Velocity 2X is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Velocity Ultra for PlayStation Vita, created by the talented chaps at Futurlab. This new entry into the franchise has much of the same quality content as its predecessor, but now has all-new platform sections, which add a nice change of pace to the gameplay. The story this time around—not that you’ll particularly worry about Velocity’s narrative as you blast down waves of foes— revolves around Lt. Kai Tana as she goes up against the Vokh.
Velocity 2X has 50 levels spread over different locations in space, which can be read about in the extras section. As you progress through the game you unlock new abilities to enhance your endeavours, including but not limited to the quarp drive, which allows you to teleport. During the on-foot sections the controls are exactly the same as the ship sections, meaning you can learn both of them pretty easily–a handy bonus to say the least. Each time you complete a mission, you gain points based on how many hostages you save, the time it took to complete the mission, and how many of the stage’s total enemies were destroyed.
This is only slightly different if the mission has both space and on-foot sections, as you can also collect crystals in the ground missions that will be added to your scoring criteria upon completion. I did have some issues with the Teledash during the on-foot stages, but this could have been my own fault, as there was a noticeable difficulty spike. Some of the missions further on in the game also introduce some fairly challenging boss fights, and most of them possess attacks that almost fill up the entire screen. As expected, each boss has a certain pattern, so once you have taken the time to learn this, they can be defeated pretty easily. Nonetheless, it’ll take a few attempts at each boss before you adapt to their repertoire.
In terms of visuals, Velocity 2X boasts some stunning-looking stages and the game is highly fast-paced, with the framerate keepnig at a steady 60fps on PS4. The result can be quite hectic, especially during boss fights. Futurlab has also implemented some eyeball-popping particle effects, and with the vibrant colour scheme, you can really see how much effort has been put into making this a sumptuous-looking shooter. Velocity 2X’s soundtrack is also top-notch, with some well-timed music as you cruise through each stage.
Meanwhile, the cutscenes, though not animated, really show off the amazing art work this team can produce with the comic book-style aesthetic offering a welcome break between different missions. It’s also how the game will inform you if you have unlocked new weapons or gadgets for the next mission. Once you have unlocked them, they can be used in previous missions that you have beaten, to either improve your old time or to grab a collectible you may not have been able to reach during your first playthrough. Finally, you can also replay these cutscenes any time you want from the flight computer.
The menu also allows you to view the enemies you have beaten so you can read up on the lore behind them. It also offers a prologue section, allowing you to catch up on everything that has transpired previously, as well as progress and various statistics. The game tracks pretty much everything you do, from the amount of time you’re in the main menu, to how much distance you have walked. Bonus missions can also be played through here once they’ve been unlocked; these missions are small puzzles that can act as a nice break and are not that hard to beat. Bonus missions also keep track of your score, so you will have a reason to keep playing in order to improve on your best time.
The PlayStation Vita version allows you to use the touchscreen for the teleporting, and though I found the standard controls easier, this is a handy feature for those who prefer to utilize the handheld’s unique functions. The frame rate holds up pretty well on the Vita, keeping to a smooth 60fps like its PS4 counterpart. Velocity 2X also supports Cross-Buy, meaning if you purchase it once, you will get both the PS Vita and PS4 versions of the game. Lastly, it also features a Cross-Save function from the Options menu, allowing you to transfer your save between the two versions.
Overall, Velocity 2X takes all the solid points from the previous game, and adds unto them new on-foot missions to help keep the franchise fresh. As with the game’s predecessor, the lure of attempting to beat your score or those of your friends will keep you coming back for more and always makes you feel like there’s still room for improvement. In short, this is a must-buy for fans of the original and newcomers alike.