Category Archives: Music

Best of 2006 #8: Elite Beat Agents

Elite Beat Agents

The almighty Ouendan’s sequel/remake/bastardisation (take your pick) may not manage those heady heights, but it certainly deserves a place on here. What could easily have been a cynical rehash of a cult classic kept what made the original great and managed to forge a personality of its own.

I don’t like it as much as I did Ouendan, possibly because that game came out of nowhere without any expectations whatsoever, and to be fair I was probably predisposed to not liking this as much. Inis did a great job of keeping it faithful to the style of Ouendan but just having English text and Madonna and Avril Lavigne over impenetrable Japanese and bands you’ve never heard of takes something away from it. I maintain that all an English version needed was a menu translation, but that’s probably why they don’t let me make games for Nintendo.

Despite the shortcomings, EBA makes the list because it builds on an extremely solid base and still does a good job at something that – let’s be honest – was never going to please all of the fans who imported Ouendan. It’s still a hell of a lot of fun and well worth picking up, especially if the original was a bit too “out there” for you.

Elite Beat Agents Impressions

Elite Beat Agents

I don’t think I really need to go over how much I liked 2005’s cult DS hit Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (in case I do: 1, 2, 3) so to say that a whole new sequel excited me should go without saying. Well, having played a good few of its songs now, I can safely say that Elite Beat Agents is a great addition to the burgeoning series, even if some of the quirky charm is lost in translation.

The wacky sense of humour is still in there, to be sure, but I can’t help but feel that it loses something when what’s going on beyond what you can work out visually. Does it even need to be in English? Diarrhoea is a pretty universal language.

OK, so marketing is an obvious concern in that respect. CIA agents just sell better than male cheerleading squads for some reason, and for god-knows-what-reason people prefer Ricky Martin to L’Arc-En-Ciel. The music may have been more appealing if they’d gone for less obvious artists that could have been pulled straight out of thin air, and again just don’t have the idiosyncratic charm that the best stages of Ouendan had. I’d just pick any of the original songs over the embarrassment of having YMCA suddenly blare from my DS.

Regardless, the great fundamentals are identical and on that basis it still gets a firm recommendation. Just be sure to pick up Ouendan as well (handy Play-Asia affiliate link!) so that you won’t miss out. The original is still the best.

Okami Soundtrack

Check this baby out. Got it in the post this morning from YesAsia. Thankfully I didn’t order from Lik-Sang…

Okami Soundtrack

I haven’t had a chance to listen to most of it since it’s five discs, 218 tracks, and over five and a half hours long. I think that I actually have albums that are quicker to listen to straight through than it’s been to import this thing into iTunes.

The music while playing the game has been very good, obviously with strong traditional Japanese influences and more modern elements for good measure. If you like that kind of music I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. In any case how can you say no when it’s this purdy? Anything less wouldn’t do the beauty of the game justice, I suppose.