Review: Velocity 2X (PlayStation Vita)

Velocity 2X: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation Vita 2,442 views 0 likes 0 comments
Reviewed by Thomas Hugh, posted Sep 2, 2014
Sep 2, 2014
  • Release Date (NA): September 2, 2014
  • Release Date (EU): September 3, 2014
  • Publisher: FuturLab
  • Developer: FuturLab
  • Genres: Action/Shooter
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
  • Also For: PlayStation 4
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
British based developer Futurlab games are back with the follow up to 2013's Velocity Ultra, Velocity 2X. Velocity was originally a PSP Mini title that was received so well it was ported to the PS Vita and PS3 as Velocity Ultra. Velocity 2X follows the same formula as the original titles but now has all new platforming sections.
Thomas Hugh

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Terminal Velocity

Velocity 2X, like its predecessor, is a SciFi shooter but this time around there are brand new out-of-ship platforming sections. When these new areas were initially announced I was skeptical of whether or not Futurlab could introduce platforming sections into a space shooter and stay true to the Velocity formula. After playing through and finishing the game I am happy to announce that the developer has completely nailed the new additions, making Velocity 2X an amazing evolution from the original title.

You take control of Lietenant Kai Tanaa former PowerLev test pilot serving under the military wing of Earth's various defense and deep space research divisions. An enemy race known as the Vokh have captured and imprisoned Kai and are looking to steal her ship, the Quarp Jet, to make use of its teleporting properties. Kai's ship has laser blasters and bombs but it can also warp and teleport anywhere on-screen at the touch of a button (or the touch screen). I asked Futurlab why they didn't add the option to use the rear touch for teleporting as I feel it could be an easier and more intuitive control setup. One of the devs informed me that they tested out the control scheme but it was too frustrating to accidently tap the rear pad and warp somewhere you didn't want to. I can see that being a problem but it would have been nice to at least have the option to try it out and possibly achieve faster mission times.

The story is told via cutscenes before each mission and features bright and colourful artwork that is really impressive as well as journal and codex entries that help flesh out the backstory and give insight to the task at hand.

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Gameplay

Velocity is all about speed and the objective of the game is to complete the 50 mission based levels as fast as possible whilst also rescuing survivor pods, destroying enemies and collecting Rekenium crystals. Precision controls and a wide variety of skills, abilities and weapons are all at your desposal and you will often be required to chain these new mechanics together to get the best overall time on a mission and gain enough XP to unlock the next level.

The Quarp Jet sections are pretty much the same as in Velocity Ultra, only this time around everything looks much nicer, from the level design to stunning particle explosions. Gate switches are still present requiring the player to shoot them in numerical order to disable force field shields and further advance the level. Warp boosting is required to get an acceptable completion time and can often make the gameplay feel hectic, but rarely does it feel uncrontrollable. Enemies are a breeze to defeat and are more of an obsticle in your path than of any real challenge.

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Platforming

Kai can now dock the Quarp Jet and continue the adventure on foot. This new addtion to the game is well designed and doesn't slow down the action. When boosting through the levels it feels similar to using the Speed Booster from the Metroid series only it's much easier to keep the momentum going and speedrun the platformng sections. Kai can warp dash through walls, teleport to hard-to-reach areas using the brand new throwable Telepod as well as blasting enemies and glass walls containing Rekenium Shards with the arm cannon. These sections flow so well and are really fun to speedrun. I applaud Futurlab for creating something so new and different that feels like it has always belonged in the Velocity universe.

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Fight Like A Boss!

Another welcome addition to 2X is the inclusion of boss battles! These larger ships are usually shielded by numbered force field switches like the ones found throughout the levels. The bosses will target Kai's ship and try their hardest to destroy you with a huge range of weapons from laser beams, turrets, projectiles and standard enemy spawns. The trick to success is to hit the moving switches in the correct order to bring down the bosses shields so you can damage their ship. Some bosses are even boardable, extending the battle by adding interior platforming sections.

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Perfect Run

I enjoyed every second of my time with Velocity 2X and I intend to try and perfect all of the levels. The fast and shortish nature of the missions makes it the perfect game to play on the go and it also has that one-more-try quality. Futurlab have once again brought us a top tier title and are definitely a prestigious developer worth keeping an eye on. I hope they continue to support the Vita and I can't wait to see what their next project is.

Check out the following video of me using some of the earlier abilities to speedrun mission 10 and unlock the Perfect medal:

 

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Verdict
Pros
+ Solid gameplay with tight controls
+ New platforming sections are well implemented and a welcome addition
+ Boss fights
+ Crossbuy & Cross Save
+ No Minesweeper!
Cons
- Aiming the Telepod is awkward and can easily ruin a speedrun
- No Minesweeper!
9 Presentation
The artwork, tilesets, graphics and explosions look stunning on the Vita and are a vast improvement over the first game. This is a quality title and a real pleasure to play on both the Vita and PS4.
10 Gameplay
Fast paced shooter action onboard and outside of the ship feels fantastic once the controls and mechanics are understood. Easy to play but hard to master, the learning curve is perfect ensuring even the most novice players are whizzing around blasting aliens and destroying bosses before long.
9 Lasting Appeal
With 50 levels to master, bonus mini-games and codex entries to unlock, leaderboards and challenge social features as well as upcoming additional DLC, Velocity 2X is a fantastic overall package. For some crazy reason it is actually 'free' in the September PSPlus update for both EU and NA so you have no reason to not check the game out! Even if you are not subscribed to Plus, £12.99 is an absolute STEAL for a game of this calibre.
9
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Velocity 2X is everything you could want from a sequel. It is an improvement in every way over Velocity Ultra and the addition of the new platforming areas and mechanics feels fresh and is a welcome addition to the already established Velocity formula.
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