Review: 'Velocity 2X' (Switch)

An in-game scene from 'Velocity 2X.' An in-game scene from 'Velocity 2X.' CURVE DIGITAL

Velocity 2X is one of those games that you have to take a couple glances at, you know, to make sure you're playing the game you think you're playing. Let's see... sci-fi setting. Awesome female protagonist with robot parts. Runs around 2D platforming levels shooting bad guys, jumping, and solving minor puzzles. Flies an awesome ship. Loves to blow the crap out of everything. Yeah, that's definitely Samu-- er... no, wait, her name's Kai Tana.

All kidding aside, this game is good. It's not incredible, but it's good. You play as Lt. Kai Tana, and yes, I did have to go back and look it up. The story isn't really memorable, but in a nutshell, you're a former test pilot that wakes up on an evil alien space station and has to escape by shooting and gunning her way through hordes of enemies. Is the story deeper than that? Technically. But I can guarantee you won't care. The game itself doesn't even bother to pester you with it, putting the bulk of it's lore in journal entries for you to read later.

But lets talk about the game play. It's broken down into two sections, the ship and on foot. Either way, you're moving through intricate mazes, shooting enemies, tripping switches, teleporting through barriers, and then occasionally fighting a boss. The game gives the shoot 'em up genre a fresh breath of air by mixing the two mission styles within individual levels. You'll start in your ship, progress a certain distance, then find that out of four switches that need to be flipped, you can only shoot three. You'll have to dock at a nearby hangar and move through the side-scrolling platform section to find and flip the final switch. But whether you're in the ship or on foot, you're constantly moving. There is no down time in this game. You move or you die.

Really, Velocity 2X is like a complicated version of that game from the '80s, Simon. You remember? Red, blue, blue, red, green, blue. Yeah. Mission one. Learn to shoot. Okay. Mission two, shoot and teleport. Mission three, shoot, teleport, and now move on foot. Nothing you learn is discarded. Every mission adds something new for you to do, from tossing teleporter balls to get around obstacles to leaving way points so you can explore two different paths without being cut off.

The controls are simple... and yet somehow complicated. They force just a few buttons to do some many things at once. They aren't difficult, per se, but they're laid out in a way that's hard to get used to, forcing you to freeze up at inopportune moments as you try to remember if X teleports short distance or drops a way point.

All those things aside, the game is fun. I have to look back to remember what the plot even is, but still, the game is fun. It's constantly challenging you to do something faster, more complicated. Adding more and more balls for you juggle, but never in a way that feels too complex to enjoy. To top it off, the missions are all short, roughly two minutes on average. It makes it the perfect game for the Switch. In fact, as someone who almost exclusively plays in TV mode, I only played this game in hand held mode. It's so easy to pick it up, play a couple levels, then do something else. And with fifty levels in just the core game, there's plenty to keep your attention.

Now if I could only remember why I'm fighting all these guys...

Finall Score: 7 out of 10

A copy of the game software was provided for the purpose of review.

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