Space Chan­nel 5 VR Kinda Funky News Flash

Haven’t Choo heard? Sega’s cult rhythm ac­tion clas­sic is com­ing to VR

Games Master - - Preview Future Hits Played Now! - Robert Zak

It’s kind of a mir­a­cle that Space Chan­nel 5 still ex­ists. The rhythm game, set aboard a ’60s-styled space sta­tion be­set by aliens who can be over­come by the power of dance, feels like a relic of the Dream­cast days. And yet here it is, right at home in the ul­tra-mod­ern medium of PS VR. We play one level of Space Chan­nel 5 VR, zap­ping aliens by mim­ick­ing their move­ments, aided by the catchy voice of se­ries hero­ine Ulala. We pull off left and right moves, where one arm goes across the chest while the other stretches out, as well as thigh-burn­ing squats, and fi­nally the iconic ‘Choo’ that zaps aliens at the end of a se­quence (some­times pre­ceded by twirling the PS Move con­trollers around our head).

The game doesn’t fraz­zle your senses. The graph­ics are sim­ple and the space sta­tion is a stark white space. It is nice, if a lit­tle neck-strain­ing, to see the peo­ple we save from aliens are ac­tu­ally danc­ing away right be­hind us, help­ing us to de­feat the Moro­lian men­ace with funky moves, though re­ally we’d pre­fer them to be po­si­tioned closer to our nat­u­ral field of vi­sion to make things feel more lively.

Choomungous

Af­ter a salu­bri­ous five min­utes of Choo-ing the hell out of our as­sailants, their boss turns up – an amor­phous pur­ple blob that stretches its long, ball-ended arms out to­wards us. Dodg­ing it by lit­er­ally crouch­ing down gives us our first real ‘Whoaa there’ VR mo­ment of the game, and we’re hop­ing to have plenty more of those as things ratchet up in later lev­els.

Amid to­day’s bril­liant rhythm games, such as Beat Saber and Thumper, Space Chan­nel 5 feels like a fond ‘Choo’ to the past rather than an in­trepid moon­walk into the fu­ture. But the se­ries’ catchy cutesi­ness is all there, re­mind­ing us why Ulala and co have such cult ap­peal af­ter all these years. We may well choo-se this when it’s out.

This pur­ple goon from the orig­i­nal game re­turns, though this time he’s go­ing to get right in your face.

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