Welcome the the third entry into PSU.com’s feature series ‘PS Vita games you need to play’. After Thomas Was Alone was given the spotlight last week, we now focus our attention on another great PlayStation Vita title, Velocity Ultra.
What is Velocity Ultra?
Velocity Ultra is an enhanced remake of the 2012 PS Mini game called Velocity from British studio Futurlab, which won numerous awards and is regarded as one of the best PS Mini games, if not the best. Velocity is a top-down shoot-em-up which is set in the year 2212. After a black hole hits and swallows a star called Villio, it renders all nearby ships and planets without power. Only one ship is capable of getting to them, the Quarp Ship.
The Quarp Ship is capable of teleportation, which is a key mechanic in Velocity and has a surprising amount of depth, especially later in the game. The story is told by still images before the level starts. Alongside being able to teleport, the Quarp Ship also has weapons, a good thing too because there are enemies in the game called the Zetachron. The Zetachron are green and move around in synchronised patterns, like enemies in countless other games in this genre. There are also turret-equipped enemies which shoot at you. You only have three lives each level before it’s game over, and can only be hit a few times before blowing up. if you are too slow and the camera catches up to you it is instant death.
Like in other shoot-em-ups, Velocity has a score system but it has a few differences. Aside from just an arbitrary score, Velocity has a medal system for how fast you complete a level but it also has stripes on top of those which are given by how many survivors you rescue. Rescuing all survivors nets you three stripes and rescuing all survivors while getting a gold medal for your time simultaneously, gets you what is called a Perfect score. Getting a good score gives you XP which unlocks the later levels.
There are three types of level in Velocity: Search and Rescue, Hostile Forces and Critical Urgency. They’re pretty self-explanatory except for Critical Urgency, which is a faster pace level than usual, and has a shorter time limit than other level types. There are survivors on every level and getting all of them is a must if you want the highest scores. Velocity Ultra has PSN leaderboards too so you can compare your scores with your friends and the world.
Why should you play it on PS Vita?
Well, Velocity Ultra is PS Vita-exclusive title, so it is the only way to play. There is the original which is also playable on Vita, as well as PS3 and PSP. However, Ultra feels much more fluid and responsive compared to the original. Ultra is better in every way. What makes Velocity Ultra great is how all of the different mechanics come together in the levels. Moving at speed whilst shooting enemies and taking out enemies feels sublime. Velocity Ultra is an excellent game and it’s unimaginable being better on any other platform. The controls work great, even the touch implemented teleporting which isn’t forced on you.
Velocity Ultra also has improved graphics and a more consistent art style compared to the original. Running at native resolution, it is a big improvement. What Velocity is great for is playing at both short bursts and for longer periods of time. With over 50 levels including bonus levels, there isn’t a shortage of replay value, especially with Ultra having Trophies, including a Platinum to earn.
Velocity Ultra is one of the best games on PS Vita, simple as that. More great news is that there is a sequel coming next year called Velocity 2X, which is coming to Vita and PS4.
Check back next week when there will be another PS Vita game given some love. In the meantime, send us a comment below or on Twitter.