My game this week is once again a music game. This one comes from Sega. It's Space Channel 5 for the Sega Dreamcast. This half DDR, half Simon Says game is actually quite unique, not for it's gameplay, but in the style that it's presented. Set in the near future, Space Channel 5 is filled with plenty of 70's retro-chique throwbacks, from main character Ulala's tank-top and mini skirt outfit, completed with go-go boots, right down to the groovy dialogue. I was going to try to add some of this quirky dialogue to the post, but if you couldn't tell from that first one, it would sound awful.
Space Channel 5 puts you in control of Ulala, news reporter for "Ulala's Swinging Report Show!" The plot of the game is quite silly, and the game really just seems to laugh at itself the whole time. Aliens are invading the earth, forcing everyone on the planet to dance, with hopes of... Well... Maybe annoying them? Or starving them to death or something. It's never really made clear why. Somehow, they'll take over TV and the planet that way. Only you, Ulala, can save them by dancing back! Gameplay is simple, aliens (Called Morolians) will jump out and shoot directions in an attempt to attack you! You need to remember these directions and shout them back, because that apparently will stop them. You don't just remember the directions, though. It's all set to music, and you have to remember the rhythm pattern they followed, because what's a dancer without rhythm? You'll also need to shoot the Morolians and rescue the dance-crazed civilians by shouting "Chu!" (Shoot) or "Hey!" That's really all there is to the gameplay.
As I mentioned, Space Channel 5 is a rhythm game, and it easily has my favorite soundtrack. (I hope I didn't say that last week about IIDX as well, because I like this better.) It's very future-jazz-ish, and totally sets the mood for the game. It's one of the few games I have the soundtrack to and can listen to without playing the game. It's hard to describe without actually listening to it, so make sure you turn up the music when you watch the video at the end!
Easily, the most memorable thing about the game is the greatest cameo apperance of all time. Michael Jackson lends his voice to the game as Space Michael, and you need to rescue him, and he doesn't really say anything except for, "Thanks, Ulala!" However, in Space Channel 5: Part 2, he has his own entire level, and it's fantastic, because everyone dances around in an epic dance battle doing Michael Jackson moves (And yes, they do the Thriller.) and then he takes out a singing robot by... More singing. It's got to be the best level in either game. (There's only a Space Channel 5 and a Space Channel 5: Part Two. Well, there was also Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic Revenge for the GBA, but let's forget that that ever happened.)
Space Channel 5 is still rather easy to find. It was re-released on the PS2 as Space Channel 5: Special Edition and comes with both parts, each on their own seperate disc. It's practically identical to the Dreamcast version as well. No unnecessary changes to be seen here. I bought a new copy of it on eBay for 10 dollars, so it's really cheap if you're interested in playing it, and with a price like that, I highly reccomend that you do, if nothing else just for the humor in the game.
The video below is of the first level of Part 1. If it looks easy, that's why, but it does get plenty trickier. The song playing in it is my favorite song out of any game, and that's why I chose this video.
Video by VirtuaPlayer