My first introduction to Velocity from the geniuses at FuturLab was back when it came out on PSP. Quickly, I heard from other people how great this game was, and before I had the chance to buy it for myself, it became free on PlayStation Plus. Not ten minutes after I had started playing the game, Velocity Ultra was announced for the PlayStation Vita, so I shelved Velocity in favor of waiting the upgraded version.
It was worth the wait.
How Much Is It?
$7.49. This may seem a little expensive at first, but it’s worth every penny in the end.
What’s The Story?
Since the story takes a backseat to the gameplay (not a bad thing), Velocity Ultra is pretty much just about saving survivors with your Quarp Jet, with all dialogue presented in static screens.
What Do You Do?
At its base, Velocity Ultra has you flying the Quarp Jet through 50 different levels, trying to reach the goal in a set amount of time, rescuing survivors along the way. Once you beat each level, you’ll then be graded on your performance, which leads to a ton of replaying in pursuit of the best score.
How Does It Look?
Not like much, which is likely one of the barriers that will keep people from buying this upon first glance, but Velocity Ultra’s gameplay and fun factor far outweighs any visual shortcomings.
I will say that it does run quite well for a game that moves so quickly, just be prepared to have a few glitches where you’ll get stuck in something when you teleport, though it can be easily fixed by teleporting again.
How Long Is It?
Getting through all 50 levels the first time will take you a few hours, and if you want to perfect them all, that will take a few more hours. Thanks to the amount of secret medals scattered about those levels, you’ll unlock a bunch of bonus missions for you to play through, including FuturLab takes on classic games like Space Invaders and Snake, with a Minesweeper game included as well.
Once you then add in the amount of time it will take to clear the entire trophy list of Velocity Ultra, which is awesome and even has a platinum, you’ll have crossed the 10 hour mark before you even know what hit you.
Is It Hard?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s hard, because I never felt like I was going to throw my Vita against a wall when trying to beat a level the first time, though it is challenging. Once you get into the later stages of Velocity Ultra, which can take up to 5 minutes, you’ll burn through your limited amount of lives pretty quickly, but that just means you weren’t good enough and need to rethink your strategy.
Is It Fun?
This is a big yes.
When I began playing Velocity Ultra, it just started out as what seemed to be a simple scrolling space shooter. It wasn’t until the game introduced the teleporting mechanic that things start to ramp up and the game just became a complete joy to play. Thanks to teleporting – which is limited in range – you have an easy out when it comes to danger. Teleporting also opens up a whole host of different challenges, forcing you to be precise when jumping across barriers.
Throw in the ability to boost at super fast speeds, telepods that require you to backtrack in levels and use your skills to destroy colored nodes in the correct order, tough enemies, levels that can be enjoyed in short bursts or long sessions, buttery smoother controls, and just an overall charm, Velocity Ultra becomes one of the funnest games you’ll find on the PlayStation Vita.
Is It Worth The Money?
Like I said, the $7.49 entry price does seem a little steep in the beginning, but once you realize that the 50 levels take a good chunk of time to beat, get addicted to the mini games, and go for the platinum, it becomes well worth the investment.
Should You Buy It?
Aside from a few minor technical issues (they should be fixed in a future patch) and less than impressive visuals, Velocity Ultra is perfect for PlayStation Vita owners who want a fun, fast-paced, and just overall awesome game.