Review: Velocity Ultra
When Futurlab released >Velocity last year, it represented something of a shift in attitudes towards Minis as a platform. While there may have been the occasional piece of interesting content released, by and large the games went ignored. With Velocity, people sat up and took notice of minis, but of course the usual caveats were still in place. No leaderboards, and no trophies. The people demanded their bragging rights, and so Futurlab have responded in kind. With Velocity Ultra, Futurlab have taken an already fantastic game, and have further improved it, polishing up every conceivable angle to a mirror sheen, while adding all sorts of bells and whistles to make it really sing. The result is a game that feels like the logical extension of what Futurlab was trying to achieve with Velocity, and a game that doesn’t mess with a good thing.
The first thing that leaps out at you from Velocity Ultra is the visual style. It’s crazy sharp, with all of the game’s art redrawn for the Vita’s enhanced resolution. However, more than that is the new set of effects Futurlab has added. Explosions light up the surrounding area, and you ship’s trails have never looked better. The game is no slouch in the audio department either. The superb score has returned for round two, and it certainly sounds like the quality has been upped from the game’s minis outing. It’s all a bit richer, and that sort of sums up the audiovisual component of the game. It’s all a bit richer, a bit more of a feast for the senses. Play it with headphones on to really be astounded by the care put in to every facet.
In terms of gameplay, not much has changed, save for the opportunities afforded to the developers by the Vita’s enhanced controls in comparison to the PSP. However, the usefulness of these additions cannot be understated. With bombs on the right analogue stick, it becomes easier than ever to perform awesome looking moves at ludicrous speed, chucking bombs down narrow passages at the blink of an eye. It really helps add to the pace of the game, as you shoot in one direction and throw bombs in another without having to move that way too. Strangely, the most welcome improvement came to me in the form of the touch screen teleport functionality. Tapping the screen, and having the ship move there instantly, quickly became an essential technique for me when playing the game. It gets a little trickier to do in the later stages, which is why I’m thankful that the standard option is still there, but as an additional feature it’s incredibly useful.
Of course all the content from the original game is still here. With a great selection of levels, along with loads of bonus ones hidden away for the player to discover, there’s a wealth of things to do in the game. And of course the minesweeper clone is still hidden away in there, so there’s always that if you feel like it. There’s artwork to unlock, reports to read, and levels to master, so the game’s going to keep you going for quite some time. And as an added bonus there is a Platinum trophy if you think you are game enough.
Velocity Ultra is the best given a new coat of paint. If you loved the original, then get ready to fall in love again. If you didn’t want to play the original because of the lack of bragging rights, it has the tools to give you those now. And if you didn’t play it because, well, you missed out on it the first time around? Well, now you have your chance to make amends.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Vita version of the game.
What I Like:
- Fantastic update to an already stellar mini
- New touch controls work great
- Loads of content
What I Dislike:
- with the new leaderboards, now everybody will know your shame