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Thread: [Review] Space Channel 5 Part 2

  1. [Review] Space Channel 5 Part 2

    Space Channel 5 Part 2
    Musical Action Adventure 1 GD-ROM
    1-2 Players
    5800 Yen (Regular Edition)
    9000 Yen (Limited Edition - Headphones + Pouch)

    Visual Memory
    Puru Puru/Jump Pack
    VGA-Compatible

    As you can see, this is a review of the Dreamcast version of the game. I would imagine the PS2 rendition is very similar, if not exactly the same. The premise is simple: Just follow the onscreen action, and reproduce it on your turn, like a musical-Simon Says.
    The catch is that you need to copy the rhythms in addition to the button presses exactly.

    Graphics:
    The graphics havenít changed a whole lot since the last time. I think Ulala looks slightly better, but on the whole, the foreground graphics are similar to the first game. The backgrounds are more system-rendered than FMV, instead of mostly FMV like in the first game.

    What has changed is that thereís more of a variety of environments so you can see different locales other than the usual. Things have a little more color in this sequel.

    Sound:
    Both music and sound effects have changed for the better. Whenever you need to shoot an alien, itíll shout ďChu!Ē, like in the first game. But this time, if you need to rescue a hostage, itíll shout ďHey!Ē So if you find the visuals distracting, you could totally play the game without ever looking at the screen. WellÖ mostly.

    One addition to the music is songs. Yes, there are actual vocal songs in this game. Thereís not a whole lot, but every now and then some lines of singing will be thrown in while youíre doing your Simon Says rhythms.

    And the music? If you enjoyed SC5 music, itís hard to imagine you not liking SC5pt2ís. Thereís a whole lot of new music here. You will definitely hear the melody of Mexican Flyer, the SC5 theme, come back in a few of the pieces. But thereís also new music that goes with the game to coincide with new gameplay elements. So thereís guitar-driven music, dance music, waltz music, spy music, as well as funky groove youíre used to.

    Gameplay:
    Like I said earlier, itís musical Simon Says. First the aliens will dance, and shout button presses, in a specific rhythm. When itís your turn, you follow the exact same pattern with the control pad. The hard part is that ďmeasuresĒ or turns arenít always the same length. One measure may be 4 beats long on one turn, and then 1 beat long the next. So you have to be prepared and paying attention at all times.

    There are new additions to the gameplay for this release. Sometimes youíll have to hold down a button or direction to match the Simon Says. Before it was just simple button taps, so now you may have to consider duration. And the best inclusion of all is the variety of rhythm battles. In addition to just dancing, there are now guitar battles, drum battles, and band battles. These battles often have much more complex rhythms and longer measures than the norm. The added challenge makes it more fun.

    And overall, the challenge has been upped considerably from the first game. I would say that already by the second stage, the game has about the same difficulty level as the last stage of SC5 (!). So if you thought the first game was too easy, this game is perfect.

    There is also a 2 player cooperative mode. I havenít tried this out yet, but I believe itís just one player does the D-pad directions, and the other player does the Chu!/Hey! shots.

    Replay Value:
    There are various modes of play. One is the story mode. But thereís also a Dancing Mode in which the ultimate goal is to match the Morolianís moves 100x in a row. These are both playable in 1 or 2 players.

    You can also view and select costumes for Ulala to wear. Some costumes youíll get by beating levels. Other costumes youíll receive by meeting certain requirements. Some requirements include getting 100% on the levels. Others youíll unlock by having a Rez save or an original SC5 save on the VMU. So they encourage playing and replaying for the unlocking of costumes.

    One addition that I didnít like as much is the hidden beats. Generally in the game, you do button combinations when itís your turn. But there are some key points where you can press the Chu! button to gain extra rating points. And these are hidden. You will not know at all when to do these, and in all likelihood will find these by accident. The problem with these is that you can not get a 100% rating on any stage without finding these. Unlike the first game, rating percentages do not carry over from stage to stage. So you can only get 100% by not missing a single beat, as well as finding all the hidden ones in a stage. This can be great for replay because it causes you to play and replay to experiment with finding the extra beats, or it could be a nightmare if you canít find that last one.

    Once you beat the game, you can play through the ďExtraĒ versions of the Stages which will have slightly different rhythms and new hostages to rescue. The original was like this too, however it wasnít quite as spelled out. Thereís a whole lot of stuff packed into this game.

    Overall:
    If you didnít like the first game, would you like this one? Probably not. But Iím convinced that SC5 fans will love this sequel. As one who loved the first game, I love this one even more. It has additional gameplay. More stages. More music. More difficulty. More style. More of everything I wanted from the first game.

    I truly believe the more you play Space Channel 5, the more you appreciate it. Most people play games just to win. To beat the last boss. And if you do that with either game, well, itíll probably last you 3-4 hours. But, you miss out on the whole point of the game if you donít play and replay stages.

    If you save a hostage who plays the flute, a flute melody is layered onto the current BGM. If you save a hostage who plays the drum, a drum beat is layered onto the current BGM. If you save all the hostages in a given scene, the strutting animation will be different than missing one. And if you miss one, animations will differ depending on which hostage you miss. Animations will also differ if you fail to shoot one alien, or miss one beat in a guitar battle, etc.

    One simply can not fully appreciate how much is in Space Channel 5 unless one fails sometimes, and perfects other times. That to me, is why the SC5 games have replay value. Itís not the hostage collection or the Ulalaís Wardrobe collection. Those are nice touches. But the core game of the Space Channel 5 games is aiming for perfection, and even enjoying the failures, to see how the animation and music differs. That makes it a far more replayable game than 99% of the games out there.

    My best purchase of the year.

    -----------------------------------------------
    Movies can be found at: http://sega.jp/dc/sc5part2/
    Official page at: http://sc5.u-ga.com/

    Whoops forgot to mention 1 thing: Language Barrier. The game is mostly in Japanese, but all shouts are in English. "Up Right Left Down Chu Chu Chu!" So the story parts are in Japanese, songs are in Japanese, but any English speaker should be able to play it perfectly fine.

  2. Nice review! Two questions:

    1) Any Japanese language skill needed to enjoy this game?

    2) Is the PS2 version coming to the U.S.?

  3. Excelent! I love SC5, and want badly to import the sequel. Thank you very much for the impressions and review! You make me want it that much more.

    *CLASSIC CAP'N VEGGIE QUESTION ALERT*

    So, uh...where'd you order from? Can you provide a link?
    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbacca View Post
    There is wisdom beyond your years in these consonants and vowels I write. Study them and prosper.

  4. 1) Any Japanese language skill needed to enjoy this game?
    Not really. The dialog may be funnier if you knew Japanese, but the shouts are in English, and Space Michael talks in English too.

    2) Is the PS2 version coming to the U.S.?
    There was an interview with Mizuguchi posted here not too long ago where he said in all likelihood, no.

    So, uh...where'd you order from? Can you provide a link?
    Got mine from http://www.therage.com

    Tronix ( http://www.tronixweb.com ) just restocked too. VGD may also have some copies. ( http://www.videogamedepot.com )

  5. Thank'ye!
    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbacca View Post
    There is wisdom beyond your years in these consonants and vowels I write. Study them and prosper.

  6. Space Channel 5 1 and 2 were to come to US PS2 this past May in one package, I suppose it was quietly cancelled, it wasn't on any of Sega's E3 lists. *-neo

  7. Originally posted by neoalphazero
    Space Channel 5 1 and 2 were to come to US PS2 this past May in one package, I suppose it was quietly cancelled, it wasn't on any of Sega's E3 lists. *-neo
    It was never officially confirmed for the US. Those were just rumors. I ordered the import last friday, and should have it myself in a few days. I got mine from Himeya, which is a bit cheaper than therage, and I've had good experience with them in the past.

  8. so it's harder

    I could never beat the 1st boss in the 1st game

    right,rightrightright, leftright...leftright.....chuuuuu
    dang that was hard lol
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  9. Well, I'm REALLY nervous about buying this game for full price, because, even though I desperately wanted to love it (I'm awesome at almost all other rhythm games ie, Frequency, Beatmania, Mad Maestro, DDR, etc.) I sucked HUGE monkey balls at the first one, and was unable to beat the first level. I always got to the end, just not with a high enough ranking. It seemed kinda like Parappa to me in that, even though I could swear I was on the beat, it just wasn't giving it to me, but I'd watch other people play, and even though it sounded like they were off, THEY'D pass it. Grr...

  10. Originally posted by Korly

    ...I'd watch other people play, and even though it sounded like they were off, THEY'D pass it. Grr...
    I found Space Channel 5 to be easier when I wasn't looking at the screen. I'd close my eyes and go for it. After a while, I realized how the rythmn worked, and could look at the screen AND play fine. Fancy that

    I liked SC5, but there is no way I'm gonna drop $60 on a sequal that will only give me 5 hours of gameplay, and be frustrating more than half the time.

    - Kabuki

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