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Published on October 10th, 2011 | by Louis Garcia, Contributor

Review: Space Channel 5 Part 2

Platform: Xbox 360
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points ($10)
Release Date: Oct. 5, 2011

If my bid to become a video game journalist doesn’t work out, I hope I become a reporter like Ulala. This means that I get to be the face of a news channel (hence, Space Channel 5), and dance. A lot. With aliens and space Michael Jackson — who is probably the most normal character in a game created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Lumines and Child of Eden fame. Honestly, characters named Jaguar and Pudding… yeah.

But that’s just the beginning of how odd, creative and mostly odd this game is. As reporter Ulala gamers will have to mimic the dance moves of enemies in order to rescue those who have been forced to boogy against their will and kidnapped by the Rhythm Rogues. Not only do players have to copy the directions and button preses to rescue people and shoot robots, but the beat needs to be kept as well; you can’t just pound on the buttons randomly or quickly.

This is deceptively simple. Although the buttons consist of up, down, left, right, HEY and CHU (A and B), there’s a bit more to it. In a matter of moments it becomes more than just up, and more up, up, down, down… CHU, CHU, CHU, down, up, down, up… And then it’s stuck in your head.

The levels are broken down into rescues, shooting, and boss battles. The first boss battle against a trio of singing blue robots is a real treat, and possibly one of the best boss battles in a video game.

Graphically the game shows its age: the 3D models are sharp, but a bit blocky. However, the bright colors and stylishness of the futuristic game makes up for it, and the music — the most important part of the game — sounds perfect.

What’s not so perfect is how some gamers may fare in this title. If you have some rhythm you’ll be fine. If you’re like me, there’s going to be a lot of game overs and you’ll swear you hit up at just the right time as you lose another boss battle. Some people won’t have any trouble at all, but for me the game is ungodly frustrating like Rhythm Heaven.

And that’s really the only thing I have against this happy-go-lucky dancing game infused with uniqueness that only Japan can deliver. The game is rounded out with a co-op mode and a 100-stage battle mode.

Final Truth:

Honestly, it’s a little smarter to get the Dreamcast Collection on Xbox 360 instead of paying $10 for the download as it’s less than $20 on Amazon. However, if you just want to try out a game about space terrorists with a healthy dose of Japanese flavoring, this is your game.

[xrr label=”Rating: 7/10″ rating=7/10]

+ The music is catchy, as is the gameplay.
That very same gameplay can be hard if you don’t have rhythm.

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