Velocity Ultra review

A year since Futurlab’s energetic shooter became a standard bearer for the PS Minis service it arrives on Vita, bursting with the same restless invention and a few subtle tweaks to suit its new host platform.

It looks much nicer, of course: rendered in Vita’s native resolution, the visual sharpness is finally a match for the game’s delightful design. Explosions cast a warm glow against those cold, mechanical environments, while your ship’s trails convey a greater sense of speed as you accelerate through the levels. There are more stylish games on Vita, but the extra clarity only benefits a game where speed and precision are crucial.

As, too, do the new controls. Aiming bombs with the right stick feels much more intuitive and immediate, and though moving your thumbs away from the buttons to teleport where you tap feels alien at first, it soon feels more natural and less exacting than the alternative. Both changes serve to shave valuable seconds from level times, and with leaderboards and trophies finally present, there’s much greater incentive to master levels rather than simply moving on with a silver or gold medal.

Little else has changed, but little needed to. Ultra maintains the original’s busy energy, hurrying you through obstacle courses at top speed in one stage, before asking you to carefully scour for survivors the next. It’s a game that leads by example, never keeping still while making sure you do likewise, and is every bit as essential now as it was 12 months ago.

Velocity Ultra is out now for PS Vita.

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