Velocity Ultra Review for PS Vita

On: PS VitaPS3PSP  Check Price
Velocity screenshot
Velocity screenshot

Velocity is probably the most fun I've had with the Vita since it launched, which is particularly impressive for a title that's not even specifically for that platform.

Still - this PS Mini looks good and plays great on Sony's powerful handheld. UK developer FuturLab has crafted a scrolling shooter that does its best to wriggle out of any simple classification, essentially weaving together a mix of puzzler, racer and a classic chain-blaster reminiscent of vintage 80s titles.

It shouldn't technically work, but it does - its myriad components gel together seamlessly, and a well-pitched campaign helps players get to grips with each element ahead of the complicated later stages. You can teleport through walls, drop bombs, accelerate the speed of the screen's linear roll, and eventually you're given the ability to drop a beacon that allows you to return to previous points as the game starts demanding you disable electric barriers in sequence.

Perhaps these elements could come together slightly better - the teleporting controls can feel a bit fiddly, and dropping one of your tactical respawns is telegraphed so heavily the whole process may just as well be a QTE, but there's still a harmonious mesh to watching everything come together and marvelling at how well FuturLab has achieved such a task. The studio's manifesto aims for smart thinking, and Velocity is certainly a clever game.

Velocity screenshot

A four-tier medal system helps mould your progression through the campaign, and the game also does its best to hide 20 devious additional levels (on top of the main campaign's 50) by dotting yellow pods around each stage, and in increasingly obfuscated areas. The game's stated goal is that you rescue survivors from each stage, but your real mission is doing it with an element of grace, and this is a game not so much about shooting but manoeuvring through the bisected corridors of increasingly disparate alien environments.

Admittedly, bunging together a retro aesthetic with a heavy focus on big scores is a commonplace sight at the moment, but Velocity manages to keep up. Plus, elegantly taking down a series of switches while fending off enemy attacks and bombing a defence grid directly activates the part of my brain that makes me love games.

Velocity's greatest problem, sadly, is that it's a PS Mini and almost certainly destined to a life of obscurity because of it. As it stands, though, FuturLab's latest effort showcases the potential quality of high-quality, modest-price titles on a digital handheld storefront. If Sony is going to take its handheld fight to Apple, it's going to be with games like this.

Version Tested: PS Vita

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Comments

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User Comments

guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ dav2612

You can't appreciate the game until you've done around 10 levels as it gradually introduces all of the game play elements and then the game really gets going! I told you before Dave - you are wrong! Now go and play it properly and don't come back until you enjoy it!!!! :0)
Posted 20:55 on 18 June 2012
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I never took to this game but I'm clearly in the minority.
Posted 16:40 on 18 June 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee

£3.99 now. I just checked and I'm pretty sure my PS+ account is still live.
Posted 16:25 on 18 June 2012
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ munkee

Not sure, I know they rotate the deals very quickly - I would check for you but it'll always show as free for me as I've already downloaded it. Good luck!
Posted 16:01 on 18 June 2012
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ munkee

It's one of the new titles that PSN+ users get. Or, it was up last month. Either way, I know it was available when I signed up last week, so I would assume it still is.

I played it once, about three or so levels, and loved it. Only stopped playing because I had a literally dizzying array of other new stuff to check out!
Posted 16:01 on 18 June 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee@ reynoldio

Was, or still is?
Posted 15:42 on 18 June 2012
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio

I'm with you Guyderman, and indeed Martin, great little game - even better as it was free for PS+ers. Well worth a couple of quid if you're not though.
Posted 15:29 on 18 June 2012
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

I'm in LOVE with this game - and the fact that I can play it on my PSP, Vita and PS3 is just even better!
Posted 13:50 on 18 June 2012
Mark77274's Avatar

Mark77274

Fair play this vita is really showing what its capable of. (NOT)
Posted 11:57 on 18 June 2012

Game Stats

8
Out of 10
Velocity Ultra
  • Nice style
  • Clever design
  • Difficulty curve just right
  • Could do with just a smidgen of refinement
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 16/05/2013
Platforms: PS Vita , PS3 , PSP
Developer: FuturLab
Publisher: FuturLab
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 1,881 2
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