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Unison is tremendously dumbed down for an American audience, but it's still darn fun to play. The gameplay is almost completely different, the language dubbing is horrible, but the soundtrack is rock solid and the new motion capture is definitely hipper. If you like challenging dance games, this is one you don't want to miss.
Unison is a nice twist on the rhythm genre, using both analog sticks on PlayStation 2's controller to play 'follow the bouncing ball' to an eccentric list of popular songs (Barbie Girl, Country Grammar, YMCA, etc.). It requires more skill than PaRappa or Space Channel 5, as you need to both memorize the sequences themselves and be pretty ambidextrous. Repeating the routines over and over to perfect your steps can be a drag, but Unison's clever story mode and great graphics reward your tenacity. It may turn off impatient gamers, but I grooved to the Unison tip.
Tecmo's Unison is a blast to play. The game oozes style in the same way that Space Channel 5 did, and the control scheme uses the dual sticks of the PlayStation2 controller better than anything since Ape Escape. Using the sticks, the player controls onscreen dancers that are determined to legalize dance in the city of Twin Ships, and the whole thing is controlled with symmetrical patterns that are taught throughout the game. It's a bit heavy on rote memorization, but most won't mind, as the game is both an aural and graphical pleasure. If dance pads were too much, this is the game to check out. No pads, no panting, no sweating -- just good gameplay.
As rhythm games go, Unison is pretty on the ball. Players need to watch the dancing as well as the analog instructions. Fun story, too. If you like titles of this ilk, check it out.
While Tecmo USA did make it easier and more English-friendly, it's made a quality adaptation. The new songs have new choreography, and the moves are hipper, funkier, and more booty-shaking than before. They're more fun to play and watch. While they may still look like M2M, they dance like fly girls, and as far as I'm concerned, that's all good.
I've reached a conclusion to tell you folks that Unison isn't worth your time or money. With a larger track selection, and more simplistic and yet addictive gameplay, Unison could have been the grand daddy of 'em all. Because of the atrociously repetitive gameplay, the outdated music and worst of all, the voice acting, Unison is a failed attempt at what could have been a great dancing title. If Tecmo tries to concentrate and learn from Konami a bit, maybe they'll realize that a game like DDR is more effective, and the simpler could also mean the better.
UNiSON's bright spot is that the graphics are clean, colorful, and are a rather nice utilization of the PlayStation 2's capabilities. Kids might enjoy the dialogue and full-motion video sequences if they are not overwhelmed with frustration while completing the routines successfully. Older gamers, however, should definitely look elsewhere.