13/12/2013

loading screen matinee


Now that's how you sell a game to me, with ridiculous overconfidence. Downloaded Velocity Ultra for my Vita a few nights back in the ongoing Xmas Sale on the PlayStation Store. Bought it on a total whim and thus far I am thoroughly enjoying it. A variation on the arcade twitch fests of yesteryear, you pilot a ship capable of transporting itself instantaneously all across your screen in a bid to save humans and avoid obstacles. Resogun tickled the bullet hell nerve recently and I've been casting a cautious eye over the Vita back-catalogue for just such a game.

The visuals deliberately evoke the early 90's style insofar as the early 90's any style at all. It almost fools you into thinking you're actually playing something from way back were you not playing on the decidedly very contemporary-looking Vita with all its touchscreen gizmos and whatnot. You warp across the screen in a stream of never-ending movement, as lights and sounds leave your brain before they ever registered their presence in your head. The playing field itself is constantly moving forward and if you're caught behind something when your ship meets the bottom of the screen you're dead. So constant motion is key, stop and you die. 

Only a few levels in the challenge is already, almost imperceptibly, building as the game gives you more tools to relocate your enemies to the afterlife. Already I can sense my reaction times sharpening up and my fingers doing an awkward dance as they settle into a rhythm of shooting, warping and on-the-fly puzzle solving. Safe to say I anticipate a frustrating-yet-rewarding endgame if I have the patience to make it that far. This game's all pure playability though so that may increase my tolerance threshold just far enough for what's to come. Increasing numbers of enemies, insurmountable odds, all the usual jazz but if its stays as good as this I may stick it out. In an era of games that go to great lengths to make things easy, games with challenge are a nifty trick rarely pulled off.