hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Velocity

Review: Velocity

2:00 PM on 05.28.2012 // Allistair Pinsof
  @DtoidAllistair

We often demand to see something new, yet when we do see something new, we become scared. Original concepts and mechanics have a tendency to make our brains hurt. Velocity made my brain hurt, and not just a little, either.

Though I enjoyed the frequently masochistic pleasure of playing this brave little PS Mini, I wonder if there will be others who will join me in celebrating FuturLab's crafty, maddening space shooter. Despite its shortcomings, Velocity's strengths make it one of the most bafflingly original games I've played this year.

Velocity (PlayStation Minis)
Developer: FuturLab
Publisher: FuturLab
Released: May 1, 2012
MSRP: $4.99

Trials Evolution is to racing games as Velocity is to shoot-em-ups. You may mistake them for cookie-cutter entries in their genre when glancing at screenshots, but these two games reveal themselves to be much wilder beasts through play. However, some basics of the shmup hold true for Velocity. You fly across a top-down 2D plane, shoot at things, and dodge obstacles. If this was all you did, I wouldn't have shouted in agony over the course of the game's 50 stages. I wouldn’t have been nearly as thrilled, either.

Like Trials, you must unlock new tiers of stages through skillful play. Performance is measured in three ways: time, survivors rescued, and points received from defeating enemies. Though beating most of the stages isn't difficult, I had a hell of a time perfecting my time and strategy. Survivors, basically icons you pick-up by maneuvering over them, often conflict with taking the shortest way through a stage. Thankfully, you have some unique abilities to help you out, each of which is slowly unveiled throughout the course of the game.

Things start simply enough. Holding down the right trigger makes the screen scroll faster; if you want to earn gold medals, you'll need to use this function generously. In fact, some levels require it, giving you little more than a minute to reach the end. Once you get used to the game's speed, developer FuturLab throws a wrench into the system with teleporting. Holding down the square button brings up a cursor which you can move across the screen; let go and your ship will reappear in its place. Managing the screen acceleration and teleportation at the same time will melt your mind the first couple of tries. You'll need to get used to it; after all, these are only baby steps in comparison to what's to come.

Eventually, you'll unlock long-form teleportation which lets you drop a limited amount of spawn points you can return to at any time. This becomes necessary as stages soon turn into mazes with areas that only unlock through multiple treks through a section. Later maps are full of colored lasers locking you out of an area. The only way to get rid of a laser wall is to destroy its generators, spread across the stage, in order. You may find the first generator near the end of the map, the second in the middle, and the third in the end. So careful use of dropping spawn points is key. Luckily, the game suggests ideal spawn drops to the player by flashing blue across the screen.

For a game about finding the perfect shortcut, FuturLab has ironically taken a couple itself. Each of the 50 stages share most of the same textures, music, and enemies, making for a rather monotonous experience. Given how exhausting the game can be, it doesn't help that the audio and visuals only add to the repetition. The charm of the recycled Amiga-esque graphics and music that sounds like it came from a Windows 98 key cracker soon wears off its welcome.

Though Velocity lacks polish, it's clearly a labor of love. The game offers a wealth of unlockable content: documents that give background on the story, concept art, insanely difficult challenge stages, random two-player mini-games, and Minesweeper, to name a few.

If you haven't figured it out by now, Velocity is as much a puzzle game as it is a shooter. If you are up for a challenge for your trigger finger as well as your brain, you may be surprised by how original, wild, and intense a game it is. Though there are better looking and more accessible indie puzzlers to play, there are few that will leave you as bewildered and addicted through its alien concepts. What Velocity lacks in scope and variety, it makes up for in originality.



THE VERDICT

7

Velocity - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
4 days unt... no, wait... 3 days until Sahelanthropus.
Jish K avatarJish K
Greetings. For I am new. And still struggling to get that dang blog header to change.
From Must Git Gud avatarFrom Must Git Gud
MGSV is looking very good so far! Played to 2% completion last night. Pure stealth seems REALLY hard so far. PS3 version runs fine, loading times are OK, no slow downs, draw distance and pop-in are a bit rough. No glitches. Be prepared! Get it on PS4.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Jealous of all my brethren at PAX Prime. Sad I will miss out on the drinking, orgies and catching the PAX flew. This time next year though, I'll be there! I promise!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Forgot to mention that I celebrated completing Persona 4: Golden by binging on a bunch of totally in-canon doujins. Including, but not limited to, Yu on genderswap't Yosuke. [img]http://i.imgur.com/Ex0MgjW.jpg[/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
If you love Splatoon and Transformers you may want to check theyetee.com today. http://theyetee.com/ Let's just say the shirts are... Splatfest themed. [img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/j2AnOnQvRZqustSU45JP[/img]
Zack Furniss avatarZack Furniss
BREAKING: Dtoid is at the IGN Lara Croft Go party. You can hold live snakes because why the fuck not, but one snake is missing...
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
someone help i think i'm writing what is going to be my longest blog yet
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[url="http://nintendoeverything.com/yacht-club-on-the-shovel-knight-amiibos-origins-nintendo-on-third-party-figures/#more-216265"]Interview with Yacht Club Games that miiiight basically confirm Shovel Knight isn't getting a Nintendo boss/level?[/url]
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Spent most of my day going back and playing Assassin's Creed: Unity. I really quite enjoyed it. It's a good game.
Bardley avatarBardley
Reserved my copy of The Phantom Pain today and my car died on the way back home. Thanks Konami. On the plus side, I got to ride in a tow truck to the auto shop. Felt like an elementary school field trip or something for a few minutes.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Humble Bundle End of Summer Sale! Get a free Stealth Inc. 2 maybe? I dunno. Just signal boosting for no particular reason. Maybe 'cause I got a free game? Least I could do. https://www.humblebundle.com/store
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I gotta to admit: it feels nice to be able to play a Pokemon game without thinking to myself "oh shit, I got to fill up my Pokedex". It's nice. Oh yeah, and for the record, I'm playing through Soul Silver.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I enter the Gamestop. I set a Toad plushie atop a Yoshi plushie. I set Mario to go down on Kirby. I leave the Gamestop.
gajknight avatargajknight
Niero, just killed a man, Put my dick inside his head, cummed my load and now he's dead. Niero, we had just begun, But now I've gone and thrown it all awayyyyyy. Nierooooooo, ooooooooh.
guitarvillain avatarguitarvillain
That thought sends shivers down my spine.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Lacking recording/social features aside (I actually do love that aspect of the PS4), I've been really enjoying my Xbone. Sunset Overdrive is like Saints Row meets Tony Hawk and lovingly self-aware.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wait, wasn't that Pokemon Detective Pikachu game supposed to come out this year?
sakesushi avatarsakesushi
Humble Bundle End of Summer Sale! They're doing it wrong though, putting up [url="https://www.humblebundle.com/store"]Stealth Inc. 2 for free[/url]
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
Just cleared out a whole village fultoning every single guard. I AM BIG BOSS.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Velocity


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -