Part vertical shoot 'em up, part side-scrolling action platformer, Velocity 2X is now available on the Nintendo Switch after previously being released on several other consoles over the last few years. This new edition comes complete with all of the previously-released DLC packs, making it the ultimate version of one of the most underappreciated shmups of recent times.
Shmup sequences, which make up the bulk of the game, see players deftly teleporting through walls and barriers to collect stranded escape pods, a task that gets increasingly difficult as the game's 50 levels fly by. New enemies appear, environments and obstacles become trickier to navigate, boss encounters threaten to halt your mission. To deal with these, players gain new weapons and abilities every few levels, including multi-directional bombs, weapon power-ups, and teleport pods facilitate your occasionally necessary return to earlier parts of a level.
Side-scrolling levels retain most of the ship's movement and teleporting controls, but add extra abilities and objectives. Your character Lieutenant Kai Tana feels excellent to control, and dashing and blasting through these stages is an unexpected highlight.
Players earn experience points based on their performance in each level, graded for time taken, survivors rescued, gems collected, and overall score. Instead of using this EXP to level up, it's instead needed to unlock later levels. It's possible to get pretty far in the game without even bothering to hit the high EXP targets, but eventually you'll need to pretty much perfect every single level if you want to see everything Velocity 2X has to offer.
On top of the original 50 levels, three DLC packs are included - the super-fast “Critical Urgency” levels, a daily challenge run, and a set of “Dual Core” levels which we don't really want to spoil but will provide a huge treat for players who reach the end of the main game before moving on to these extras.
Velocity 2X is so much more than your regular everyday shmup. Patience, perseverance and practise are the keys to success, and the amount of enjoyment you get out of the game will largely depend on how much effort you're prepared put into it in the first place. While it's a fantastic game for a quick 5 or 10 minutes here and there, it crosses over into unmissable territory when everything clicks, and it becomes an incredibly difficult game to put down. If you're up for a challenge, this one is quite simply an absolute must-play.
VELOCITY 2X / DEVELOPER: FUTURLAB / PUBLISHER: CURVE DIGITAL / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW