. With the help of her alien ally, Hjun of the peaceful Jintinda race, Kai escapes the facility where she is being held by the violent Vokh alien race. The two join up in a quest to liberate the Jintinda from slavery under the Vokh and return Kai to her home. Lots of science fiction jargon will hit at all speeds, and even though the story isn't deep or very engaging, it's enough to propel the protagonist onward and give meaning to each mission.

Kai's ship has a plethora of abilities to help her on the adventure. Teleporting is the main draw, allowing the player to skip from one side of the screen to the other in moments of need. It also helps when navigating some of the labyrinthine layouts of the larger levels, where secret rooms often hide unlockable levels to be played later. Weapons include a gun that shoots straight forward, as well as bombs that can be shot in any of the cardinal directions. The screen continually moves forward, but at a rather slow pace. This can be sped up by using the ship's boosting power, which can be used constantly without limit.

On foot missions are side-scrolling and often used to find nodes powering energy fields that are blocking the ship's path. Constant firing in any direction with a pistol is available during these missions, but a stronger rifle that shoots slowly is also at hand and best used for precision shots as it is only capable of shooting in the direction the player is facing. A telepod can also be thrown to give Kai access to spots her teleportation ability isn't capable of reaching. These breaks from the regular gameplay provide a nice bit of variety and most of them are so well executed that FuturLab could potentially spin them off into their own franchise someday.

Screenshot for Velocity 2X on PS Vita

Velocity 2X does a superb job at blending all of its gameplay elements together to create some truly fun levels. Giant mazes will have multiple on foot sections, requiring the player to discover every node both in space and on foot in order to progress. This formula never grows tiring due to the excellent pacing and placement of enemies. In the early stages most enemy spacecrafts will just fly in a pattern; more of an obstacle than a true threat. Later on, they will begin to fire back, becoming a hazard to navigate through and demanding quite a bit more attention. Although the game is classified as a shoot 'em up, those sections take a back seat to the exploring and node clearing that takes centre stage for most of the play time.

Progression is made by gaining enough experience to unlock the next level. At the end of each mission, experience will be rewarded based on how quickly the level was completed, how many crystals were collected, how many pods were rescued, and also by how many points were earned by destroying enemies and smashing glass. Getting enough experience to unlock the next operation is fairly easy for the first 40 or so levels, but past that it might be necessary to go back and redo some levels in order to get the maximum experience possible. This limitation is a bit grinding when the ending is so close at level 50.

Boss fights are sadly few and far between. They tend to follow the same pattern, with a new element introduced to each new fight in order to keep it interesting. While the core mechanics are great for speeding through each assignment, they really shine during the battles. Towards the end, even the on foot missions will come into play as taking down the giant enemy spacecraft will involve boarding it and sabotaging the systems from the inside. This is where Velocity 2X will be most fun for some gamers, which makes it all the more shameful that these intense battles are so rare.

Screenshot for Velocity 2X on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

A solid improvement over its predecessor, Velocity 2X comes out firing on all cylinders. Speed and twitchy reflexes are the name of the game, and those that love speed running will have much to be delighted with in here. Even casual players should enjoy what the game has to offer. Presented with a beautiful art style, Velocity 2X has enough content to entertain for hours. Some end game hiccups might annoy a few, but the overall journey is worth the experience and price of admission.

Developer

FuturLab

Publisher

FuturLab

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Cracking game. So gutted my PS+ sub ran out before I could keep playing. Hella addictive and awesome music. On foot sections gave me a Metroid vibe, once again breaking my heart at how long it's been since 2D Metroid. Art style would suit it perfect.

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