Velocity 2X Review (Xbox One)
Have you ever played a game like Galaga and thought “You know what this game needs? Platforming sections!” ?
So I was pleasantly surprised by the idea of Velocity 2X from FuturLab(The team behind Velocity, Coconut Dodge and Beats Slider) when I got to grips with it – and that, by the way, took a little while. To use the old cliche, Velocity 2X is a game of two halves. For half of your time, you’re in control of the Quarp Jet navigating your way through fast-paced, top down shooter sections whilst the rest of the time, you control the jet’s pilot, Lieutenant Kai Tana in short 2D platforming areas. The two flow together almost seamlessly, and you always know that what Kai is doing on foot will directly benefit the aerial sections. The controls are similar in both so there’s no jarring transitions, yet each of them has a distinct personality and feel to it. The platforming sections, while generally short and simpler than the Quarp jet areas, are particularly fun and don’t usually last for more than a few minutes.
Velocity 2X is one of those games that rewards muscle memory and quick reactions more than anything else. When you put in the time and practice, you can let your mind take a backseat and let your fingers drive, making decisions and movements without even realising that you’re holding a controller. V2X feels like it was built from the ground up for this sort of play, an opinion echoed by the development team. During a behind the scenes video, one member of the team (Operations director Kirsty Rigden) said; “When you get good at Velocity, it feels like you’re dancing” and she wasn’t exaggerating in the slightest. The game’s main mechanic, Teledashing, is shared between the two, and mastering this movement is key to succeeding. Teledashing lets you teleport Kai a short distance on foot, or anywhere on screen during the Quarp sections.
Playing along for the first time, I managed to accidentally skip ten levels(it’s a long story) and found myself confused and frustrated by the sudden wealth of unexplained mechanics that had been thrust upon me. After managing to, very slowly, clear the level, I realised my mistake and went back to earn the upgrades and equipment that I had fraudulently claimed. It was actually quite a refreshing experience that made me appreciate every new mechanic as it was introduced, as I already knew how useful they’d be later on.
A criticism of the original Velocity was that the game didn’t look as good as it felt. That’s not an issue here. Style and substance both rise up in magnificent fashion, walking hand-in-hand to deliver an experience that’s immensely satisfying.
8 twitchy fingers out of 10