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ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster




[Thanks to my good friend keroberrycola for the banner image!]

In 2000, Konami’s Bemani division were the leading names in the rhythm game market. They had basically written the book on arcade rhythm games, developing some of the biggest franchises in the genre including Dance Dance Revolution, Beatmania, and Para Para Paradise. While some of these franchises would eventually find their way into the American market, the English rhythm game selection was rather shallow at the time, mostly made up of NanaOn-Sha games like Parappa the Rapper. A number of Bemani games found additional success with home releases on the PlayStation 2, but it wouldn’t be until 2006 that Western fans would get a chance for the same experience. So in 2000, in an effort to dip their toes into rhythm games and grow an audience out west, Tecmo developed their first and only music game, UNiSON: Rebels of Rhythm & Dance for the PlayStation 2.

The game includes a story mode along with its more typical rhythm game setup. The story takes place 200 years into the future, in the High-Tech Celebrity City of Twin Ships. Its ruler, Emperor Ducker, has outlawed dancing, believing it takes away from the pure expression of music. Most of Twin Ships has accepted this change, but one man by the name of Doctor Dance is prepared to start a revolution. He’s gathered a team of young women to start a guerilla dance troupe called UNiSON to fight back against the tyrannical rule of Ducker and bring the art of dancing back to the people of Twin Ships.

While UNiSON shares many similarities with other rhythm games, its gameplay is a lot less reactive and focuses on the player memorizing and repeating routines shown to them. It makes for a shallow experience in comparison to better games in the genre, which isn’t helped by its alarmingly small tracklist. However, there isn’t a lot of coverage for this game online, and the story is a fun romp with lots of personality and some great twists, so I think it’s at least worth showing off and talking about.





I’m ChorpSaway and I’m the kind of person that takes up the DDR machine in the arcade just to play on Standard. I’ll be going solo for this LP, to let both the story and gameplay mostly speak for themselves. Plus that means no knuckleheads getting the way of what I want to talk about.

I will be completing the story mode on the Very Hard difficulty, as well as playing through the bonus songs on the tracklist and providing clean videos of each of the dance routines. Hopefully you’ll be able to take these moves with you into the real world, for the next time you find yourself at a club.






















ChorpSaway fucked around with this message at Jun 27, 2018 around 18:01

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ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster






Trill
"All right!"
She can be a ditsy girl at times, but she’s full of energy an smiles. She has a great voice that doesn’t quite seem right for her body.


Cela
"Ducker isn’t as sweet as we think he is…"
A girl who likes music and nature. She’s smart, and very honest. She has somewhat of a dark history that comes from something that happened in her past with Ducker.


Chilly
"We’ll bring dancing back!"
A tomboy who likes to move her body. She handles the most difficult dance parts. Supposedly, her father was a famous dancer.


Doctor Dance
"We’re going to change this world!"
The man of mystery who created UNiSON around our three heroines. His hairstyle is the key to……? He’s a great man who teaches dancing to the three girls and masterminds a plan to bring Ducker down… in a manner of speaking.


Friday
"………"
Chilly’s pet robot. He tries to help UNiSON the best he can.


Ducker
"Dancing just leads to unhappiness."
He uses the awesome power of his voice to control the minds of his citizens. He hates dancing. Anyone caught dancing within the city is arrested and banished.


June Baby
"They really bug me…"
A new singer trained under Ducker. She’s a selfish little show-off who’s easily angered. She plans on becoming the top idol of Twin Ships, with the assistance of Ducker.


Like
"Like, we’re gonna catch ‘em."
Leader of the Ducker Fan. Club. An unfortunate leader in that he is forced to follow the dorky Y’know. He’s also caught between June Baby’s selfishness and his fear of Ducker.


Y’know
"I’m so hungry, y’know…"
Sub-leader of the Ducker Fan Club. He’s known to always say “I’m hungry”. He scares Like with his careless words to Ducker. He’s proud of his physical prowess.

NextTime000
Feb 3, 2011

bweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
<----------------------------


The logo reminds me of the Hot Wheels logo

Anyway, I caught the time you first streamed this, so I'm glad to see you give it a full LP

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I am now all animes


It's fun to play us some

Ah-Ah-Ni-Me

imnotzeldatho
Dec 29, 2016

oops

This looks absolutely wacky and I love it.

OneDeadman
Oct 16, 2010

[SUPERBIA]


Doctor Dance's Jiggle Physics Fro rules

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


Man, the early Idolmaster games were bananas.

Ben Kasack
Dec 27, 2010


Oh, hey! Someone's going through this game. It's a quirky rhythm game that is quite interesting, more for the level of than anything, but hey, some of the covers/remixes of the songs aren't too bad.

Edit: Having now seen the video, I do have a small question for you Chorps: Are you planning on showing off the other two in any way, or not really? Also, any plan to even talk about the local multiplayer? If not, I can give a quick explanation at the end of the LP. I both own the game and even used it as part of a gaming tournament back around 2001 or so. If you don't want me to, I won't, just asking.

Ben Kasack fucked around with this message at Apr 28, 2018 around 18:56

FAT BATMAN
Dec 11, 2009



Oh my god. There’s no way I would have tolerated this gameplay as a kid. Or, maybe I would have as a kid, and there’s no way I would now. It’s true that a lot of rhythm games end up practically being memorization/muscle memory as they get harder, but boy howdy.
I really like the charm of the art style and story, but it’s amazing how much, for example, Gitaroo Man is better gameplay-wise.

Poltergrift
Feb 16, 2014



"When I grow up, I'm gonna be a proper swordsman. One with clothes."


So this is, like, medieval times for Space Channel 5, yeah?

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



Ben Kasack posted:

Edit: Having now seen the video, I do have a small question for you Chorps: Are you planning on showing off the other two in any way, or not really? Also, any plan to even talk about the local multiplayer? If not, I can give a quick explanation at the end of the LP. I both own the game and even used it as part of a gaming tournament back around 2001 or so. If you don't want me to, I won't, just asking.

I'll probably get to talking about the multiplayer at some point, but I only have about 3-4 minutes each video to talk so it may be a bit before I find the space for it. As for the other difficulties, I'm not planning on showing them off. I play on the Easy difficulty for the sake of getting cleaner replay videos but other than that I don't get a thrill from anything but Very Hard.


Poltergrift posted:

So this is, like, medieval times for Space Channel 5, yeah?

Assuming we take their original release dates as canonical, UNiSON takes place in 2200 and Space Channel 5 takes place in 2499. So many generations have come and gone to lead us here. And yet, the 70's never seemed to go out of style.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!



Today, it's time for UNiSON to make their public debut! Although Doctor Dance's studio can only broadcast to a small portion of Twin Ships right now, the hope is that this new routine will sweep the citizens off their feet and get the revolution going. And what better way to get these people going than with a then-modern classic by the indomitable Nelly? It's time for UNiSON to bust onto the scene, whether Ducker likes it or not!

imnotzeldatho
Dec 29, 2016

oops

I wasn't expecting Nelly of all things from a disco inspired game. It also seems like the misses are complete bullshit sometimes, but that could just be me. Do you plan on showing off the songs from the Japanese version at all?

TheJayOfSpade
Jun 21, 2012

The Thread was destroyed,
but hey, what can you do?


I think my favorite thing about the game so far is its "Motel of the Mysteries" take on fallibility when it comes to study of the past. Like anyone would put Country Grammar on a Popular Song CD

Demicol
Nov 8, 2009



Does this mean you're going to LP Gitaroo Man?

This is a pretty cool game, not sure I would like the completely memorization based gameplay but it's unique at least. I'd be interested in what tracks the Japanese version has.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!



Today, our efforts are already paying us back in spades! Thanks to the generosity of some newfound fans, UNiSON has a brand new studio space to broadcast from, and the range on it is much better than Doctor's Dance's home setup. Now it's time for us to break it in the only way we know how: with one of the most classic R&B hits of all time! Hit it!




imnotzeldatho posted:

Do you plan on showing off the songs from the Japanese version at all?

Demicol posted:

I'd be interested in what tracks the Japanese version has.

I probably won't have any videos of the Japanese version, I don't have the hardware for it and this is the sort of game that would be a nightmare on an emulator with my current setup.
I can at least share the songs on the Japanese version though for each update! And the dance routine if I can find a video of it.
Country Grammar was originally Neraiuchi by Linda Yamamoto.
We Are Family was originally First Love by Utada Hikaru.

TheJayOfSpade
Jun 21, 2012

The Thread was destroyed,
but hey, what can you do?


Who's jiggle physics came first: Doctor Dances or June Baby's?

GirlCalledBob
Jul 17, 2013


Their outfits definitely make more sense for the original Japanese tracks.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UDPATE TIME!



Today, it's time for UNiSON to get personal with their fight against Ducker! Thanks to their friends on the inside, the team has the perfect plan to crash June Baby's debut concert and put on a show of their own! Not only does this give them a chance for a bigger spotlight, but it also shows just how much the trio has improved since their start. It's time to make a move with UNiSON!

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!



Today, UNiSON finds themselves in quite the bind! June Baby is out for blood after we ruined her debut, and Doctor Dance is completely out of commission due to a crush on her! Now it's up to Trill, Cela and Chilly to figure their next broadcast out on their own. Hopefully they won't run into any problems! It's time for things to start getting serious as we enter the back half of the story mode!

As stated in the video, the Japanese version of the game uses Love Machine by Morning Musume here.

Ritznit
Dec 19, 2012

We won't go to Hell as long as we eat crackers.





Ultra Carp

Quirky music games nobody's heard of is a niche I absolutely adore. Thanks for LPing this.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Clapping Larry

Yeah, it seems like they really had something going with the twin-stick.

It seems like it'd be cake to franchise a music game - you just need to get more music - but how many of them actually made the jump back in the day, and how many are just sad and forgotten?

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!



Today, things are really starting to heat up! Ducker has started a media campaign to spread fake news about the dangers of dancing in the hopes of quelling our newfound fandom. However, we will not back down! We're gonna hit the city of Twin Ships with the most infuriatingly infectious hit of the late 90's and make sure they know we aren't messing around! Let's keep pushing back against Ducker's empire!

The Japanese version of the game uses Sailor-Fuku o Nugasanaide by Onyanko Club for this episode.

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


WHAT THE gently caress TRILL

WHERE DID THAT COME FROM

Demicol
Nov 8, 2009



Those outfits don't seem to make any sense even in context of the original song.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



Demicol posted:

Those outfits don't seem to make any sense even in context of the original song.

They're dressed like Friday, Chilly's tiny animal (?) mascot (?) robot pet! It doesn't make any sense per the context but at least it has precedent. Dunno why it wasn't a sailor uniform but I guess I just don't understand idol culture.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I am now all animes


You gotta sell the mascot.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!



Today, with Trill's secret revealed, we have a new way to fight back against Ducker! With her ability to replicate his voice, we can perform Ducker's signature song and add a dance routine to it. By showing that even Ducker's songs are appropriate for dance, we should be able to get the last stragglers to become our fans! Plus, we might just learn something important!

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


Gotta admit, the revealed reason Ducker banned dancing in Twin Ships is hilariously petty and yet understandable at a certain level.

Ben Kasack
Dec 27, 2010


Oddly enough, it is only now that you can see why Chilly is the hardest of the girls. Up to this point, the only real difference from her and Cela is the difficulty of the thumb stick movements. Trill usually has more simple movements and thus less difficult moves making her the easiest. If you play the game three times (once on each difficulty) you can really see the differences in moves and difficulty. But in the end, even though Chilly is the hardest, the game as a whole is moderately easy if you have even a minor amount of experience with rhythm games. Plus, being given unlimited practice time also helps for those later songs that start throwing in the trickier movements, like some of what we saw this episode. Also, one other minor difference from each girl is who the camera is focused on. As this is Chilly/Hard, she is the center of attention, even though Trill is the front girl of the trio. If you pick the other girls, it would focus on them. Interesting little detail you again would only notice through multiple play throughs.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!



Today, we reach our final act of defiance against Ducker! It's all or nothing as we plan to hijack his concert and broadcast our message to all of Twin Ships at once! However, we still have one obstacle in our way, one we may have forgotten to account for, and it may be able to stop us DEAD in our tracks...

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


Well, that's certainly a reveal.

I'm so happy this game takes itself just as seriously as it needs to. Which is not at all.

Ben Kasack
Dec 27, 2010


And with the reveal of who Doctor Dance is, you can see why he is in utter fear of Friday eating his "hair". Because it is actually his body and no one like being eaten alive. During the song, there are two things I want to note. First, the front girl. Like I said before, whoever you are playing is the real main focus no matter what and here is where it REALLY shows. The girl you're playing will not only be in the center, but is also the one who runs to the side to do the hi-five line. Second, the screens in the background. They are literally just projecting what we, the player, are seeing, UI and all. Funny thing is, if you save it as a broadcast and watch the replay, I'm pretty sure the screens with be blank just like replay screen, so it confirms even more that all those screens are just replicated camera projections.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!



Today, it's time to send off the story mode with a dance party ending! We learn the fate of Twin Ships and its inhabitants, we get to say goodbye to Doctor Dance, and enjoy the fruits of our labor over the past eight weeks.
Join me next week for when we look at the rest of the game's song list. There's a whopping five extra songs to play through!

The final story song in the Japanese version is UFO by Pink Lady.



Shei-kun posted:

I'm so happy this game takes itself just as seriously as it needs to. Which is not at all.

Yeah, the content is a little light but it's got the perfect tone for that Saturday morning cartoon vibe they seem to be going for. It's just an unabashedly fun aesthetic.

TheJayOfSpade
Jun 21, 2012

The Thread was destroyed,
but hey, what can you do?


Does the Koei Tecmo merger mean that UNiSON and Gitaroo Man are in the same universe?

FutureFriend
Dec 28, 2011

piss



now that the story is over, i would like to say one big flaw in this otherwise impeccable story: why did doctor dance not own a gun. just think about it, if dr dance was allowed to use his gun and open carry he wouldve beaten the dastardly ducker before. now i know you pc thugs will BERATE and CENSOR me for this, but all im saying is that gun control is the first step towards this anti-dance fascist government

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I am now all animes


The only thing that can stop a bad guy with the funk is a good guy with the funk.

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


I can't be mad at Ducker anymore. His dancing's just so sad but he's trying so hard.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

grandpa-loving poster



UPDATE TIME!




Today, it's time for the encore! We look at the remaining songs on the game's tracklists, talk about them in detail, and have a little fun right here at the end of the show.
Thanks for watching! I hope you all enjoyed this look at an obscure PS2 rhythm game and have learned to appreciate the art of dance.

The bonus songs in the Japanese version that aren't in the English release are Dschinghis Khan (West Germany's Eurovision 1979 entry), as performed by UNiSON, Boys & Girls by Ayumi Hamasaki, and Hajimete no Chuu by Anshin Papa, as performed by UNiSON.

Also! To whoever asked about if I'd talk about multiplayer mode, turns out I never found the space for it in the videos!
So here we go: the multiplayer in this game requires a multi-tap, and allows for up to three players to play a song at their own difficulty level. However, since this is on a single TV, the game only displays Player 1's routine, meaning the other two either need to play at the same difficulty level, or have actually memorized the lower difficulty routines in order to keep up. Absolutely buck wild.



TheJayOfSpade posted:

Does the Koei Tecmo merger mean that UNiSON and Gitaroo Man are in the same universe?

Yes, and I have been escorted off their premises for demanding a sequel/crossover game for the two series multiple times.

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FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


more like Synchronized Love Microsecond

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