«

»

Velocity 2X review for PS4, PS Vita


Platform: PS Vita, PS4
Publisher: FuturLab
Developer: FuturLab
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Initially, I was ready to dismiss Velocity 2X as not much more than a reskinned version of last year's Velocity Ultra (which itself was basically a redone version of the PSP Mini game Velocity). That's not the worst thing in the world to be, of course; Velocity Ultra was a pretty awesome game, and I'm always happy to play it again. But still, I was finding it hard to get too excited for a game in which the big draw was "bigger explosions".

And then the game's hero, Lt. Kai Tana, steps out of her ship, and it's instantly apparent that there's actually a whole lot more to Velocity 2X than being just an updated version of Velocity Ultra.

velocity-2x-screenshot-01

I mean, it is partially that. You still spend a good chunk of Velocity 2X flying around in a spaceship, blasting away at aliens and picking up survivors. You still get the story told to you via screen after screen of dialogue. You're still graded for each level with three-star rankings, and you still get to compare scores via online leaderboards. All of that is still here, and just as in Velocity Ultra, it's presented with FuturLab's usual fantastic sense of style.

What sets Velocity 2X apart, however, is that it's just as much a fast-paced, side-scrolling platformer as it is a shmup. No longer are you just zooming around space, you're also running and jumping through a space station. You're firing bombs at mines and mounted cannons, and you're teleporting through walls. While a lot of the basic mechanics are similar, they still feel fresh and different just because of the fact it's not a spaceship doing them, it's a person.

velocity_2x-screenshot-05

(And that's without even getting into the fact that said person a woman. Of course, the game doesn't make a big deal about it, and unless you're really obsessive about these sort of things, it's not like you'll notice it either — but, in its own way, that feels almost as subversive as if it were some big honking deal. I don't want to dwell on this point too much, since Velocity 2X itself doesn't, but still: it's pretty cool.)

On the most critical point, however, Velocity 2X hasn't changed: it's still an awesome game, and it's still absolutely worth your time. Half of it may be borrowed from Futurlab's previous game, but half of it isn't, and those two halves add up to make one heck of an experience.

Grade: A