Saturday, July 23, 2011

Elite Beat Agents Review


Elite Beat Agents is a Rhythm based game for the Nintendo DS. Its by iNiS and is essentially a successor to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! Which is a popular video game series in Japan about a Cheer Squad who sing and dance to raise the spirits of various people so that the can perform tasks. Where Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! was about kids in High School cheering up mostly other High School students, Elite Beat Agents is about Government Agents who use song and dance to assist many people in their daily tasks. In Elite Beat Agents you tap, draw, and spin to covers of popular songs such as “YMCA”, “Highway Star”, and “ABC”.
The artists have a thing for crazy hair.
Being that it’s a rhythm based game EBA’s game play mostly revolves around tapping to the beat of the song with occasional sliding and spinning. The ultimate difficulty of the game is derived from what mode you are playing, there are four modes of difficulty; Breezin’, Crusin’, Sweatin’, and Hard Rock. Each mode has a different set of Agents you will play as. This provides more of an aesthetic change as the story remains unchanged regardless of the mode you play; however the individual stages change slightly depending on how well you do and most have three different endings. Tapping to the beat may seem easy at first but depending on the difficulty what you may be tapping to will be quite different. Certain songs in the game will have you tapping along to the vocals, whereas other will have you tapping to the guitar in the background, these vary and allow for a decent amount of challenge.

Video Game = Football
Each stage has the Agents Dancing to aid someone in completing whatever task it is they are finding difficulty doing; this may include but is not limited to, babysitting, making a movie, helping a girl achieve her dream, and raising the dead. The stages are broken up into parts alternating between gameplay and story. The format for each stage is generally this:
  • Person needs help and Elite Beat Agents come to help
  • Song starts and you begin playing
  • The song fades and story occurs showing the Persons progress in what they are doing
  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Gameplay
  • Finale which shows how well you did.
This formula alternates for only a few stages, though during the gameplay sections if you happen to glance upwards you will notice that during gameplay the top screen will have animations playing telling you how well you are doing as you play.
What happens up top is completely dictated by how well you are doing, if you are missing notes the top will show the person you are aiding failing at what he is trying to do, while getting high marks will have them doing things passionately.
The game doesn’t have much in the way of a story, you merely play as the agents as they aid people in their day to day lives. The stages don’t really lead to an intertwining story that hold the game together, however it does have an ending where you use Music to fight Alien Invaders. Though lack of an overall story doesn’t detract from the appeal of the game as each individual stage has its own quirky story which more than makes up for it. The game also makes clever allusions to pop culture with some of its stages which is a treat in itself.
Elite Beat Agents also features a Multiplayer mode which allows up to four people to go head to head in rhythm battles where each person tries to get the highest score and cheer their respective team to victory. This mode is where the games true replay value lies as tapping to your favorite song as you attempt to outdo your friends allows for a great deal of fun. What makes the mode better is that you get the option to play as any Agent you unlocked in your particular game, so essentially you can be your favorite Agent. . .
Oh Cieftan. . .
What makes this mode even better is that it also supports Single Cartridge play which means even those without the game can play with you though admittedly with only the starting Agents and a handful of songs.
Their hairstyles are cool enough to count for one thousand agents.
Elite beat Agents also allows you to broadcast the first level of the game to other players which allows them to play it without the game which is a nice added bonus.
As mentioned earlier this game is the successor to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! and as such those of you who have imported the Japanese game may have noticed glaring similarities between the games, such as the formulas of stages and event he themes of stages as they look and play quite the same.
As you can see they are very subtle similarities.
Elite Beat Agents is the game for any fan of music and rhythm games, however for those who aren’t into either of those things this is not the game for you. Elite Beat Agents carries with it a ton of replay value and the capacity to be enjoyed across a circle of friends with its multiplayer feature. In my opinion this is by far one of the best games for the Nintendo DS and is a must for any fans of its genre. If however you don’t care for American music but instead prefer to listen to the funky beats over in the land of the Rising Sun then check out Osu! Tatakae! Ouedan! and its two sequels which you can import from playasia or ebay.
Oh hey look! Lukie Games has Elite Beat Agents for under $4.00, what a steal! So what I’m getting at is that you should buy and play this game because its awesome.