Velocity 2X is kind of a hard game to place. With it’s genre-blending gameplay style, it quickly cements itself as your new obsession upon staring it up for the first time. One part vertical shoot-em up, one part Metroid and one part Sonic The Hedgehog, it’s really a game that has to be played to be understood. Players will immediately find themselves handing the intelligently designed levels of Velocity 2X with a fluid grace that they never could have seen coming. As you pilot your Quarp Jet around the levels, lobbing rapid fire bullets at enemies, switches and debris, you find yourself addicted to the idea of the perfect run.
With so much coming at you at all times, it would be easy for the game to overwhelm you, however the progression of Velocity, specifically the way that you unlock new abilities eases you into the challenge with few barriers. Soon enough, you’re weaving in and out of corridors, launching smart bombs in every direction, teleporting your ship through walls and doing it all without even contemplating letting off of your boost button. It’s addictive to the core, and if you get hooked by that kind of leaderboard mentality, you’ll find plenty to keep you coming back for more.
The most interesting addition to Velocity 2X, however, are the segments in which you leave your ship and take the fight to the ground. At points throughout most of the levels you are forced to dock your ship and enter a space station in order to unlock doors and remove laser barriers in order to progress to the end. Amazingly, the game manages to nearly perfectly match the frantic, twitch-based gameplay of the main sections with these moments as well. The pinpoint accurate controls are fluid and responsive, and most of your ships abilities have similar counterparts when you’re on foot. It’s usually in these moments where the game hides the majority of it’s secrets as well, such as the hidden bonus levels that must be unlocked if players want to unlock that elusive platinum trophy.
There are few complaints with a game that plays this tightly and hits it’s goal perfectly. However, there is one moment where the controls seem to be counterproductive to the games fast-paced style. When on foot, you gain the ability to launch a telepad through small corridors or raised platforms, in order to teleport to areas previously unavailable. The aiming mechanic here, which should have been a very easy implementation have somehow gone awry. There is a weird delay and slowness to using this feature, which manages to repeatedly punish players going for that fastest time. That would be a minor complaint, however, in an otherwise well balanced game that rewards it’s players with a sense of satisfaction after completing every level. When you factor in the fact that this game has debuted as a free Playstation Plus game on the day it releases helps to make it a can’t miss for fans of old-school arcade shooters or fast platformers. Be sure to pick it up whenever you can, especially if you can still grab it for free for the next month.