Velocity, the undisputed king of the PlayStation Minis catalogue, is getting a full PlayStation Vita overhaul later this year. After a solid month of teasing, Brighton-based developer FuturLab has warped through the stratosphere to confirm the existence of Velocity Ultra, an upgraded version of its award-winning arcade shooter.
As suspected, the refresh will launch with a handful of out of this world features, including online leaderboards, refreshed artwork, and, of course, Trophies. “You can think of Velocity Ultra as the director’s cut,” the company explained on the PlayStation Blog. “It’s everything we would have done the first time around if we’d had the budget.”
Arguably the biggest tweak to the new title is its art style, which is ditching its predecessor's retro flavour in favour of a more edgy look. “The cartoon style was our original intention, but it wouldn't really have worked well enough at the PSP resolution,” managing director James Marsden told us earlier in the week. “Once we settled on pixel art instead, the game became more about retro homage than we'd first planned. It worked out pretty well in the end, but so many people disliked the pixel art style, we decided we needed to move away from it.”
The developer’s been working on the reboot since September, when it agreed to sign a landmark deal with platform holder Sony. During that time, it’s had plenty of opportunity to consider the Vita’s range of input options, but it’s decided to keep things simple. “We're not going crowbar the use of hardware features into a game that works just fine as it is,” Marsden said, adding that the refresh will take advantage of touch in obvious areas like menus. “We'll experiment with teleportation using touch, too. If it works, we'll use it.”
We're not going crowbar the use of hardware features into a game that works fine as it is
Velocity is not the only title that FuturLab is currently in the process of rebooting for the Vita. Late last year, the company announced its intent to port Coconut Dodge to the system – but, according to Marsden, that will be a much simpler affair. “It will be a straight HD port with PSN integration,” he said. “I'd like to tweak the levels a little bit, but otherwise it's the same game but at native resolution and with Trophies.”
Meanwhile, the studio is also hatching plans for a Velocity sequel. “We’ve got plenty more in the works,” the outfit teased on the PlayStation Blog, pointing readers in the direction of a questionnaire. “Fill it out and you could win a copy of Velocity Ultra.”
Now there’s an offer that you can’t refuse.