Elite Beat Agents
Description official descriptions
Elite Beat Agents is the spiritual sequel to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! In this rhythm-based music game, the Elite Beat Agents are a special task force dedicated to helping people in need and righting wrongs through the power of song.
The game is played entirely through use of the stylus. Timing is required to line up the rings that close in on the circles to ensure the proper beat for the song. Beats can also be scored by dragging a glowing ball through a set line area until the end of a beat. Finally, players will be required to turn a spinner as quickly as possible during a music break.
The level stories are mostly comedic, where the Agents will help a girl and her jock boyfriend go steady, help a speeding taxi driver deliver a baby, and even help a weather reporter chase away rain clouds to go on a picnic with her son. Each level is accompanied by popular songs such as Madonna's "Material Girl", Chicago's "You're the Inspiration", or Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat", among others, for 19 music tracks total.
Multiplayer allows gamers to compete against each other via single-card or multi-card play.
- 도와줘! 리듬 히어로 - Korean spelling
Credits (Nintendo DS version)
174 People (170 developers, 4 thanks) · View all
|"Walkie Talkie Man"|
|"Makes No Differenece"|
|"I Was Born to Love You"|
|"Rock This Town"|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 88% (based on 70 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 36 ratings with 3 reviews)
Just like it's predecessor, Ouendan, it's a rhythm game and it introduces a very similar game play experience. The difficulty scales fairly smoothly over the course of the game and the song selection is pretty decent.
Of course, saying it's like Ouendan doesn't really tell the newcomers much. So let's start with some basics.
The point of the game is to hit the little icons on screen with your stylus in sync with the music in the background, and through that, your team of special task force characters, the Elite Beat Agents, can help the people of this world solve their problems through the awesome power of music and emotion.
Yes, it's as silly as it sounds. The game doesn't even try to take itself seriously and takes an almost dadaist delight in how absurd they can make the scenarios turn out.
It also probably one of the BEST examples of how to implement a game that fully utilizes the stylus mechanic.
In terms of game play, it's actually highly addictive as the level designs scale very smoothly. That is, the game does an excellent job training the new players into experts.
This is where my previous experience with Ouendan starts to taint my experience.
For one thing, the game, while made for US distribution, was clearly led by a Japanese development group and it shows. The manga aesthetics were borrowed from the previous installment and it works fairly well but then the character design, the humor, and the sensibility of the whole game just feels like the designers are TRYING to be more American than even the American audience itself. Basically, some of the humor there just doesn't work as well for me because the context that made the humor work prior is missing.
For example, an Ouendan is the Japanese, all male, hyper-masculine equivalent of a cheer leading squad. That is, a Japanese cultural icon, and the idea of an Ouendan being able to bend time and space and defy the laws of physics just bringing in extra pep is basically a lampoon of that very hyper-masculine culture you see in a lot of Japanese mangas. you combine these elements together, and Ouendan just works. The cheese factor here is like cheese on pizza, it just works.
Now EBA? There is no real cultural equivalent for something like this. Yeah, a special task force that is all FBI-esque but are basically musical performers? That's an OK fit, but it's just not quite there. But the cheese factor here doesn't quite go with the whole dish nearly as well, and sometimes the cheesiness feels just that, cheesy. ("they're all rocked out!" in reference to the characters being turned into stone, for example)
Now don't get me wrong. I still get a good chuckle from a lot of the game and a lot of humor still does work even if we cross national borders, but it's just not as strong or as tight when it ports over here.
Also, there seems to be some slight synchronization issues with some of the songs. In some cases, some of the notes have to be hit with no real indicator except raw memorization of the timing, which gets kind of frustrating at times.
The Bottom Line
A great little rhythm game that will ensure you need to buy multiple styluses for your DS as well as a screen protector.
Nintendo DS · by Elliott Wu (40) · 2009
I became a lifelong fan of rhythm games as soon as I passed my first song on Dance Dance Revolution. However, one area that rhythm games weren't fully capable was on portable systems. There was simply no way to take all of that beat-matching goodness with me on the road.
That is, until 2006. Nintendo decided to take a risk and publish what is still one of the weirdest, yet most outrageously fun games to ever emerge from their halls. Elite Beat Agents.
Elite Beat Agents is actually a sequel of sorts to a Japanese-only title relased the year prior called "Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!". Rather than simply translate the original title into English and release it in the West, the developers decided to create a brand new game using the same gameplay but with a more Western-friendly style. The result was Elite Beat Agents.
The premise is that you play as a squad of dancing secret agents/ superheroes. Whenever someone has a problem in their life, the Elite Beat Agents are sent to help motivate them to solve it with the power of MUSIC! The formula for all of the songs is generally the same. First, you'll watch the introductory cutscene introducing the character and his/her problem. Then, you'll hear the leader shout "Agents, GO!" as the song starts up. As you play the character on the top screen will be shown either winning or losing depending on how well you're doing. At the end of a certain section of a song, the gameplay will shut off while you view a new cutscene showing whether your dancing helped or not. These can be either good or bad depending on if your life bar is above or below the yellow line. Regardless of what happens, you'll keep playing until either your lifebar runs out, or you complete the song. There are three possible endings for a song- Failure, OK, and Excellent. You'll actually want to lose so you can see all of the outcomes and endings, some of which are quite hilarious.
The stories themselves are highly diverse. They can be as mundane as helping a girl babysit or win an audition, to as downright crazy as assisting a man battle zombies using peanuts. The game even attempts to rip out the heartstrings with a wonderfully sappy story about helping a little girl cope with the loss of her father at Christmastime. The final level is extremely epic, as you'll se every single character that you helped along the rest of the way, and actually consists of two songs instead of just one. When it comes to storytelling, EBA really does do it all.
All of this is merely window dressing for the actual gameplay itself, which is, to put it mildly, amazing. How it works is that you'll see circles appear on screen, which are surrounded by larger circles. The idea is to tap on the circles when the outer circle closes in on the smaller one, in rhythm to the beat. In addition, there are also slide prompts, where the goal is to follow a ball using your stylus until the prompt disapppears. You'll earn more points depending on how accurately you follow the rhythm. All of these prompts come in color groups, and after you've hit all of the circles in a group, you'll earn an extra point bonus based on how well you scored during that particular group. In addition, there are also occasional spinners, where the goal is to spin them around as much as you can to fill up a meter before the circle reaches the center. You'll want to hit as many of these as you can, as your life meter is constantly ticking downward. The only way to reverse it is to play well.
What I like about the gameplay is how natural and intuitively laid out the prompts for each of the songs are. You feel like you're conducting the agents with their choreography, especially on higher difficulty settings, and it all feels great. Many of the prompts land on specific peak beats in the music, so if you know the song well, you'll be able to follow along that much better on a first-time playthrough of a chart.
After you finish the story mode, you'll want to keep playing. There are several additional stages to unlock as well as a two-player battle mode, which is an absolute riot provided you can actually find someone who has a copy of this game. Even if they don't you can still play a limited selection of tunes thanks to the DS Download play capabilities.
Some of the humor is a bit.. shall we say, weird, even for my left-of-center tastes in gaming. In fact, some of this game is surprisingly risque given its E10+ rating, both in the song lyrics as well as the content of the cutscenes. Even the unlockable super female agents wear skimpy outfits. While it's all in silly fun, a part of me feels that this game was rated incorrectly by the ESRB.
I HATED the spinners. Most of the time, the spinners come at the end of a song for sort of a big, flashy ending. However, the final song throws at least four of them at you in rapid-fire succession. Your hand will REALLY hurt during these sections, and missing the spinners will cost you a ton of your life meter.
In general the game is very unforgiving, especially on higher difficulties. I have to question Nintendo's decision to market this as a casual game under their Touch! Generations line given how tough this game can get.
The actual playlist of the game might be a sticking point for some. It is heavily pop based, and the sillier and frothier the song, the more likely you'll find it in the game. YMCA, Material Girl, Sk8r Boi (hated typing that), and La La are just a few of the selections, and those are all very, very pop songs. The hardest rock you'll get here is from Hoobastank, and it's not even one of their three most popular songs. Despite the inclusion of a few dark moments, this is definitely NOT a serious game musically. Even worse is that all of them are karaoke style "professional reproductions", with some of them not particularly close to the artists that they're mimicking. That certainly doesn't stop the game from working as well as it does, but it does occasionally put a damper on the fun when you realize that the cover is way off from the original. I actually liked this playlist growing up, but looking back on it, it perhaps doesn't have quite as much appeal to me now as it once did.
The Bottom Line
Truly among the DS' many elite titles, EBA brought rhythm gaming in style to the DS, and in the process created a new kind of rhythm game that could be played on touchscreens. I got HOURS of gameplay out of this title growing up. In fact, this game was pretty much all that I played on my DS for an entire year
Nintendo DS · by krisko6 (813) · 2013
Since many years, the concepts music and videogames walk hand in hand creating a new concept of interactive for players all around the world. This new concept of game has been received very well, players are enjoying a new game experience and reviewers score that kind of games really high.
Elite Beat Agents is just a "version" of the successful Ouendan, with new songs (not oriental songs) and new characters. The strategy is obvious, to become a world famous game, a top-quality game known everywhere. It looks that they managed to achieve that goal, at least in that terms...
The game uses the same gameplay with no new features on this matter. The conclusion is clear: if you liked the concept of the previous one, you will like this one too, only when you don't start to be frustrated because of its negative points.
The songs selected are rock, punk, pop and dance songs (adapted from the original ones). The comical stories are in the same line as they were in Ouendan and it looks that the difficulty has been reduced substantially. The multiplayer mode is still available, in there you can battle against another player.
The songs from the previous games were more fun than this ones (anyway, it's something subjective) and the game loses its Japanese essence which was so particular.
Unfortunately, the game has just one important negative point, but it's the most important one: Synchronization. There's no doubt that this is the most important thing in a game of this genre. Inexplicably, many songs has "strange" things like out of time rhythms. You will play the game like a mind exercise instead of a rhythm exercise as it should be because of that, and you'll be angry many times if you notice it. If you have not played the other games of the series maybe you won't notice it, but if you do, you'll know what I am talking about.
There is no doubt about the importance of this matter in a game like that, problem that wasn't in previous games which were much more rhythmical and everything converged much better. The main problem of this game is the fact that the game already existed, and you can compare the game with the previous game.
The Bottom Line
Elite Beat Agents is a good game. The players that have not experienced the previous games will enjoy it much more than the others because it's going to be the first time that they face up such an original game, one of the most remarkable sagas in this new concept of gaming. If you like the game, try the previous ones because they are much better. If you've played the previous ones, try it if you want, but forget about the good job made in the other games of the saga.
Nintendo DS · by NeoJ (398) · 2009
1001 Video Games
Elite Beat Agents appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
During development, 1UP.com reported that one of the announced songs was Ricky Martín's Livin' la Vida Loca. In the end, it was either never part of it or dropped from the game.
- 2006 – #8 Handheld Game of the Year
- 2006 – #3 Nintendo DS Game of the Year
- 2006 – Nintendo DS Rhythm Game of the Year
Related Sites +
- MobyGames ID: 25505
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Guy Chapman.
Game added December 13th, 2006. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.