Velocity 2X: A slick, speedy scrolling space shooter

September 15, 2014


Vertical shooters these days are largely something we see as part of the past, or as super-difficult PC games from Japan. Velocity 2X is neither of those things. The original Velocity was a typical vertical shooter that started as a PlayStation Mini, designed for the PSP, though it eventually received a PS Vita and PSP port called Velocity Ultra. In addition to taking the series to the television, Velocity 2X adds varied level types and increased accessibility.

The main mechanic of the game is the Quarp Jet’s ability to teleport around the screen. This is needed to traverse levels, but also plays an important part in collecting items (and for those who want to push their limits, speed runs). Each mission is scored based on time and items collected, so while there is no failure condition for taking too long, you will need to become fairly quick to get the highest ranking.

The biggest thing 2X adds is a sidescrolling aspect, with your character on foot traversing indoor areas. Like the space sections, you must gather items and reach the end, usually with a target or switch to destroy before returning to space. These segments are meshed into the space missions so that you transition from flying to running and back to flying, often entering a station to disable a force field to move forward.


It helps that the core mechanics of the space game — teleporting and item collection — continue in the side-scrolling areas. You still want to race around, though there is a bit more timing involved when jumping, and you can only teleport horizontally or vertically, so you won’t be zipping past areas where you’re meant to jump diagonally. Later on, the game becomes much more maze-like, and getting the fastest times will often involve knowing the best route through a level, instead of simply being able to boost through without missing collectibles.

The game is available on Vita as well as PS4, and the Vita version is actually a little bit easier. The teleportation naturally lends itself to a touch screen, as it is much faster than using the stick to choose a destination. Other than that, there isn’t much of a difference between versions. Thankfully, Velocity 2X is a Cross-Buy title, so you don’t have to choose between big and small screen.

In old shooters, difficulty was often a big barrier to entry, but this isn’t the case here. If your goal is simply to finish the game, this isn’t hard to achieve., but if you want to play the game as it feels like it was designed to be played, you need to play for speed. Never let go of the boost button and don’t stop moving, or you’ll lose valuable seconds. The fastest times will probably be on Vita, as touch controls simply make a difference. The later levels become quite difficult, and will appease the more seasoned shooter fans who will breeze through most of the early game.


Velocity 2X joins Resogun in my list of titles I probably never would have picked up otherwise, but really enjoyed thanks to PlayStation Plus. Shooters are such a rare sight these days, and so many of them tend to be somewhat mediocre ports from mobile. Velocity 2X successfully joins two old-school genres, and it does it without making either feel forced. It’s certainly worth a look, even as it releases at the beginning of the busy season.

Pros: Easy to pick up and play, levels broken up well
Cons: PS4 controls are slow for teleporting

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.