Published on July 11th, 2013 | by Greenie862
Velocity Ultra Review
Summary: This is without doubt the best Vita title to date, a MUST BUY
Around a year or so ago FuturLab’s Velocity was released on the PlayStation, a title that was apart of the Minis label and gained quite a lot of praise. At a glance it was a vertical shoot ‘em up, it excelled and deserved to be more than a small title and gamers wanted a full HD version. Velocity was a wonderfully welding smart puzzle elements to speedy, frantic laser-play. The game has been revamped for the PlayStation Vita as Velocity Ultra, and it’s every bit as fantastic as the original!
Ultra surpasses many of its peers such as Metroid, Galaga and infact in my opinio the great PSN game Shatter, it transforms from a fine shooter into an addictive essential thanks to its original mechanics. Starting off much like an arcade shoot ‘em up, it teaches you the all the basics where you blast the enemies to gain better weaponry, rescue survivors from escape pods, shatter glass to forge paths forward, don’t get pushed out of the bottom of the screen, before throwing its own twists.
Teleportation is your ship’s main selling feature and by pressing down Square, moving a cursor about with the left analogue stick and then releasing the button when you’ve targeted the desired area, you can zap wherever there’s space. Survivors tucked off in a locked off area? Warp in, collect, and continue on. If there are walls in your way you can teleport past them too.
On top of that, holding the R button enables your ship’s limitless booster, propelling you forward at high speed. this is a necessity if you want to beat levels in good time to earn medals. While each of these abilities takes some practice and concentration in, It soon becomes second nature to keep the thrusters on and snap about the screen.
While these skills can be used to best your foes, you can also jump into a circle of baddies and blow them away before escaping without a scratch, they are also employed to solve puzzles and creep into new areas to uncover Some if the games many secrets. Many of the stages feature colourful, destructive fields that can only be deactivated by hitting switches in order; it begins simply enough, with one or two buttons per area, but becomes increasingly complex. Consider that stages often include more than one type of coloured area and things get a little complicated.
That’s where telepods come in, which act as cosmic bookmarks for your ship. Drop one with Triangle and you can return to it at any point! If you come to a fork in the road, plant one of the telepods down so that you can warp back quickly and explore both paths. With switches spread across entire levels, not necessarily positioned in number order, telepods play a vital role in Velocity Ultra’s puzzles.
All of this can confuse us gamers with so much going on the screen, but we need to give FuturLab credit the game does not do that. The pace facilitates the introduction of new skills and helpful visual indicators prevent things from getting overwhelming without yielding to over the top hand-holding.
And despite the aid, Velocity Ultra isn’t an easy game to complete. Enemies are constantly trying to deplete away your health, combined with the other obstacles there are several stages that can successfully swipe away all of your lives in one attempt. Restarts are swift and free of load times and checkpoints placed throughout each stage are a godsend. Thanks to these things it’s simple to just sail through the game but it’s only by learning how to best utilise each skill that you can play it as intended and saving as many survivors as possible at maximum speed.
There are 50 story stages to complete, and they can be played in roughly any order you like as long as you have the experience points to unlock them. You can win up to three medals, bronze, silver, gold. Each awards you a different amount of experience, which adds up into a global meter to open up new levels. Finishing a level nets you a bronze, but to get the higher tiers – and thus more experience – you have to refine your speed and teleportation abilities. The Vita release of Velocity encourages players to improve due to online leaderboards, so now there’s the incentive of challenging your friends’ scores!
In addition there are challenge missions tucked away, unlocked by snatching up tokens hidden within the campaign. While the main mode is relatively friendly, the missions are of an entirely different ilk: they,are relentless tests of skill that push you to use everything you’ve learnt with millimetre-perfect precision. Not for the faint of heart!
Velocity Ultra’s Vita revitalisation looks gorgeous: the pixel art has been tightened up to make the most of the OLED screen, and even when the screen’s full of action and projectiles it remains clear. The music is superb too, a lovely mix of dark electronica and tunes that mirrors what Hotline Miami has accomplished!