My love for platformers and classic video games has increased with the awesome injection of indie titles like Ori and the Blind Forest, Tembo the Badass Elephant, and now Velocity 2X. While I was largely disappointed with Tembo due to control issues, Ori is still on my top games list for this year, and Velocity 2X has quickly earned a spot on that list. It has been available for a while on PC and PS4, but it recently launched on the XBOX One. I spent an entire stream on the launch day playing it, and even had some of the kind folks from FuturLab in my stream to give me tips and listen to my feedback. I thoroughly enjoyed the game for a variety of reasons.
Old-gen meets new-gen
The first thing I picked up on was the blending of old game styles like Galaga with new approaches to speed games on the mobile platforms. It does the same thing with the platformer areas that feel reminiscent of Megan Man and Metroid mixed with the fast reflex style of many popular mobile games. I think it’s pretty courageous to create a somewhat new identity as the look and style of the two primary modes will appeal to fans of old titles, but the speed running aspects are more in line with newer games. I know people like speed running the classics, but for the most part those old games don’t typically have that appeal. I really enjoyed Ori and the Blind Forest for the good pacing and fun, with only a few really fast reflex sections. The beauty of how FuturLabs set up the speed running aspect of the game is that you can attempt it as you’re comfortable.
Complexity if you want
At the end of every level you get ranked according to speed, collectibles, and points. As far as I could tell, scoring bronze or silver on time doesn’t hinder your ability to advance. As someone who went for speed and efficiency I was landing more silvers than anything, but the temptation to re-run levels was certainly there. I typically don’t run back through games like this, so the fact that I wanted to is a testament to the fun factor and accessibility of the game. But don’t relax too quickly; this game disorients you in a good way, keeping you from phoning it in with any sort of rhythm. Having to switch from flying through narrow pathways to running through platformer areas is a great juxtaposition that keeps you on your toes and forces you to shift your rhythms and reflexes very quickly. It’s a great layer of complexity that has loads of potential and simply won’t let you settle in.
Buckle Up and Pay attention
Something I continued to applaud the devs for in this game was their excellent use of capital with warping back to designated points and various paths that you have to retread. In a game type that has been around for such a long time it was refreshing to see such great innovation. It also allowed them to create challenging but accessible puzzle solving which created a new dynamic to a game type that could have quickly became mindless and repetitive.
Another mechanic I’m growing particularly fond of in these types of games is the excessive amount of checkpoints. I talked about this in both my reviews of Rayman Legends and Ori, because it allows the game to ratchet up the difficulty much further than you’d expect. It’s far more intense and thrilling to keep trying at a challenging boss or fast section of the game when you spawn right there. Really challenging levels can become more irritating and cumbersome than fun if you keep having to start over, and you never get that fatigue in Velocity. I describe it as the sense of “I’ve almost got it” which makes it both intense and addicting. For the $19.99 price point I have to say this game is definitely worth it and I give it my full endorsement.
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