Fair bit of warning – it’s Dreamcast season.
I’d like to pretend that this has something to do with the release date of my favorite console ever, but it has more to do with the changing of the seasons, the impending grip of autumn forcing me to reflect back on the year I’ve had up to this point and unwind with some old favorites. Every year, around September, I just happen to play a lot of Dreamcast games. It’s one of my things.
Despite my bias, I’m at a point where I can recognize that a lot of those game don’t hold up particularly well, Space Channel 5 being one of them. It’s quite ironic, a day after writing so much about player agency that I shift to a game that can literally play itself, being really nothing more than a stylized version of Simon. That style is really the whole package, for better or worse. It’s certainly why we still remember it after all these years.
We forget, but Space Channel 5 was actually a bit of a bomb, sales-wise. People sure liked Ulala a lot but didn’t want to shell out money for a game that anyone could beat in an hour. Despite that, it’s remembered fondly, probably because it represents what the console was all about – oddball experiences that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. When you think of the Dreamcast, you think of those bright colors and the awkward characters. It really served as a snapshot of a world trying to escape the 90s but being completely unsure of what was to come.
That explains a lot about the inclusion of Space Michael Jackson, now that I think about it.