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.