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Space Channel 5 Part 2 Review (XBLA)

Game Review: Space Channel 5 Part 2
Release: October 05, 2011
Genre: Music / Rhythm
Developer: SEGA
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Players: 1-2 (Off-line co-op)
MSRP: 800 MSP or $9.99
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Website: http://www.sega.com/games/space-channel-5-part-2/

Up, down, up, down, chu, chu, chu.  If this resurrects memories of infectious club music and dance combat then you are no stranger to Space Channel 5 Part 2.  Who else would you choose to save humanity from invading aliens but anime dream girl, and dance reporter, Ulala.

Here is how Sega describes the game:

In Space Channel 5 Part 2, follow Ulala, a dancer and reporter from Space Channel 5, on her quest to take down the Rhythm Rogues and their leaders, Purge and Shadow. The dancing Dreamcast diva must prevent them from creating the all-powerful dance-control weapon and ultimately end their pursuit of world domination. Along the way, enlist the help of Space Michael, based on the King of Pop himself, to prove Ulala’s prowess in rhythm and rescue Space President Peace!

The gameplay here is easy to learn but difficult to master.  Dance moves are represented by buttons on the controller.  The D-pad is used for up, down, left and right, the A button is “Chu” and the B button is “Hey”.  Battles consist of running into groups of aliens and doing battle through these dance moves.  First the aliens perform a dance routine then you need to repeat it using the correct keys at the correct time.  The difficulty ramps up quickly with longer and more complex dance sequences making the game fun and challenging.

If you can’t clap your hands or tap your feet to a beat then you should probably just move along citizen as this game will only frustrate you and make you miserable.  The sequences have some fairly complex rhythms and you are expected to not only press the correct buttons in the correct order, but you also need to get the rhythm dead on.  There isn’t much room for error.  I have been a drummer most of my life and I still found this game to challenging at times.

The great thing about this dance game is that you don’t have to stand in the middle of the living room, flailing around.  Your dancing is all done via the game pad so you never have to leave the comfort of your couch.  Having Ulala showing off her moves in HD is always a plus and is a welcome update to this classic game, even if the character models are still very noticeably blocky and angular.

 

Even though the game is being marketed as being in HD now, the absolute minimum has been done to get it there.  It appears all of the original character models are still being used, so don’t expect graphical miracles here.  Also, it would have been nice if Sega would have invested the time and effort to re-render the cut scenes in HD, but they are all still in fuzzy SD and have a 4:3 aspect ratio.

 

While this new HD version of Space Channel 5 Part 2 is not all that much of an improvement over the original, it remains a fun-to-play rhythm game that doesn’t require you to buy into the recent wave of motion controllers.  At 800 Microsoft points ($9.99) this is not a bad deal, but there is a better deal to be had.  Space Channel 5 Part 2 is part of the Sega Dreamcast Classics for Xbox 360 (with three other games) at a retail price of $19.99 US (Amazon has it now for about $15 US).  Sega Dreamcast Classics also includes Sega Bass Fishing, Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure, so if you are interested in these Sega remakes, this may be the way to go.

  • Infectious soundtrack
  • Easy to learn / Difficult to master
  • Not for the rhythm challenged
  • Recycled SD cut scenes

Final Score: 7 out of 10

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