Hugh Likes Video Games
Velocity 2X
Published by FuturLab
Playstation 4/Playstation Vita
“Velocity 2X” is a neat little indie game that defies classification.  The sequel to “Velocity Ultra,” it follows the adventures of ace pilot Kai Tana and her prototype teleporting space fighter the Qwarp jet as she fights an evil alien empire and searches for a way home.
Mashing up a traditional shooter with tricky teleportation puzzles, “Velocity Ultra” was a blast to play.  The sequel expands on it just about everywhere, with touched-up graphics, a delightful story, more bonus content, and platforming sections.  I expected the latter additions to break the flow of gameplay, but they are just as fun and challenging as the flying.  The controls and abilities used on foot cleverly echo what you do in the cockpit, and feel very organic.  Thanks to excellent level design, these sections feel like an enhancement rather than a disruption.
The other main enhancement in the sequel is a much beefed-up story.  Kai’s one-woman assault on a stock empire of war-like aliens feels like both a trope and an inversion.  She is hardly the first lone fighter pilot to go up against a fleet of aliens, but having her invade them, backed up by a slowly forming revolt of enslaved pacifist scientists, feels perfect.  Kai is an outstanding character of the mold we see too rarely in games.  She’s equal parts sass-mouthed and kind-hearted, and she’s a big enough bad-ass to back it up.  She’s got Samus Aran and Lara Croft in her DNA, and she is a one-woman army, not a sex object.
The gameplay remains strong overall, and the challenge ramps up at a nice curve for new players.  By the end of the game, you’ll be straining both your reflexes and your puzzle-solving skills to complete the labyrinthine mazes of each level.
Velocity 2X is a fun, challenging indie shooter that defies both genre and convention.  It is available for PS4 and Vita as a download from the Playstation store.