Saturday 27 December, 2014
I got this in the Sega Humble Bundle. I had no idea what it was. When I ran it, I watched a bizarre intro video with a singing, dancing news reporter in outer space. I started a new game. A troupe of dancing space invaders teleports aboard a civilian ship and zaps people with ray guns that make them dance uncontrollably. The news reporter, Ulala (pronounced Ooh la la!), comes to report on the situation/save the day.
Space Channel 5 is basically a Simon Says game. The enemies do brief sequences of moves and call out what buttons you need to push (up, right, left, down, cha (S), and hey (D). So the enemy troupe will dance and say like "Up! Up! Down! Down! Cha cha cha!" and you have to repeat it. They start changing it up with crazy rhythms and it gets pretty difficult by the second or third level. The enemies also sing and taunt, and you retaliate by saving "silly dancing rich people" or "dancing old grandma" or "schoolchildren eaten by giant dancing plant." Seriously. It's hilarious. As you save people, they dance with you, so you build up "viewership" that is converted to HP.
I told my girlfriend about it last night and she'd actually heard of it. Apparently one of our friends used to be obsessed with Ulala and has cosplayed as her before. Who knew?! We played some, but the further along we got, the more we realized how bad the PC controls were. They are pretty okay for the slower rhythms, but when you have to hit buttons quickly in a row, it just doesn't register properly. The other Dreamcast ports in the Sega bundle were the same way with pretty abysmal controls. So unfortunately we couldn't progress too far, but we still had a lot of fun for a little while. If I had a Dreamcast, I would 100% find this game.