Space Channel 5 by Kimberly Keyes Stark 

Space Channel 5 by Kimberly Keyes Stark

Space Channel 5 Image

I wrote in a previous entry that The Simpsons: Road Rage may become a collec tor's item if Sega wins its copyright-infringement lawsuit against the makers of Road Rage and all copies are recalled from retail shelves. Space Channel 5 is another game that would go on my short list of Most Likely Collector's Item for three reason s:

REASON #1: The game's original developer, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, (who also helped develop the equally fascinating game Rez) left Sega in October when the unit that he headed, United Game Artists, was merged with another Sega unit, Sonic Team, in a corporate reorganization.

REASON #2: Lady Miss Kier, the former lead singer of the danc e-pop band Deee-lite (best known for the song "Groove is in the Heart"), has recently filed a lawsuit against Sega on the grounds that the game's heroine, Ulala, resemb les her too much.

REASON #3: This game features a cameo by the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, who appears under the name "Space Michael," which is appropriate given his eccentric behavior over the last 10 years (i.e., [link= k/2/hi/entertainment/2809465.stm]his brief marriage to Lisa Marie Presley[/link], his frequent plastic surgeries, that incident last year where he dangled his infant son from the fourth floor balcony of a Berlin hotel, etc.). Ironically, Michael Jackson was arrested for se xually molesting a 12-year-old boy just as the Playstation 2 version of Space Channel 5 was being shipped to stores across the United States.

Space Channel 5 was originally released on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. I have vague memories of seeing a story about it on CNN and it looked different for its time. If I had owned a Sega Dreamcast at the time, there is even the chance that I would've bought that game because it did catch my eye very briefly. But I didn't own a Dreamcast and I procrastinated on buying one. By the time I decided to buy my first console system in 1998, the Dreamcast was dying as a system so I ended up buying a Playstation instead.

As time went on, I became interested in dancing games like Dance Dance Revolution. Every now and the n I'd see a discussion of Space Channel 5 on the DDR Freak board and, based on what I read, I realized that I missed out on a cool game. My chance to try it for the first time came when a version for the Game Boy Advance was released earlier this year for $20 and I soon became hooked on that game. I became so hooked that when a Playstation 2 version was recently released just a few weeks ago, I bought it just so I can play it on a big screen TV with brig hter crisper graphics.

Space Channel 5 is a game that combines Dance Dance Revolution with the old 1970's electronic handheld memory game Simon. The object of the game is to repeat a series of dance moves (such as "left, right, left, right") to the beat of the music. If your dance moves are incorrect, then you'll get penalized. If your dance moves are correct but your timing to the music is off, you'll also get penalized.

In the tradition of anime, Space Channel 5 has a wacky science fiction storyline. The story takes place a few hundred years into t he future where a young mini-skirted television reporter with pink hair named Ulala (pronounced "ooh-la-la") is working on a story for Space Channel 5 about a bizarre alien invasion. The invading aliens, known as the Morolians, have been firing their guns at various Earthlings, which results in having the people dance uncontrollably.

Ulala becomes part of the story when she is forced to copy the Morolians' dance moves in exchange for freeing the hostages and shooting the Morolians. At times she also has to conduct dancing battles against rival reporters from other networks named Pudding and Jaguar. (Try to imagine Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric trying to vie for the same story by wearing mini-skirts and copying each other's dance moves. On second thought, don't imagine that.)

At the same time, while you're controlling Ulala, you also have to make sure that the ratings are up. If Ulala does the dance moves correctly, your ratings will go up. If you keep on blowing those moves, your ratings will decline so much that your show will suddenly be cancelled and your game will end.

If you make it to the last level, you'll see Space Michael appear. If you're a Michael Jackson fan, be aware that he only does a brief dance number with Ulala and the other hostages that she has freed. He does not sing at all and his appearance in the game only lasts a few minutes at most. If you hate Michael Jackson, you don't have to worry about seeing too much of him since his cameo is brief. He also doesn't appear with any childr en, which is a good thing given his recent arrest.

The music is reminiscent of early 1970's funk and is quite enjoyable. If you play the game often enough, you'll have a hard time getting the funky music (with chants of "Left, Right, Up, Down, CHU!" or something similar) out of your head.

One really cool feature about Space Channel 5 is that if you press buttons in a certain sequence at anytime during game play, you can see the game playing on its own without any input. (Dreamcast: Hold L and R buttons down while pressing Up, Left, A, Left, A, Down, Right, B, Right, B; Playstation 2: Hold L1 and R1 buttons down while pressing Up, Left, X, Left, X, Down, Right, Circle, Right, Circle; Game Boy Advance: Hold L and R buttons down while pressing Up, Left, A, Left, A, Down, Right, B, Right B) It's a pretty neat way to see the rest of the game if you want to listen to the music or if you're curious about how the story ends but you're having a hard time of mastering the higher levels on your own.

The best part about Space Channel 5 is that the game is pretty cheap to buy. The Dreamcast version can be found for under $3. [link= dos/tg/detail/-/B00005BRLQ/theunicornwithan/]The Game Boy Advance version[/link] costs $20 new (which is cheap considering that most new Game Boy Advance games start at $30).

The biggest bang for the buck is the Playstation 2 version, which is titled Space Channel 5: Special Edition. For $30 you not only get the original Space Channel 5 game but you also get the sequel, Space Channel 5, Part 2, that was previously unreleased in the United States.

Space Channel 5, Part 2 is similar to the first game, except this time Ulala has to deal with a bunch of invading robots from outer space who are zapping people with special guns that force them to dance uncontrollably. There are a few interesting differences: there is more variety in the music (at one point Ulala has to dance a waltz to free the hostages) and at various points in the game, Ulala gets to take a break from dancing and play a musical instrument (guitar, drums, and keyboard) against her opponent.

Space Michael also returns in a small role that's slightly bigger than his previous cameo. If Ulala succeeds in freeing him, the player gets rewarded with a short dance number where Ulala an d Space Michael bust a few moves together. That sequence reminds me of the glory years back in the 1980's when Michael Jackson used to awe people with his dance moves like the Moonwalk.

Like the first game, you can also have Space Channel 5, Part 2 running by itself if you're having a hard time with mastering a level and you just want to see the rest of the game. Playstation 2 owners can just press Start to pause the game, then hold the L1 and R1 buttons down while pressing Circle, Triangle, and Square.

Space Channel 5, Part 2 also have a mini game where Ulala does a dance-off against the Morolians from the previous game. This game lasts 100 stages and if Ulala cleares them all, then new costumes are unlocked. (New costumes can also be unlocked when you clear stages in the main game.)

Space Channel 5, Part 2 is just as addicting as the first one and it will have fans begging for more. Given the controversies that have swirled around the Space Channel 5 franchise, it's unlikely that another sequel will get made anytime in the near future. It's probably best to just enjoy the games that have already been released.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is based on one person's biased opinions of which videogames should be considered to be classics and why. It is not meant to provide a complete history of the videogame industry, the latest videogame news, technical support, or hints on how to play a certain videogame. None of the videogame manufacturers or programmers mentioned here have endorsed or supported this bl og in any way, shape, or form.

NOTE: If there are any errors or updates to what I have written about this entry, please send an e-mail to [][/link] (rememb er to remove the capital letters from my mailing address before sending or else it will get rejected) and I'll edit this piece when time permits.



Space Channel 5--This is the game that started it all.


Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic Attack--This is a port of the original Dreamcast game.


Space Channel 5: Special Edition--This package includes both Space Channel 5 and Space Channel 5: Part 2 for one low price.


Sega's Official Space Channel 5 Site

Space Channel 5 Action Figures--If you'd like to see Ulala and company in the real world, you're in luck with these action figures.<

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Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:44 am MST by カジノ

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