Space Channel 5: Special Edition Review

Developer: United Game Artists Publisher: Agetec
Release Date: November 18, 2003 Also On: None

America seems to always be left in the dark when it comes to Japanese quirky titles. Space Channel 5 would qualify as one most definitely. Released in the year 2000, Space Channel 5 was praised by the press, and it seems, largely ignored by the gaming public. Agetec brings back from the dead Ulala, a space reporter on the news program Ulala’s Swingin’ Report Show.

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Its nearly-identical sibling, Space Channel 5 Part 2, was released in Japan, but never made it to American shores. Agetec fixed that by packaging both the Dreamcast American cult-classic with the Japanese-only Part 2. Better yet, the price was dropped to budget level, though as the game stands, it isn’t long by any means, so this is the price at which it should be to begin with.

For those unfamiliarly with Space Channel 5, it is a rhythm/action game, where your character, Ulala, saves humans from a crazed alien race bent on having the humans mimic their dance moves. The second game has you battle it out with a band of dancin’ delinquents.

The game’s basically set up so your girl, Ulala, struts her stuff around what I could describe as a dance floor, in a lobby, on rooftops, etc. You’ll be beating to snazzy music, with characters running and dancing in 60’s fashion. Simply mimic the moves of your opponents by tapping the corresponding buttons. If they say “up, up, up, up�, press up four times, while staying in-beat.

In concept, this is the most simple of games, that even a child could play. When the music speeds up, and enemies issue lengthy dance sequences, combined with shooting enemies and freeing humans, things tend to get messier. This of course isn’t helped by what seems to be irresponsive controls.

The original’s gameplay differs from Part 2’s in the slightest. Both have a difficulty slope that is too advanced for most players. The lack of save/checkpoints will ensure replaying levels. Being that you’re on a television show, the game requires you to keep your viewership at a certain level. Part 2 differs from the original in that it incorporates lyrics in the songs. The lyrics are shoddy, poorly scripted, and only will make it harder to perform your moves properly.

Space Channel 5 might go down as one of the Dreamcast’s most beloved rhythm games, but on the PS2, it will be remembered as a budget title to cherish. Even if you own the Dreamcast version, do yourself a favor and try out the PS2 version’s added game, Space Channel Five Part 2. The package might look like it’s from 2000, but you’re sure to have a swingin’ good time with this one, if you get past the difficulty.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 4
Final: 6.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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