Elite Beat Agents Review

by Samm Bennett
In short, Elite Beat Agents is the Nintendo DS equivalent to Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). The game requires users to tap, slide, and spin the DS' stylus across the screen in time with a song's beat to progress throughout the game. The design will be quite familiar to anyone who has played the Japanese import Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (Go! Fight! Cheer Squad), as Elite Beat Agents is the western equivalent of the game - complete with different songs, stories, and cheerleaders.

Yes, cheerleaders is correct. The game consists of the Elite Beat Agents cheering on people in oddly amusing situations. It's during these scenarios that the player must tap the DS screen in sync with one of the game's 19 songs, which include "Material Girl," "Makes No Difference," "The Anthem," "Rock This Town" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash." The game includes 4 player multi-player coop and versus, available through download play in case someone doesn't own a cartridge.

With four total settings (2 need to be unlocked), the game's difficulty tends to increases linearly; however, certain points in the game will jump drastically (certainly to many user's frustations). These points are really the defining points of the game, as they present true, old school style addictive gameplay - repeatedly tapping the stylus to retry a song in that 5 minute window you have before the bus station comes in view. This situation can be quite common, as the game is not nearly as forgiving as DDR or other such rhythm based games, and a few missed notes could cause the end for an otherwise record score.

To be honest, I'm rather surprised at how frequently I came back to Elite Beat Agents to try to progress, despite its playlist. I sincerely can't stand most of the game's songs, yet I love playing them in the game. It's only in this area that I find the Japanese version to be more satisfying, as I find the J-Pop songs to be of a faster beat and more enjoyable (although I've never been much of a fan of J-pop either). This isn't to Elite Beat Agent's discredit, as the game is very enjoyable with easily accessible, addictive gameplay that anyone could enjoy. Since Elite Beat Agents is it's own game and not just a localization of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, I would also recommend a fan of one to check out the other for the additional songs.