Before modern day "shooters" existed, the term "shooter" referred to games in which the singular player (or occastionally multiple players) destroys hordes of enemies whilst dodging attacks. The player usually takes control of an aircraft (or spacecraft) to do this, and today, we define this sub-genre as the "Schmup" (shoot-em-up). These games were such a staple of gaming's earlier developments that you can see thier DNA now infused with many modern games. The problem is that the more pure form of vertical and horizontal scrolling shooters doesn't seem to surface very often anymore. The more recent release of Radiant Silvergun in the x-box live marketplace makes up for some of this, but the modern shoot-em up world is still barren!
Enter Velocity Ultra-- possibly the most clever evolution of the classic shooter genre, since Ikaruga. This game takes the conventional shoot-em-up, adds an excellent teleportation system, throws you into it's more than fifty mini-playgrounds,
and challenges you to adapt to them while meeting certain requirements. Those that find an affinity with this game, as I have, won't be able to stop until they've gotten a gold medal in every stage.
The graphics are more than adequate, and have a consistent style to them that doesn't confuse the eyes or get in the way of the gameplay mechanic. The comic-like art in between missions is fun to look at, and serves as a throwback to the "barely-there" style of storytelling that most shoot-em-ups adhere to. Why tease the player with too much story when all that'll be needed is very twitchy hands? The comic-frames more than suffice. Music is above average techno (I understand that electronic music consists of multiple sub-generes, but "techno" seems to fit the profile here), and carries the game's pace nicely. Controls are fluid and responsive, with only the occasional failed teleportation to make the player question his or her controller. And even then, practice makes perfect is the bread & butter of this game, and evidences it's tight gameplay. I'm curious as to how the controls feel in the Vita original, and I'm even more curious to see how curve studios might integrate the teleportation controls in to IOS, or other mobile devices.
Buy this game. It's an evolution of one of the most classic genres of video gaming, and it does what it does very well. The price is certainly right, and we need to encourage more development of games in this genre! Oh, and did I mention the game has a built in calculator, as well as the game Mine-sweeper? Does this enhance the experience? No! Is it awesome? Yes!
9.1 / 10
Posted: December 12th, 2013