The Vita is rapidly becoming home to an array of high-quality indie titles, and I'm absolutely fine with that.
The latest addition to the handheld's lineup is Velocity Ultra, a top-down shoot 'em up from British developer FuturLab.
Velocity Ultra is a remake of the company's earlier game Velocity, which was previously released as a PlayStation Mini. Minis, if you're unaware -- and I'd understand if so, since it's part of the PSN store that isn't pushed very hard -- are small, cheap, independently-developed games that work both on PS3 and PSP/Vita.
Velocity was a clever, innovative little game that combined traditional vertically-scrolling shmup mechanics with innovative puzzle mechanics, including a cool teleportation ability and some brain-frying "blow up things in the right order" sequences. While making your way through the game was relatively straightforward, getting the best ratings on each level was significantly more challenging, and will test the skills of even the most jaded shmup veteran.
Velocity Ultra isn't a completely new game, though the company is interested in working on a sequel -- it's already got a questionnaire up inviting feedback from the community.
Instead, it's a complete reworking of the PlayStation Minis original, featuring redrawn art both in the game and in the comic book-style cutscenes, new lighting effects in the game, full support for trophies (including a Platinum trophy, because apparently there are people out there who actually base their purchasing decisions on whether or not one of these is present) and the ability to use the Vita's touchscreen for the game's core teleportation mechanic.
FuturLab describes Velocity Ultra as a "Director's Cut" version of the original game, which, while well-received, didn't receive as much exposure as it could have due to being buried in the oft-forgotten PlayStation Minis section of the PSN catalog. It's also intended as a means to make a wider cross-section of the public aware of Velocity, with the intention of building it into a wider series as time goes on.
Is it any good, though? Well, you'll have to wait until our review later this week to find out the specifics, but spoiler: if you own a Vita, you probably want to download this.