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Gaming to Go: Elite Beat Agents



Agents are ... go!


Elite Beat Agents built a reputation on many things: colorful characters, marvelous music, and, on later difficulties, the combination of soul-crushing challenge and those godforsaken spin markers. But look beyond that shiny veneer and you'll see above all an incredibly unique game, one that takes advantage of the DS's touch-screen capabilities arguably better than any other title on the system.

And it's a hell of a lot of fun. Give the game a spin for just a few minutes and you'll see what I mean, as part of Elite Beat Agents's charm is its bite-sized gameplay. Take one of the many songs for a ride and you'll get a glimpse of nearly everything the game has to offer, with the frantic tapping, circling, and groovy beats the title is known for. It's okay to dance with your DS. I don't judge.

Can you feel the music? Come along with this week's edition of Gaming to Go and see why exuberant dancing can solve all of the world's problems.

Continue reading Gaming to Go: Elite Beat Agents

Ouendan 2 sale redux


Did you miss out on Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 (that's a mouthful) when it was on sale around the holidays at Play-Asia? Never fear, dear readers, because the game is selling for cheap once again. This time, importer YesAsia is the site responsible for giving joy to rhythm game loving DS owners who don't live in Japan.

The price was slashed from its original import cost of $50.99, and now will only set you back $31.99. Making the deal even better, YesAsia offers free shipping with the item. The total may still sound costly, but trust our Ouendan-loving hearts when we say that it's well worth it.

The only thing to be wary of is YesAsia's claim that the game "usually ships within 21 days." We hope that doesn't mean you have to wait too long for it, and that Ouendan 2 will ship sooner rather than later. Buying the title at a reduced price might make the possible wait a little easier to swallow, though.

[Thanks, Brian!]

Need help spending thirty bucks? OUENDAAAAAAN!


Import retailer Play-Asia's weekly specials are generally nice ways to get import games at good prices. This week's sale is extra-special, because the game is one close to our collective DS Fanboy heart. For the next six days or so, Play-Asia is selling Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 for a mere $29.90. We ordered a copy (as research for this post, of course) and shipping came out to just two dollars.

Normally, there's a period of intense waffling when we come across one of these sales. Do we go for the impulse purchase? Is an awesome deal worth disrupting our careful game budgeting? That is not how it went this time. This time we instinctively threw our wallets at the screen as soon as we saw the price.

Ouendan cosplay skit is unashamedly insane, and all the better for it



With its outlandish (yet easily portrayable) cast and one of the most compelling soundtracks in gaming, we're not surprised that cosplayers are so drawn to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan. In the video above, a highly enthusiastic crowd is treated to a performance by the Singapore-based "Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan Cosplay Group" at the annual EOY '07 Event at Singapore Expo. If only the same amount of effort was ploughed into all cosplay performances.

A warning before you hit play, however: as this is the last song from the second Ouendan game, consider this to be spoileriffic.

[Thanks, varumin!]

Keiichi Yano: Elite Game Development Agent


Keiichi Yano of iNiS has a unique perspective on the Japanese and American game industries. His company remade their game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! into a new game whose references and music are more famililar to Western audiences; now Japanese shops are importing the resulting game, Elite Beat Agents, for Japanese sale. In addition, as discussed in this interview with Gamasutra's Christian Nutt, iNiS has been licensing their nFactor2 engine out to developers for use in Xbox 360 games-- a move that, to be honest, would seem to have more benefit to the American market.

Furthermore, the genre to which he contributed so much-- music games-- now has an American juggernaut in Guitar Hero that threatens to subsume all other music games (except Rock Band, which is a direct descendant of Guitar Hero) in the public's consciousness.

We'd listen to anything Keiichi Yano had to say based only on our teary-eyed devotion to Gitaroo-Man. Luckily, he's actually interesting in this interview about music games, middleware, and international game development. Readers-- are-- GO!

English guide to Ouendan 2 menus

Among its other many virtues, Ouendan owed a lot of its overseas hype and success to its undaunting language barrier. Despite the menus and manga panels being filled with Japanese text, importers were able to follow the rhythm title's illustrated screwball plots and quickly pick up its self-explanatory controls. Ouendan's recently-released sequel, Moeru! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2, likewise requires little-to-no familiarity with the Japanese language in order to enjoy the game.

Even with these assurances though, there are still many import-shy gamers who hide behind their mothers' skirts at the sight of kanji characters. Fortunately for them, the Platformers has translated Ouendan 2's menu selections, providing a visual guide with an overlay of English text. Most of the buttons and icons are obvious, but having a quick reference like this would be useful for first-time importers. Now there's no excuse for avoiding the cheer squad!

Would you like to read impressions of the DS Style series?

Game|Life's Chris Kohler got a chance to "play" with the DS Style collection at the Square Enix Party, and came away with positive impressions of the title we're most interested in: the classical music program which he translates as Would you like to listen to classical music on the Nintendo DS?

The program sounds pretty interesting: it contains 100 pieces of music, a shuffle feature, and information and images related to each piece. It also gives users information about buying the music on CD.

Kohler's impressions of the other titles weren't as positive, but it didn't sound like there was anything wrong with them. He just couldn't summon up the excitement for looking at maps.

Get serious with new DS Style screens

We're expecting a load of news when the Square Enix Party starts. For now, we've got new screens from the DS Style series, which is obviously too serious for parties. Specifically, new screens were released of Flower Blooming DS: Gardening Life, Shall We Listen to Classical Music on the DS?, and three World Walking map programs: Italy, France and Taiwan.

We could kind of see picking up a DS map program instead of a guidebook when we go on vacation, since we tend to take the DS with us anyway. We are definitely feeling a strong urge to buy the classical music "game" as well, since it's being developed by iNiS. Smart move, Squeenix.

Continue reading Get serious with new DS Style screens

Play! Ouendan! 2! Demo! [update 1]

Those of you who can get to a Japanese download station on March May 10th will be able to try out the highly anticipated rhythm action title Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2. That's right, a demo will soon be available a full week ahead of the March May 17th release date. We're not sure which stage (or stages) will be featured in the demo, but we're really hoping its the one where you get to sell shoes to aliens. We've always wanted to try that.

As detailed elsewhere on these pages, the new game will feature many of the characters from the original game, as well as a new playable cheer squad. There's also going to be a versus mode, although online play remains unconfirmed.

[Update: Those "M" months are so confusing!]

New Ouendan 2 screens: versus mode CONFIRMED, excitement UNCONTROLLABLE


Some incredible new screens of Ouendan 2 have exploded onto the web and filled us with hot-blooded rhythm spirit. Two new scenarios are featured: the first involving a girls' choir who need HEEEAALP performing harmoniously, and the second involving a soccer player who requires the power of your dancing to succeed. Wait, cheering for a sport? Preposterous.

One especially notable feature evident in the screens is a new multiplayer mode, where one member of both the Ouendan squad and the new rival squad face off. Judging from the little antenna icon on the screen, it's definitely wireless play. Our case of rhythm spirit will be incurable if the game turns out to be online.

Continue reading New Ouendan 2 screens: versus mode CONFIRMED, excitement UNCONTROLLABLE

Cheer up! More Ouendan 2 scans are here!

Every day we get to see even one more frame of Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 is a good day. Just getting an excuse to type the awesomely overblown title out makes us smile. And today we have two nice, big magazine scans to stare at.

The scans show two of the new levels, and we have descriptions of the objectives thanks to the language wizards at NeoGAF, who can instantly make small amounts of Japanese become English. The first level involves Tsuyoshi Hanada, the student from the first level of the first Ouendan, and his job search. The second involves a salesman who wants to peddle sneakers in space. The screenshots from this level indicate that the rival Ouendan team will be playable!

The full scans are available after the post break. Click them (rhythmically, of course) for larger versions.

[Via NeoGAF]

Continue reading Cheer up! More Ouendan 2 scans are here!

DS Daily: Localization

Yesterday we linked the Capcom USA interviews with Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice For All localization team members, and they mentioned what every game translator mentions: changing cultural references to fit better with the target audience. The translations considered "best" are the ones that attempt to maintain the spirit of the original game without too much Japanese culture left behind.

Our question to you is this: do you like localization, or would you prefer a direct translation? Do you want things to be exactly as they are in the Japanese version, but directly translated to English? Are you happy with American TV references in Phoenix Wright? And what about the localized-from-the-ground-up Elite Beat Agents?

Elite Beat Agents ad rocks YouTube

We knew those Elite Beat Agents were popular, but the commercial hitting #1 in games on YouTube is quite a feat! We can't say we're too surprised, not after seeing all sorts of people clustered around the game at the Fusion Tour, but it's definitely an exciting moment for DS fans nonetheless. Check out the ad itself after the jump. Think it captures the game?

Continue reading Elite Beat Agents ad rocks YouTube

Elite Beat Agents site at your service

The official English Elite Beat Agents site is up and ready to rock your socks. There's a montage of game footage tucked away behind the "action!" button that's certain to get toes a-tappin' and heads a-bobbin, so unless you're around people who understand your fascination with guys in dark suits who gyrate to pop music ... well, you can see where we're going with that one.

Then again, it's totally worth the explanations, so just go check out the site already.

[Via 4cr]

It's no Ouendan, but ... Elite Beat Agents boxart

Of course, nothing can replace Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, but Elite Beat Agents certainly looks like it's going to take the torch and run with it. Check out this fresh new boxart for the rhythm game set for November. We think it's pretty groovy.

Next Page >

Gaming to Go!We debate the hot topics!

This Month's New Games

Name Date
Bleach: Dark Souls
Oct 6
Legend of Kage 2
Oct 6
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
Oct 6
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals
Oct 6
My Japanese Coach
Oct 14
Korg DS-10
Oct 14
Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 Oct 14
FIFA Soccer 09 Oct 14
Populous Oct 14
Rock Revolution
Oct 14
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Oct 21
Theresia
Oct 21
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Oct 21
Away: Shuffle Dungeon
Oct 21
Tornado
Oct 21
Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Oct 21
What's Cooking? With Jamie Oliver Oct 21
MySims Kingdom
Oct 28
Ninjatown Oct 28

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