December 12, 2013 5:15 PM | John Polson
FuturLab handed over the interstellar keys to Curve Studios to publish Velocity Ultra on Windows, and the result is a solid port of a tight, tough, tense, and innovative vertical shooter. Along with shooting and dodging at variable speeds in space, Velocity has teleportation-based manuevers, telepod-based puzzles and a bit of exploration and rescue missions, all having you scroll up, down, and back around in a way that feels totally fresh for the genre.
Like the spaceship you will control, FuturLab's Velocity Ultra has racked up some mileage, prior to its Windows release today. A year and a half ago, it debuted without the Ultra-trimmings as a PS Mini. This year it was given the HD treatment and upgraded to a PSN release on Vita and PS3. Now Velocity Ultra comes to Windows thanks to the publishing magic of Curve Studios, who has been previously cranking out ports of Proteus, Lone Survivor, and Thomas Was Alone for Sony's consoles.
My opinion of Velocity Ultra is the same as it was for Velocity: a must-play. However, even with the HD upgrade, the visuals are a bit repetitive. A year later, I wish even more to see the team make use of Velocity's mechanics for other situations such as bosses. The wait for expanded gameplay won't be long, with Velocity 2X coming next year.
I decided to do something different and ask on Twitter for a second opinion from a reader with fresh eyes, and Jeremy Solares stepped up to the plate:
So to be detailed about what I enjoyed about the game, I would have to start with the scroll control. At first I was all "ok can't wait till it speeds up a bit" and then the boost feature rolled out enabling you to be in control of the scroll speed. As I began to get further along that feature really started to shine in multiple places, as well as the teleport feature, especially once you start engaging in combat with the turrets. The teleport feature was a bit hard for me to get down, due to me using Xpadder and the joystick being a little oversensitive sometimes, but I got the hang of it.
Now that I have the controls down I can really get through the levels on a "bad ass" status, zooming in and out of areas quickly, using the teleport feature to dodge incoming fire or even get the jump on the enemies. I also like that you won't die when you run into the walls.
One thing that definitely makes me feel comfortable about the game is that it's not overwhelming right off the bat. Some games like these really just throw you in and say to do your thing. This one slowly presents you items and enemies. At first, I wanted the big green ships to fire at me so it would be more challenging but then the turrets came in and I realized what their role was. It's nice to have a balance of firing and non-firing enemies on the field, as it can be pretty intense if everyone is firing at you all at once.
A few hours into the game, Jeremy says he doesn't have any negative feedback for it.
So now that someone from the community is joining me in approving Velocity Ultra, let's check out the options:
The game is 10% off at Steam, making it $9. However, Steam customers who already own Hotline Miami or Stealth Bastard will receive a 20% discount voucher in their Steam inventory for the game. They will also recieve a 50% off voucher for Devolver Digital's Defense Technica when buying Velocity Ultra.
Green Man Gaming and Gamersgate are both offering a free copy of Curve Studios' Explodemon with all purchases of Velocity Ultra, which is also marked down to $9 at these stores.