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Velocity Ultra Review

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Adam Barnes

Sony's PS Vita is fast becoming our favourite games console. Find out why Velocity Ultra is proof of that in our review.

Published on May 24, 2013

The PS Vita has no games. The PS Vita is pointless because the iPhone exists. The PS Vita is the worst console ever designed and it needs to be destroyed in a pit of eternal fire.

At least that’s what the internet would have you believe.

The internet is, of course, wrong. Sony has consistently released games of varying sizes for the portable PlayStation, whether it’s the recent (and brilliant) Soul Sacrifice or more understated but just as enjoyable titles like Guacamelee.

The PS Vita compliments all types of gaming, and Velocity Ultra fits perfectly into the on-the-go side of things.

As a new an improved version of the PSN Mini that everyone raved about last year, Velocity Ultra is the definitive version. But not because of its fancy graphics; simply because of the platform it is on.

It’s a top-down side-scrolling shooter, but with less of the shooter and more in the way of puzzles.

Initially you’ll follow corridors as you try and overcome the challenge of finishing a level quickly while collecting the level’s allotment of survivors, represented here by blue ellipses.

And initially it’s fairly easy, but fret not – Velocity Ultra more than provides the necessary challenge these games must very early into the game's set of levels.

In many ways it’s more memory game than dexterity tester. Later challenges will see you hovering back and forth through the map to activate switches in a particular order.

Sure you can finish the level like this with ease, but can you do so quickly? This requires a heavy dose of mind-mapping each level before you’ll know how best to grab every survivor, destroy every enemy and do so in a super fast time.

That’s where Velocity Ultra excels, and if you don’t enjoy games that test your ability to improve at the same thing over and over again, you likely won’t enjoy this.

But those of us who do will have a real treat. It’s perfectly suited to the PS Vita as well. Whether it’s just completing a level or repeating the same one until you’ve mastered it, Velocity Ultra is perfect for both picking up on the bus or never putting down when at home.

Give it the chance and it can absorb your life.

But at the same time there are a few control concerns. The teleport function – a feature that is fairly original in the genre and the crux of Velocity Ultra’s gameplay – isn’t always perfect.

Though the fault could easily be placed on you, sometimes the teleport function fails to teleport due to a misplaced marker.

There’s no simple method to opt for – beyond just tapping where you want to teleport to – so having to direct a crosshair across the screen is your best option.

It's especially bothersome in later levels where precision is a must and can become a little finicky.

Additionally you’ll unlock the ability to place a respawn marker, a location that you can return at any point after bringing up the map. This is a necessary part of the game in later levels, where the challenge is puzzle-based rather than reflex-based.

But using it can be a bit of a pain. It’s not always clear which of the multiple respawn points you have selected – and even when you think it is you’re probably mistaken.

Often this will result in randomly teleporting to an incorrect location and though it’s easy enough to rectify, it can add seconds to your overall time that could be the reason you fail to earn perfection.

As slight a criticism this is, it does become a nuisance. Often it’ll force you to restart, even when so much that went before it had been super smooth. And that’s a pain in the arse.

But nonetheless, Velocity Ultra proves that as much as PS Vita can play – and is worth getting for – high budget games like Soul Sacrifice, a handheld games console is just as valuable for smaller experiences.

Velocity Ultra is slick, it’s fast and it’s a lot of fun, but best of all it can be played for five minutes or five hours. You don’t need 3D graphics, immersive worlds or complex storylines for the PS Vita, you need gameplay that is fun to play at any point of the day and Velocity Ultra provides that by the ship-load.

 

Score Breakdown
Graphics
8.0 / 10
Sound
7.0 / 10
Gameplay
8.5 / 10
Longevity
8.0 / 10
Multiplayer
N/A / 10
Overall
8.0 / 10
Final Verdict
This is the definitive version of Velocity Ultra, but not because of its fancy new graphics and effects. Velocity Ultra is a perfect match for a console that can be carried around with you, and if you've yet to play the game then this is the way to play it.
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Game Details
Format:
PS Vita
Release Date:
16/5/2013
Price:
£6.49
Publisher:
Futurlab
Developer:
Futurlab
Genre:
Shooter/Puzzle
No. of players:
1
Verdict
8.0 /10
A brilliant addition to the PS Vita's collection of PSN games, and for the price well worth your attenion.
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