Two weeks ago:
Let's see...I heard Shaman are great classes, why don't I see just how good they are and-Wait, wasn't I supposed to be reviewing something? Eh, it can wait.
An hour ago:
Time to log onto World of Warcraft a-Oh yeah, review. What to pick this week? *Pokes through game selection* Aaaah, Space Channel 5: Speecial Edition.
Space Channel 5 was one of my favourite Dreamcast games aside from Skies of Arcadia and Soul Calibur that is. I was filled with Deee-lite ($10 to whoever gets the reference) when I found out this game was remade for the Playstation2 with its Japan-only sequel, and I was practically jumping for joy when I found it for only $8 used. Well worth every penny.
Space Channel 5 is one of those strange games. You play as Ulala, a space reporter with Pink hair and mini-skirts shorter than one's attention span after five hours of non-stop WarioWare. She brings the viewers of Space Channel 5 up-close coverage of Aliens called Morolians who are taking over the world by forcing people to dance. In order to progress to the next report, you need to make your ratings either match or exceed the expected amount (Like, say, 15%). How does she increase her view rating? By saving hostages by copying the alien's dance moves. When you are in a Dance Battle, the aliens give you moves that you must copy. They are either "Up", "Down", "Right", "Left", or "Chu" (X button). This is very much like Simon Says, especially in some dance battles, the aliens add on to their previous moves. In other words, Monkey see, monkey CHU. If you run out of hearts, the rescue fails. In Shoot mode, you also follow directions and shoot the aliens. However, they also throw out hostages at you, and you save them by hitting the "O" button. However, rival reporters (Channel 42 reporter Pudding and Space Pirate Jaguar mainly) wish to steal the show and challenge you to a dance battle. In Part Two, Ulala must save the universe from the Rhythm Rogues, and here, you help Ulala through dancing and shooting sequences, like in the first, only her ratings only determine how much health you have for the boss battle (You can progress with low ratings) However, "Hey" (O button) appears both in dance battles and both to save hostages in shooting modes (This makes it much easier), and there are some instances where you will have to hold the button down for a specific amount of time, and during musical instrument battles, it doesn't matter which button on the D-pad you push, just so long as you hit them the right amount of times and with the rhythm. (This is mostly used when dance battling rival reporters, Space Policewoman Pine, and some boss battles) The gameplay is very simplstic, but it is smooth and part of why the game's fun.
The graphics in part one were improved over the Dreamcast version, and part two looks even better. You will fight robots that look like a giant marshmallow, save Space Primary Schoolers with Green Hair, dance battle a crossdresser with pink hair and clothes, and dance alongside Space Michael (Voiced by Michael Jackson). Movement is very thorough with a few exceptions, and in Part two, you can alter Ulala's appearance so you can dress her in available uniforms for missions you already cleared, and can give her different accessories, ranging from a microphone to a ladle. Also, in report two of part one, when you are saving the Space Children from the gigantic Marshmallow-robot, the children glow instead of having the little hypnosis things spinning around their heads, making them easier to identify. In the Dreamcast version, there was no glow, and this made it a bit hard to tell the Morolians from the children, and the "Chu" for both alien and hostage didn't make it any easier. However, the graphics do have their flaws. There are a few graphical delays when fighting Fuse in Part one, as well as in Report Three. (They said "Turn the room light on and keep a safe distance from the monitor" for a reason-A warning to all with epilepsy(sp) ) Part two also has a bit too much Flashing lights in some parts, and the title screen features a really bright shades of blue and white. My eyes! My eyes!
The music is where the game scores high. The background music gets very addicting, and often fits the scene very well, in one part, you are in a spy uniform and shoot to a spy soundtrack. In the first one, however, "Chu" is used to save hostages, and while it's not as annoying as it was in that one point of Part One, It's not too bad here. The voice acting could use a little improvement. When you're saving the Cheerleaders in Part Two report four, when the cheerleaders say "right" it sounds like left, and it can get a little annoying when you think they say "left left hey!" when they really mean "Left Right Hey!"
While both games can be cleared in, like, three hours, Part two features some replay value with the costumes, as well as Ulala's dance mode, which is a non-stop 100-round dance battle. Part two also features two-player mode, where one player hits the directional buttons and the other player hits the "X" and "O" buttons as needed.
Part one's plot is pretty weird, same with Part two, but during the later missions, it starts to turn to the lame side with "Dance energy" and Ulala glowing while she dances.
Overall, this is one of those games that's lacking gameplay, but the gameplay's so simple you can't help but like it. (Katamary Damacy anyone?) I reccomend this for fans of the original, and this is one of the survivors of t system that could have been. 8.50/10
-=Fun background music=-
-=Harder than most other rhythm games=-
-=Gameplay's simple as hell but smooth as silk=-
-=Save system in part one's better than the Dreamcast version=-
-=Really unusual plot=-
-=Flashing Neon lights burn my eyes like Cho Aniki=-
-=Plot comes a bit to the "lame" side near the end of Part two=-
-=Voicework could use some improvement=-
(And before you ask, yes I do know what Cho Aniki is, unfortunatley)
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- Sim Kid
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