What is Veloocity 2X? Is it an old school 2D top down shooter? Is it a 2D side scroller? Is it a puzzle game? If you answered yes then good for you you’re right; Velocity 2X is a little bit of all three. The game that first comes to mind when trying to provide a comparison is Master Blaster. Yes, I’m dating myself with that comparison but it’s the first thing that came to mind so deal with it and look up the game if you don’t know what it is; its a classic. Anyway, in both games you pilot a pretty sweet ride and in both games you also jump out of that sweet ride on occasion and play as the pilot. Master Blaster affords a bit more freedom than Velocity 2X but I digress.
In Velocity 2X you play through 30 plus levels as Kai Tana, pilot of the Quarp jet. There is a plot to the game, which is told through cut scenes in between missions, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. It seemed pretty generic, involving killing an invading alien race and saving things I think. The good news is Velocity 2X doesn’t need a strong or compelling story because its gameplay is good enough that you won’t care.
Velocity 2X takes care to slowly ease you into how the game works. The first few boards introduce new mechanics by presenting situations requiring new abilities. As it turns out, both Kai and the Quarp jet have essentially the same abilities though executed on different planes, either top down or side scrolling.
The defining mechanic of the game is the ability to teleport around the board. Both the Quarp Jet and Kai have this teleporting ability that is heavily utilized to complete missions. This ability is key to separating Velocity 2X from a run of the mill side scroller or top down shooter. The other important play mechanic is the ability to play as Kai, the pilot of the ship. At certain points of each level you’ll need to jump out of your ship and into a side scrolling board. After you destroy various numbered “locks” in the board you then jump back into your ship and continue on. It’s an interesting mechanic that helps to break up standard top down shooter gameplay. In reality, both modes are almost good enough to stand on their own. The fusion of both game types into one game, however, really helps Velocity 2X rise above the competition.
As the game progresses it becomes evident that Velocity 2X is not your typical shooter
This game is not about insane fire power, over the top destruction, and fast twitch moves to dodge swarms of enemy bullets. Instead, it focuses on completing each board and puzzle as quickly and efficiently as possible. I honestly didn’t realize this for at least 15 levels. I happily and lazily plowed along doing what I thought was a great job of easily completing each level. At a certain point though the game stopped me from progressing, informing me I didn’t have enough XP points for the next level. This is when I finally figured out that Velovity 2X demands the completion of each board to near perfection. Although I respect this requirement it is also one of my least favorite parts of the game because if forces you to replay boards over and over to earn those few extra points required to progress.
Velocity X2’s graphics are OK but they’re definitely not pushing the limits of the PS4 or even Vita. I read another review somewhere that said the graphics look a little like a flash game and you know what… they do. Again, not terrible but not great.
So how about the controls? Well, the controls are solid and responsive but your hands can get a little tied up trying to execute all the moves as quickly as possible. Every button and both joysticks are utilized by the game. This ended up causing me issues many times throughout the game but is probably more my short coming than the game’s.
A Gamers Opinion
I really enjoyed Velocity 2X… up until the point that the game stopped me from continuing and forced me to replay previous missions to accumulate enough XP to continue. Make no mistake about it, I am NOT a fan of this mechanic. I’ve read other reviews that loved this part of the game but honestly, it’s not for me and really took away from an otherwise great game. Let me elaborate on this point for you. When I say I had to go back and replay levels, I’m not talking about levels that I completely flubbed. No, I had to go back and really fine tune levels to scrape out a few extra points. This really took a lot of the fun out of the game for me and in the end I stopped playing before completing the game. I’m going to guess this isn’t what the developers had in mind. But as previously stated, there’s plenty of other things to love about Velocity 2X. The level design and puzzles are both done very well while the sense of speed and required precision add to the overall experience of the game. The ability to control the ship and its pilot help to keep gameplay fresh. Most importantly of all, despite a frustrating game mechanic, Velocity 2X is a fun game.
- Velocity 2X is a different take on the shooter genre.
- Great level design and puzzles.
- Fast and fun gameplay.
- XP System. Two words: hate it. I wasn’t a fan of being forced to replay previous levels to perfection.