If games like Elite Beat Agents, it's Japanese counterpart Oundan, and Parappa have left you wanting more rhythm games, Space Channel 5 is the way to go.
Space Channel 5 follows Ulala, a reporter for a space news company through two separate adventures that both come in this game. She will both report and thwart the latest evil schemes using the power of uh, music. Hey, if you can reignite the sun using music in Ounedan 2, you can defeat an evil mastermind using music! Er, that's not the point.
The gameplay basically consists of timed simon says -- you must repeat one of 6 commands back at them in the same order, at the same rhythm as they were said. If that sounds stupid, then just trust me on the fact that it works -- assuming games like Parappa don't put you to sleep.
The games are short, so they are perfect for a rental, although it's possible you'd want to pick them up again later. They do have a lot of replay value, and there is some variation in how cut scenes progress based on how well you do.
Overall, i'm just going to say: Don't skip this if you like this kind of game. If you do decide to rent it, here's a tip:
This game includes two games that came out previously -- Space Channel 5 part 1 and part 2. Part 2 is vastly superior, so I recommend just skipping 1 if you get to the final boss and find that you can't beat him no matter how often you try, because that final encounter was rather poorly made.
Excellent for its time; Extreme Lag in the Present
posted by DrTrogdor (VALDOSTA, GA) Jan 23, 2010
Member since Jan 2010
Read the massive amount of reviews for details on the game, and search for this on video websites for a preview. What I want to share is my rental experience.
I got Space Channel 5 in the mail, put it in the PS2, and a big wave of nostalgia hit me. I played this both on the Dreamcast and the PS2 when they were first released, and I have enjoyed every brainchild game that Tetsuya Mizuguchi has created - this is often seen as his starting point.
However, my PS2 is connected to my HDTV now. Newer-generation games account for the short lag time between pressing a button and seeing/hearing stuff happen on screen, but HDTV wasn't around when this was created. While this is fine in just about every game, it isn't fine here.
Space Channel 5 is a very demanding rhythm game where things need to line up perfectly with the tempo. While the button reading has never been totally accurate, it seemed to shine when I brought this home - I could not even beat the first stage, despite having memorized it so long ago and not being overwhelmed by anything in the slightest.
Maybe it wasn't the HDTV, and maybe it was always this bad at reading your presses in tandem with the song's tempo, and I'm just spoiled by newer music games, but I don't think that was the case - even though SP5 was flawed at its inception, I was able to work my way through it. Here? Not at all. Caution to anyone with an HDTV, or anyone used to accuracy in their music games. It's still an awesome game by itself, but the controls are just messy by today's standards.
posted by lamoxlamae (NEWPORT NEWS, VA) Sep 25, 2009
Member since May 2009
There are actually two games in this one- Space Channel 5 and Space Chanel 5's Japan-only sequel ported over and translated into English!
The Original game is insane. Normally I'm excellent at Rhythm games and have beaten games such as Guitaroo Man, DDR, and Rock Band on hard, but I couldn't even beat this game on normal difficulty! The difficulty curve is very steep, the beats are hard to find, and the game is pretty unforgiving. Making it worse, there are two "shoots", one for rescuing captured humans and one for blasting aliens with a raygun. Both "shoots" use different buttons but have the SAME cue!
The movie-like levels have really long intros, which become frustrating when you keep dying, there are no save points, and the later levels have blindingly bright trippy designs so bad I was forced to play with my eyes closed. It's also hard to tell when you're about to get cut from missing too many steps as there's no real warning past a "we're losing ratings!" that will be said all of once in between the entirely verbal instructions.
The included Sequel actually addresses most of the problems encountered in the first game. The intros are still long, but are cut down significantly if you need to restart. The graphics are less bright though still cheerful and now include a life bar that tells you how you're doing and if you're in danger of being cut. The beats are easier to find and, most notably, the "shoot" command has been broken into two commands- "Chu!" to zap aliens and "Hey!" to save the humans.
Space Chanel 5 is a game I actually hated playing. I think it's the first rhythm game I can openly say I hate and I have played some real stink-bombs. It's sequel, however, is actually an enjoyable game that I would recommend beating first if you want to get a good impression of everything this game could be.
Who knew a single generation could make all the difference?
Rating: 2 for Space Chanel 5 and 8 for the sequel. I'll round it up to a 6 to be nice.