Velocity 2X builds on the original’s space-hopping twist on vertical-scrolling shmup gameplay well. Dodging bullets and shooting a range of stationary and moving targets is par for the course, but here you’re also teleporting between (space)brick walls while trying to engage the thrust as often as possible. About a third of the way through you’re also given the ability to set up warp portals to return to, adding an element of exploration to levels that until that point were purely about moving from A to B.
The big new addition to this sequel is on-foot, run and gun gameplay. At various points you’ll dock your ship and then set out with gun in hand, usually to flip a switch that lets you make more progress from within the cockpit. The same teleporting gameplay remains, although shooting is primarily now on the right stick. Traveling at pace is just as tricky here, especially when you’re forced into jumping and teleporting in one move, while dodging bullets and trying to take out cannon placements. As with the ship sections, new moves and abilities are added as the game progresses, including a nifty portal that can be thrown into otherwise impossible to reach places.
Sleek visuals and a trendy electro soundtrack make this a cool package, although the game’s Vita and PS4 cross-play has probably prevented the developers from pushing the pyrotechnics too much – although the explosions do look pretty.
Velocity 2X is great fun, but its increasingly complex blend of mechanics and fast pace make it a game I struggled to play in long sessions. Eventually the ambition to complete each level is replaced with a desire to top your friends’ high scores, and there’s already a huge void between the many and the few.
FuturLab’s sequel feels more at home on Vita than on PS4, but is equally playable on either. It’d be nice to see an entry with a focus entirely on Sony’s latest console, but for now this is yet another supremely playable title with oodles of replay value.
Version Tested: PS4, Vita.
8 / 10
- Remains a clever twist on the shmup genre.
- Interesting new mechanics added as you progress.
- Sleek presentation.
- Complex gameplay can be draining.