[Thanks to my good friend keroberrycola for the banner image!]
In 2000, Konamis 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 wouldnt 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. Hes 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 isnt helped by its alarmingly small tracklist. However, there isnt 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 its at least worth showing off and talking about.
Im ChorpSaway and Im the kind of person that takes up the DDR machine in the arcade just to play on Standard. Ill 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 youll be able to take these moves with you into the real world, for the next time you find yourself at a club.
She can be a ditsy girl at times, but shes full of energy an smiles. She has a great voice that doesnt quite seem right for her body.
"Ducker isnt as sweet as we think he is "
A girl who likes music and nature. Shes smart, and very honest. She has somewhat of a dark history that comes from something that happened in her past with Ducker.
"Well 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.
"Were going to change this world!"
The man of mystery who created UNiSON around our three heroines. His hairstyle is the key to ? Hes a great man who teaches dancing to the three girls and masterminds a plan to bring Ducker down in a manner of speaking.
Chillys pet robot. He tries to help UNiSON the best he can.
"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.
"They really bug me "
A new singer trained under Ducker. Shes a selfish little show-off whos easily angered. She plans on becoming the top idol of Twin Ships, with the assistance of Ducker.
"Like, were gonna catch em."
Leader of the Ducker Fan. Club. An unfortunate leader in that he is forced to follow the dorky Yknow. Hes also caught between June Babys selfishness and his fear of Ducker.
"Im so hungry, yknow "
Sub-leader of the Ducker Fan Club. Hes known to always say Im hungry. He scares Like with his careless words to Ducker. Hes proud of his physical prowess.