By Maria "Jigglypuff" Rider
Out in the dark reaches of space, a young girl is set adrift. She is helpless, but fortunately someone saves her from her fate. This man is from Space Channel 5, one of the many stations available on the spacewaves for the viewing public. Fast forward ten years into the present day, Morolians, little teletuby-looking creatures with guns, have invaded a space station and force the humans to dance with their terrifying dance beam guns.
Step in Ulala, the young girl who is now all grown-up and working for Space Channel 5 to cover this late-breaking story. With the help of Director Fuse, Ulala makes her way through the space station to find herself in confrontational dance battles with the Morolians, who have helpless humans in tow. The goal of this game is to be able to mimic the moves exactly as they are played out by the Morolians, who are little teletubby-looking creatures with guns.
Space Channel 5 is pretty simple, yet it takes a while to get used to the funkiness of it all. The music and awesome mix of techno and retro-60s spy music with a brass band playing the title theme. Depending on how well the player does, determines how much of an entourage he gets following behind Ulala and mimicking her dance moves. Suffice to say, watching five to as much as fifteen people dancing in synch with Ulala is quite a spectacle.
Although, if the player misses a move more than three times, they lose some of their entourage and the music as well as Ulala herself reflect that fact. The player starts out with a percentage and in the beginning it is ten percent with the goal percentage being fifteen percent. The goal percentage is what the player must reach or exceed before the level ends. Each level ends with a boss monster which the player must beat in order to finish the level.
Space Channel 5 is quite amusing in some parts because the player and "pick up" special entourage such as a Super Space Model and even Space Michael Jackson. The player gets percentage points for saving certain types of entourage as well as just doing well in mimicking the moves. This game isn't as easy as it sounds, it does take a bit of rhythm and hand-eye coordination to get it right. Sometimes the controller doesn't want to work or the "simon says" line of moves to mimic is too long for the player to fully memorize and complete.
Overall, this is a very fun game. The playability is okay since it does go a bit beyond end of the game by giving alternate routes after the player finishes the first scenario. Space Channel 5 is definitely a game with rhythm, but trying it with the Dance Dance Revolution dance pads is a killer though!