Futurlab built their reputation with Coconut Dodge's wonderfully executed mechanics, and it seems this time they really did shoot for the stars. Thankfully, they succeeded completely.
Whatever you expect going in to Velocity for the first time, prepare to have those expectations torn asunder after the first 30 minutes. Velocity has to be one of the most ambitious minis I’ve ever played, and is a testament to the fine folks at futurlab’s ability to take a genre that seems either tired or derivative, and inject enough fresh blood in to it to give it a whole new spin.
In Velocity’s case, that centrifuge of delight comes from the game’s teleportation mechanics. Note the plural there. Velocity has you bounding around the game’s top down map in the most delightful of ways at first, with a hold of the square button producing a cursor steered with the analogue stick, and wherever you release said cursor, you’ll appear there. Don’t worry about teleporting in to a wall, you can’t. Don’t worry about hitting a wall either, that doesn’t cause you any damage to your craft either. The teleportation mechanic in the game is effectively idiot proof, which is lovely to see. Expect to zip around through the levels as a variety of walls and enemies block your path. Is there a galaga-esque fleet winding around in front of you? Teleport in to the centre and take them around from the outside. Wall of turrets ready to turn your craft into some festive confetti? Teleport behind them, fire a bomb backwards towards them and sing the 1812 overture to yourself. You’re free to experiment with how you take out your enemies, and that’s something Velocity can be proud of.
The second teleport mechanic is something far more impressive though. You can place a number of teleports around a level, and zip back towards them whenever you feel the need to. Missed a survivor you need to rescue? Go back and grab them. The game will eventually have you activate a number of switches in a set order in some levels, so expect to zip back and forth as you prime all of those and then reap the rewards. Its fast, intuitive and above all fun, with the controls working perfectly for anything you want your nimble little craft to do.
Velocity certainly doesn’t slouch on the presentation front either. With great pixel art combined with an astounding soundtrack, the game is an excellent package to look at. Everything has an attention to detail, and there’s even a hidden minesweeper clone to play in your ship’s computer, along with some unlockable story content, extra crazy missions and all the trimmings you expect from a game filled with such polish. Its wonderful to see such care and attention poured in to every facet of the title.
Velocity is astounding. From the perfectly executed teleportation mechanics to the excellent presentation, it exudes mastery. Futurlab built their reputation with Coconut Dodge’s wonderfully executed mechanics, and it seems this time they really did shoot for the stars. Thankfully, they succeeded completely.
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 Portable version of the game.
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