Elite Beat Agents DSi and DS Lite
DSi and DS Lite
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Elite Beat Agents Product Details
Released on 13/07/2007
The public knows of government agencies like the FBI and CIA, but little is known of this super-secret agency. Code-named “Elite Beat Agents,” these men in black are heroes’ heroes and the coolest group of guys this world has ever known. Of course, according to official records, they do not exist.
Their leader, an ex-CIA agent named Commander Kahn, scans the world for cries of help. When he finds one, he dispatches the agents, who assist their targets by performing a song and dance. The hypnotic nature of their rocking revives the targets with “Groovy” energy that boosts their willpower and helps them overcome their obstacles.
Every stage is presented in a storyline fashion. All stages share similar basic elements and game flow: The player gets introduced to the – more – target’s problem in a comical intro. Commander Kahn dispatches the agents to the scene. The agents arrive in a special “Beat Transport” that is tailor-made for the situation. The song starts as the agents and player meet the target. Game play begins. By tapping and tracing patterns that appear on screen with the stylus, players play along with the song’s rhythm. The animated story changes depending on how well the player performs. After each section, the player gets judged. Depending on the Elite-o-meter’s judgment, the story will go well or poorly. If the player makes it though the whole song, he or she will be judged on the whole thing and get one of three endings.
- As the music plays, players tap the screen, trace rhythmic patterns and keep the beat as the story unfolds on the top screen. Every scene is accompanied by rump-shaking tunes, but players have to keep the Elite Beat Agents grooving. The worse players do, the worse the story might end up.
- Rhythm games have come and gone, but no one has ever seen anything like the Elite Beat Agents. Whether they’re helping a lost dog find its way home or helping a babysitter charm a hunky football player, no crisis is too weird.
Jonny has just been Served.
One thing that has often bewildered gamers is why some Japanese games go through massive stylistic overhauls when preparing for Western release. Much of the time, the version we get is a safe, by-the-numbers localisation that strips out the soul that made the game so lovable in the first place.
The point that Publishers tend to miss is that the 'Japanese-ness' of these games is often what makes them attractive to us over here. Generally, they're different, hilarious, and completely mad - a set of attributes that describe Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan perfectly.
we’re surprised, nay, delighted, to report that while it’s now a very different title, it’s also every bit as good as its forebear
Translating directly to 'Hey! Fight! Cheer Squad', Ouendan was a popular rhythm-action title (think Parappa The Rapper or Guitar Hero) which has been through the localisation process and emerged as Elite Beat Agents - and we're surprised, nay, delighted, to report that while it's now a very different title, it's also every bit as good as its forebear.
The Elite Beat Agents themselves are a team of superheroes who are flown in to diffuse problem situations - through the unbelievable power of synchronised dance routines. Natch.
In order to help the Beat Agents achieve this, you need your stylus at the ready to tap along with a series of tunes (including covers of tracks by Madonna, The Village People, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Sum 41 and more...). Coloured circles appear on the screen, which you need to tap both at the right time and in the right order, broken up by a series of snake-like icons which you need to follow across the screen, and spinney-things (that's the technical term) - that you need to, err...spin.
Listen to the beat
A sign of a good rhythm action game is that you'll be more successful if you concentrate on what you're hearing to get the timing right rather than what you are seeing - and Elite Beat Agents is definitely one such title, as the series of actions you need to follow to complete a level fit the song perfectly.
Thankfully - Elite Beat Agents is also madder than a bag of badgers. The content itself may have changed, but it apes the style and wit of the Japanese original perfectly. Each level has a storyline to follow, presented in a series of comic book-style panels, and as the game progresses they become more outrageous and random - anything but the safe, homogenised stuff we expected.
It's not the easiest game in the world to master, but it will come with practise, and before long you'll find yourself zoning out into a state of 'zen gaming' where your stylus is tapping, sliding and spinning across the screen with a natural and forceless grace that will translate to the routine your Elite Beat Agents are performing.
Elite Beat Agents is one of the better games we've seen on DS this year - fun, mental, and challenging for the right reasons, and it's a great example of how business concerns don't have to ruin a game during the journey from East to West.
- Stylistic and original rhythm-action.
- Retains the quirk and charm of the original title.
- Great multiplayer mode.
- Song selection could have been better.
- Gets hard quick.
- Avril Lavigne. Generally...
Review by: Jonny Austin
Review Published: 08.08.07
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