Velocity 2X is the follow up to the popular Velocity and it’s HD upgrade, Velocity Ultra. The gameplay is that of a vertical scrolling shooter where the focus is more on navigation and activating switches rather than combat, although there definitely is some. This is truly a game based on the arcade notion of challenging for high scores on the leaderboard. However, if you’re not into speed running (like me) it is still fun to navigate each level with the increasing challenge of additional mechanics being introduced.
While the game isn’t terribly challenging, it can be if you are boosting through a level aiming to get those high scores. At the end of each level, your score is split into (most of the time) four categories: Time, Rescues, Crystals and Points and contributing to your total score. So you could boost your way through a level as quickly as possible, but your score wouldn’t be as high as someone who slowed down a little bit to pick up as many crystals and rescue as many people as possible. It is a nice balance catering more toward people like me who aren’t solely about speeding through a level.
What makes this game different from its predecessor, however, is that at some points you will land your ship and the game will transition into a 2D sidescroller playing as the pilot, Lieutenant Kai Tana who shares some of the gameplay mechanics of the vertical shooter section. These include boosting, basic shooting, short range teleport, teleportation pods and more. There is a lot to wrap your head around but, once you do, these separate elements come together and performing these actions eventually come second nature.
There are text boxes of story scenes in between missions, but the narrative itself is vapid and not the focus of a very gameplay-centric focused game but that is fine. What is great is the sharp and vibrant color palette and artstyle. There are a lot of straight lines when it comes to both character designs and stages which come off as very futuristic. The sci-fi setting is welcome and looks great as well.
Even more than the artstyle, the soundtrack is a star here. Most of it consists of a techno style vibe matching the setting along with some thumping bass in every song pumping you up to keep pushing forward and progressing. This soundtrack is one of my favorites this year.
Overall this game is definitely worth playing. It even has cross buy support between PS4 and PS Vita. But there is one thing that keeps it from being amazing. The main 50 mission story mode is all there is. There are no other modes to speak of with the replay value solely coming from trying to 100% each level. Other score-centric games like Super Stardust Delta and Shatter had alternate modes to round out the package, and I wish developer FuturLab could have put in something else. Even with that, if you have a PS4 or a Vita, check this game out.