Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! 2 (DS, Import) – Initial Impressions

A followup up to Ouendan 1 from a storyline perspective while taking most of the improvements that Elite Beat Agents had to offer is what makes up Ouendan 2.  The gameplay is the same as both these games: tap the screen as colored markers come up in time with the music to cheer on the various characters you’re helping.  The biggest change for the best is that there seems to be a much sharper learning curve with this game.  I finished through the Normal difficulty and while the first 6 levels were easy, the last few had just enough tough tracks that played on musical off-beats to throw me off and require a few reruns at it.  Notably, there’s a couple songs that are equivalent to “Canned Heat” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” from EBA in terms of their syncopation that threw me off.   However, I like that – the improved challenge earlier in the game feels much better than making Normal “too” easy.

It’s still all presented in Japanese, but, as with the first game, I think only one scenario seems a little odd and requires just a bit of Japanese culture knowledge; the rest are self-explanatory by pictures.  It is region free, so no need to mod your DS or anything like that.  Fans of the first game will see some of their favorite characters (crazy old pottery guy!) in some of the stories, so there’s nice continuity with the game.

Elite Beat Agents – Initial Impression

Elite Beat Agents screenshotWhen I  got the import title  Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan for the DS and played through it, I figured that this game  had potential for sequels – the game concept is  definitely non-culture specific , though the stories told in OTO are mostly in Japanese and have heavy cultural references.    However, the music,  while mostly J-pop, could easily be done using newer American bands, as long they had a lot of good rhythm.

Enter Elite Beat  Agent, done by the same people, which is definitely not a translation, but a reversioning of OTO for American audiences.  The gameplay is exactly the same, the only difference is that the stories are  geared towards the states (such as a babysitter trying to score with her bf while  trying to tame the kids she’s tending, or a taxi driver getting his  9-month pregnant fare to the hospital on time.

So far no problem with the  songs  – while I’m not a big fan orf Avril Lavigne,  “Sk8ter Boi”  actually works for the gameplay of EBA.

If you like music games, and haven’t had a change to grab OTO as an import, you’ll definitely find EBA to a great rhythm game for the DS.