Velocity 2x Review

Futurlab Lets You Leave the Ship in Velocity 2x

Velocity 2x

 

It’s really easy to satisfy me with a shoot-em-up, a shmup, space shooter, whatever you want to call it. The formula is simple: put a background that is space. Shortly following attach some guns to a ship of some sort. Huzzah, you have successfully created a video game I want to play. I’m also a sucker for platformers. Give me all the Marios and Meat Boys you can, I’m going to play them. Someone over at FuturLab got the memo from my brain because Velocity 2x combines both these genres in a reflex attacking mash up that left me hyped.

You play as Kai Tana, one of the biggest alien ass-kickers this side of Samus. She wakes up in space far from home, meets an alien race of pacifists that wants to help but they’re enslaved, the slavers are jerks and you have to fight them, etc etc. The storyline was fine but ultimately doesn’t wrap up and I’m being brief about it because it’s honestly the last part of this game that there’s anything to talk about. However, Velocity 2x shines everywhere else.

Velocity 2x

First off, the visuals. I was really drawn into the color scheme and how smooth the animations were. Everything is lush and nice to look at, but unfortunately it doesn’t offer much variety.  In 50+ levels Velocity only really gives you a break from silver black and purple two or three times. These levels are great, however, offering a lush green landscape that catches you off guard considering everything looks like a spaceship and a tunnel. They’re lovely spaceships and tunnels, but it would have been nice to get more.

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Velocity 2x can be challenging but the way the game is designed slowly introduces new mechanics to the player as you go. Every couple of levels something new was thrown at me, be it warping and shooting or perhaps shooting and warping. Honestly, the skills develop nicely and you can actually feel yourself improve as the game goes in. The thing about Velocity 2x is the ship flying levels and the platforming aren’t separate. While flying you’ll come across glowing lettered docks and you fly into them to start a platforming section. It’s a simple concept but it works together a lot better than I anticipated. Each level has a variety of challenges to give you experience and unlock later levels in the game. It gives the game a ton of replayability. The focus in this game is speed (REALLY?!) and I found myself going back to earlier levels to try and hundred percent them, only to find I felt like Shakespeare trying to write See Spot Run. I played the game with a controller which I highly recommend.

Velocity 2x

It’s hard for me to say the controls are precise but with the exception of a couple mechanics I felt responsibility for all my deaths. A majority of the time you feel completely in control of your actions. For one, you control how quickly the screen scrolls, which is way more fun than I expected. Whether you’re flying the ship or platforming you can warp between walls to get to different sections. During the platforming sections this is precise. You only have to control the direction you’re going and I didn’t have any trouble learning to speed run the hell out of each segment.  During the ship parts, however, you have a cursor to move and while this works effectively it’s hard to do it with any precision when you’re trying to go fast. I’d constantly overshoot the area I was trying to warp to or wouldn’t be able to find the spot that was clear enough to warp into. This is all part of the challenge, and I accept that, but it takes a lot of practice. The shooting works great. You shoot straight ahead as a ship and anything off to the sides you throw bombs at using the right stick. During the platforming segments you use the right stick and it aims 360 degrees which is quite satisfying. The one mechanic I really hated and still never look forward to is this little warp ball you have to throw during the platforming sections. The aiming is really sensitive and slow and I felt like a majority of the time it just bogged down gameplay, which brings me to my next point.

velocity1

Velocity 2x isn’t always about speed which was hard for me to get over. Many of the levels in the game act as a huge series of puzzles where you have to warp back and forth to different sections of the map then enter or exit the platorming areas in order to complete each level. The puzzles are simple, find the next numbered segment to shoot so you can take down the shields and move forward, but much of the time I just wanted to go fast. It offers variety in a game that could have dulled out quickly so I’m thankful for that, but the levels I really loved replaying were the simpler ones with focus on speed and precision.

velocity 2x

Focusing on every part of Velocity 2x step-by-step would be a mistake. Futurlab has put everything together in such a manner that works really nicely and I had a blast playing through the game.I had a ton of fun finishing every level and honestly loved replaying sections of levels to cut seconds off my time or collect every shard I could. I didn’t love the ending but I’ll definitely be looking out of the inevitable Velocity 3x to follow.

 

Final VERDICT 4/5

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Available on: PC, Steam, Xbox One, PS4, Vita ; Publisher: Sierra ; Developer: FuturLab ; Players: 1; Released: Aug 19, 2015 ; ESRB: E10+ ; MSRP: $19.99

Velocity 2x was reviewed on code supplied by FuturLab.

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Alex loves all sorts of gaming from the tabletop to tv screen. When he isn't playing games he helps produce content for a little software company. He currently resides in Chicago, IL with his girlfriend and two dogs.

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