Review: Space Channel 5: Part 2
Space Channel Five: Part 2 is a rhythm game… before the words guitar and hero were ever put together. It is a fun and ridiculous game that rivals Katamari in weirdness. SC5:P2 puts you (slightly) in control of Ulala, the head anchor of Ulala’s Swinging Report Show on Space Channel 5. Levels usually begin with her talking to the camera… up until a dance battle inevitably erupts. The story is out there, involving a plot where the evil Rhythm Rogues kidnap the Space President (For some reason putting the word “Space” in front of something still cracks me up). Over the course of 6 stages, Ulala rescues the numerous people taken hostage by the Rogues while battling their army of ridiculous robots.
Musical encounters are made up of Simon-like repetition, where the enemy will dance using the directional buttons and chant “Hey” or “Chu” which are assigned to X and O. There are also a few opportunities to hold down the X or O button resulting in a charged “Heeeeeeeeeey” in some battles. It starts out pretty easy and gradually ramps up the difficulty throughout the stages. By the end of the game, some of the dance patterns are very complex, and the amount of distracting things on screen can cause a sort of information overload. There are also instrument battles that are usually mapped to one directional button. They add an extra element to the game, and level 2’s guitar battle is probably my favorite. Levels are scored on a rating system, the better you do the higher the ratings. During boss battles, your ratings % are turned into stars, which are treated like lives.
It only takes a little over an hour to defeat the first campaign, but luckily a new game plus is unlocked right after beating it. This version of the game is harder and also replaces certain assets with even weirder characters. For example, instead of saving the bird training queen, she turned into a dog trainer, which added an annoying dog bark to the back of the music track. There is also a 100 round dance mode that I seem to choke at around round 30 every single time. Looking into the character database, each character has something funny to say, and certain ones even give you unlocks for Ulala just for reading their description. I love this kind of hidden content in today’s era of DLC. There are also a ton of outfits to unlock for Ulala if you’re in to that kind of thing. Also within the game are certain times where hidden cues for directional inputs are given. These show up on the stats at the end of the level. The more people you save and add to the character database, the more tips you receive on where these hidden input locations are.
The music in this game is worthy of tapping your foot to, but I’m not sure if that’s out of necessity or not. It draws from a go-go vibe that makes me wonder if Barbarella was one of the game’s inspirations. Graphics remind me a lot of Jet Set Radio which I have always loved the aesthetic of. It is a spacely eye-popping experience that will overwhelm your senses at times. Space Channel Five: Part 2 can easily eat away at some of your free time if you’re looking for a solid rhythm game. Oh, and then you rescue Space Michael Jackson. Some things in life are just too awesome to put into words…
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Loaded With Extras
- Space Michael
- Musical Instrument Battles
What I Dislike:
- Short Campaign
- Wanted More Variety