March 8, 2002
Space Channel 5 - Review
|15/3/2002||Sega||United Game Artists||1-2||G8+||$99.95|
United Game Artists aren't a developer which many would have heard much of, but you probably know their past work, in particular Sega Rally. The Sega development team has more recently been concentrating on the Playstation 2, and their first game on the system Rez is one of the most exciting games in years. This game, Space Channel 5 is actually quite a bit older having first appeared on the Dreamcast well over a year ago now. Although the Dreamcast game suffered due to the consoles demise, the sales figures were fairly solid and a port to the Playstation 2 was announced soon after Sega confirmed a multi-platform strategy.
|Ulala's is so much hotter in motion.|
The story of Space Channel 5 is a little weird, but here it is. When the alien race of the Morolians invade, ace reporter Ulala is on the scene to scoop the story for Space Channel 5. The hip-hopping aliens are zapping citizens right and left into a hypnotic dance trance. However, beat girl Ulala proves to be their ultimate match. So they challenge her to a dance battle, and she busts out her grooviest moves in order to free the captives. Well, the story may be a mouthful but when it comes down to it, this is a rhythm dancing game much like Bust-A-Groove and PaRappa The Rappa. The gameplay is rather simplistic with the digital stick used for direction and buttons on the controller to shoot or "chu" the aliens and captive humans. Of course as the beat gets faster the game becomes more and more difficult.
|Oh man... She's so fine.|
Repeating the directions of the aliens can become a little repetitive, and some people may not agree to the game style. But I certainly did. It's almost hypnotic and trying to get all the moves right takes a lot of patience, and plenty of precise timing. If you're good enough you will even be able to rescue Michael Jackson who appears quite late in the game. One of the very few down sides is that the game may be a little too short for some, but I defy you not to go back for more upon completion.
Graphically, Space Channel 5 is rather interesting. The game is MPEG backgrounds with 3D polygon characters placed in the foreground. The animation on the characters is exceptional as they dance and move in time with the music. But it's Ulala that steals the show. She's the most gorgeous, sexiest, downright stunning video game babe ever. Before you ask that includes the aging Lara Croft, although she's also looking pretty good on PS2. However it's not too often that you see video game characters in hot pants or mini skirts with the camera pointing in an upward direction. When she moves... well you get the picture. The variety of non-playable characters is also very impressive, with a very cool Michael Jackson also making an appearance. Background graphics are interesting in that they very much look like MPEG encoded movies, but they aren't glaring at you to the point of distraction.
|No, this is not a Thriller audition.|
To round things off this game includes a very impressive array of music which changes according to your overall performance in each of levels and who you manage to rescue from the Morolians. Some rescued characters will play a saxophone, keyboard or guitar in time with the background music, but they all blend in perfectly. To add to the sexy look of Ulala she has a very sexy voice as she adds commentary throughout the game for the audiences watching her battles through Space Channel 5.
|Going up against Jaguar.|
As with most music games, Space Channel 5, is more about timing of the button presses then anything else. The game basically sees the aliens perform a series of moves which you must replicate perfectly, and in time with the music. For some this may be repetitive nonsense but to others, including myself, this game is a combination of some stunning visuals, great music and precise gameplay. I'm so glad that Sega decided to release this game on the Playstation 2, as few people would have seen, let alone played the Dreamcast version. If this game sells well enough then the sequel, which has just been released in Japan, should also make an appearance here. If you don't buy Space Channel 5 for the gameplay experience, buy it for Ulala. You won't be disappointed.
Talk about Space Channel 5 in this forum topic now.
|GRAPHICS||Lara Croft? Pfft. I'll take Ulala any day. Backgrounds are cool too.||75%|
|SOUND||Excellent music which alters depending on the characters rescued.||85%|
|GAMEPLAY||Perhaps at times a little to fast for itself but addictive as hell.||80%|
|VALUE||One of those games that is short but you'll play several times.||69%|
|OVERALL||A solid game with by far the sexiest video game character ever.||76%|