“Velocity 2X” will leave you in its dust

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First Posted: 9/29/2014

I really like arcade style shoot ‘em up games and the “Velocity” games are some of the best of the genre. The “Velocity” series was introduced in 2012 on the Sony PSP and released as “Velocity Ultra” on the PS3.

“Velocity 2X” is September’s free Playstation Plus game of the month on the PS4. The thing that makes these games so interesting is they aren’t just a shooter, they are a blend of several different types of genres into one high quality game.

“Velocity 2X” doesn’t fit nicely into just one type of game. It’s one part bullet hell shooter, one part 2D side scrolling action game/racing game with some puzzle elements thrown in. Usually when a game tries to do too many things it falls on its face but “Velocity 2X” manages to blend all of these elements very well.

What makes the gameplay so innovative and separates it from other space shooters are the scenes where you fly in the “Quarp Jet”, a teleporting spacecraft. The name isn’t the only thing about the game that is fast. Not since the original “Sonic the Hedgehog” games have I felt a seamless sense of speed. The thing that makes it incredibly impressive is how smooth it feels, the art is beautiful and there is no graphical slowdowns.

The main point of the game can be boiled down to one goal: rescue stranded ships and take down the evil alien empire that is trying to take over the universe. In “Velocity” you play as Lieutenant Kai Tana, she has been marooned on the other side of the universe through a singularity.

Kai must take down enemy space stations, collect crystals, and free as many prisoners of war as possible. The last game in the series “Velocity Ultra” only had the spaceship sections, “2X” introduces on foot 2D side scrolling sections where Kai infiltrates the space stations and can explore each environment “Metroid” style. The on foot sections aren’t just exploration, speed is still a factor, you have to find all of the crystal shards, rescue all the prisoners and make it to the end of the level in a allotted time period. There is no time to dilly dally.

I found the flying sections of the game to be the most interesting. It is fast and frantic, and to get good you have to learn when to use Kai’s abilities at the most crucial time. The most refreshing part of the ship sections is the ability to teleport through walls and enemies to put yourself in a better strategic position. To get the highest score in each level you have to keep moving as fast as you can while finding all of the secret paths and obtain all collectibles. The speed is only possible by use of the fantastic controls, fluid animation and design aesthetic.

Overall I loved “Velocity 2X”, it is a incredible blend of high speed space shooter and expertly designed 2D action platformer. The puzzles are fun but the sense of speed is really something to behold. If you are in the market for a great action title to download, this game can’t be missed, especially if you are a fan of fast paced space ship shooters. Velocity 2X has a lot of different game play elements which on their own are pretty great but, together, make one of the best downloadable titles of the year.