Space Channel 5 was one of those amazing Dreamcast releases from Sega that defined a genre. It was the game that got me hooked on rhythm games. Here we are, 20 years later, and Sega sucks me right back into Ulala’s orbit with Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash.
Armed with my two Move controllers, VR headset lowered, I stepped onto the biggest stage in the galaxy. I placed all of my faith in Ulala’s hands. And she snookered me into playing an exercise game!
Fifteen minutes dancing next to Ulala was all it took to have me working up a sweat. We chu-chu-ed our way past those groovy Morolians, exploded hurtling meteors with mad dance power, and finished story mode on a strong note. It may have been much more physical than I had anticipated, but damn if I wasn’t happy for that surprise.
The results from that first VR session left me with the sorest glutes imaginable, a point of hilarity for myself and my family. I pride myself on getting in a good 15-30 minutes a day with my resistance band and Pilates, and this was the exercise that took me down.
Once I cleared the Space Channel 5 VR Story Mode, a new and truly terrifying mode appeared: the 100-Stage Battle in Trial Dance. Before tackling that one, I needed to give my body a day to rest. The glutes still burned. I gave myself twenty-four hours before strapping the Move controllers back on and hopping into 100-Stage Battle. This is the mode if you want to really push yourself. Starting out slow, Jaguar quickly ramps things up, throwing new moves and poses at you as you channel your inner Richard Simmons.
Several “Toyota” and “Honda” poses later, my arms felt like gelatin and my apple bottom screamed. How I hadn’t stumbled forward into my television I will never know. The floor beckoned. There I was, a collapsed ball of human flesh, taken down by a brightly colored video game. Speculation places me approximately ten levels into the battle before it defeated me.
At the end of each Space Channel 5 VR session, my progress report included a Calories Burned tracker. Most attempts at the story mode entries got me somewhere around the 50 calorie mark. I should have paid more attention to my 100-Stage Battle tracker, but I really needed to curl up in the fetal position and laugh my discomfort away for a few minutes.
Even now, writing about the workout journey Ulala and friends took me through has me both regretting and looking forward to playing again soon. Maybe spending twenty minutes twice a week with it to change up my cardio routine will do me some good. Particularly during these soggy springtime months when heading outdoors for a jog doesn’t seem worth the effort.
Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash is available for the PlayStation VR worldwide.