Velocity Ultra warps onto PC this Christmas, bringing Steam support and custom controls
For a moment I thought Christmas wouldn't be full of spaceships, shooting and teleportation, and that would have been terrible. I mean, what else is there? Generosity, human interaction and gentle TV specials? Sounds awful. Luckily, a PC port of PS Vita shmup Velocity Ultra has been confirmed for a Steam release this holiday season. It's guaranteed to be more enjoyable than Brussels sprouts.
Developed by FuturLab, the original Velocity was one of the scant few brilliant games on the PSP's Minis service. This PC conversion is of the Vita's subsequent HD upgrade, and is being handled by Curve Studios, developers of the excellent Stealth Bastard, who are tailoring the game to support fully customisable keyboard controls.
When asked about the process of getting a primarily handheld shmup feeling natural on the PC, Curve's Rob Clarke told us, "only last year we made Stealth Bastard Deluxe, which is a platformer where precise controls are absolutely fundamental to the experience, so we are very aware this is a very crucial part of the bringing the game to the PC.
"The question we ask when testing controls is, 'Is this section of the game more difficult on a keyboard than it is on a controller?' If the answer is yes, we continue to refine how the game feels. We'll be doing a lot of in-house testing and grabbing user feedback on our 'default' settings, too."
Away from their own games, Curve have become known for their PS3 ports of PC games. As this is the first time going the other way, and publishing a previously console-exclusive title for PC, I asked if this was a trend we'd see more of. "We'd like to say that this is part of some grand business strategy," Clarke said, "but the reality is FuturLab got in touch with us to help write some unrelated code earlier in the year, and the relationship developed from there.
"Having said that, this isn’t a one off. We are hoping to help console developers - and even PC developers who don't want to use Greenlight - get their games on Steam, and we think our background as an indie developer puts us in a very unique position to help do that."
For an idea of how Velocity Ultra melds vertical shmup action with quick-fire spatial puzzles, check out this trailer for the PS Vita version.