Watch out everyone! Here come the Rhythm Rogues! Cue the Austin Powers’ music — we’re having us a dance off in SEGA’s Space Channel 5: Part 2. Seriously though, this re-release of an old Dreamcast and PS2 game slammed into the PS3 and 360 this month (October 4th and 5th respectively), bringing with it some classy music genre gaming. 9 years removed from the original audience and faced with the challenges of today’s games, does SC5:P2 stand up in today’s world?
My honest answer? Yes and no. I enjoy the music genre myself, even if I’m not musically inclined. I just seem to always run afoul in these types of games sometimes. For those that don’t know however – Space Channel 5: Part 2 and the original follow Ulala who is an investigative reporter for Space Channel 5, a galactic news network. She comes equipped with her trusty microphone, which is how she broadcasts her reports, and two weapons (one shoots, one saves) as well. She always seems to get caught up saving the galaxy from terrible dance moves and endless boogie nights. While it’s not exactly the most sensible story, it is fun to work your way through.
This game uses the generic music genre controls: you hit the thumbsticks and buttons in accordance to the beat and things happen. Space Channel 5 differs however, where instead of having musical instruments play, you’re dancing your way through the game defeating enemies and rescuing civilians along the way. Doing this, you’ll also receive a ratings based on how well you perform (hey, this IS a news channel after all, the ratings are important!). The dance moves are fairly basic, but the game is deceptive – easy controls do not necessarily mean you’ll be flying by with 100% ratings every level.
Graphically the game has not been updated and the age shows. It’s expected for games that don’t receive any updates, but I had hoped for something along the lines of SEGA’s Guardian Heroes re-release with the “remixed” graphics. I understand it’s just a port of the original, but there’s always some blind optimism on my part that games could receive a slight facelift. Watching the game’s cut-scenes on my 360 really shows the polygons though – the number of blocky edges I could see in some scenes was astounding. But musically, I like the game a lot! Being that it is a music genre game, I expected music I could get behind but I honestly did not expect to enjoy it as much as I have. I’m a fan of older music and this worked out perfectly with the funk and soul in the tracks. It’s some really catchy stuff and I even suggest people check out some of the music on YouTube. It’s absolutely worth it.
Overall though the game has some fun replayability to it with the tough work it takes to get yourself to those perfect ratings. There are lot of secrets to find and costumes to unlock for those interested. The music is catchy and I enjoyed the game, as much as I also sucked at it. Give it a shot if you’re looking for something new in the music genre or a fan of the original releases.Note: Space Channel 5: Part 2 was reviewed on Xbox 360. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.