Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nintendo DS Rhythm Games

Well, I decided to write a post on a couple of the Rhythm games for the Nintendo DS. I've played several and I really enjoyed them, I'll talk a little about each and why you should get them!

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (Import)
One of the first music games on the DS. Ouendan is about a group of Ouendan (Japanese Male Cheerleading Squad) who help people get through difficult challenges by cheering them all. Basically, all you do is tap Hit Markers in order when the little diminishing circle is of equal size to the hit marker. There are also Phrase markers where you hold down on the circle and move across the bar, and there are also Roll markers that you use the Stylus to spin really fast. You do this all to various J-Pop & J-Rock songs with different stories and animations. The game is pretty import friendly, you don't need to know Japanese to really play the game, and there are translation guides for the menus (you'll learn the menu in no time). I mean the only thing you won't understand is the music, but that didn't bother me, I just played through the whole game again on Easy mode. Anyway, the game features 4 difficulty modes properly entitled: "Easy", "Normal", "Hard", and "Insane" modes. So you'll play through each song a bunch of times trying to get S Ranks. The game cost around $50 to import (as do most import DS games), but it is definitely worth it considering the game is Japan-only and very fun! (The game didn't do that well in Japan, but was a hit among the importing crowd - Play-Asia once reported they received over 2000 orders for the game!)

Elite Beat Agents
Well, EBA is actually the Western Style spiritual sequel to the Ouendan game. However, the characters are now styled after the FBI Agents and Men in Black who try to help people through Song and Dance. It's basically the same idea as Ouendan, except with crazy western ideas and mainstream pop music. You'll get a little bit of old, and a little bit of current music. However, some of the songs may annoy you like Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson songs (though the cover versions of these songs actually sound awesome compared to the originals.) The game didn't fail per se, but on launch day it only sold like 100,000 copies, while NoA's president was hoping it would sell 300,000+ more copies. Anyway, this game was developed by iNiS, the creators of Ouendan, so it's still good if you wanna tap out to American. The game was also released in Europe & Australia.

Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2
The sequel to the popular import game Ouendan, is back with a new rival Ouendan team and tons more songs to play. Of course you do the exact same thing in this game, there isn't much difference except for the graphics being a bit better, new stories, new music. The whole premise of the game is pretty much the same. The game was released in Japan back in May of this year and was once again, a hit among the importing crowd. I preordered this game because I absolutely loved the first one. (Elite Beat Agents was okay, but it could've used better varieties of music instead of the main stream.) I can say that I probably liked the music choices better in the first game, but this sequel still delivers some awesome game play. It also features the improvements of Elite Beat Agents such as being able to save your replays in up to 20 slots so you can show it off to your friends! So if you liked the other two games, this should definitely be part of your collection!

Ontamarama is another one of the niche music titles for the DS out there. It was recently released in the US by Atlus (who often releases niche games in the US). It's exactly the same as the Japanese version, same music and everything. It doesn't really feature any mainstream music, it seems to be built with its own music from the ground up. In Ontamarama, you play as either a boy named Beat or a girl named Rest who are both in the anime style drawings. Basically you have to have "music battles" with opponents who are being controlled by an evil bat-dude. In Ontamarama, Ontama (the little animals) appear on the screen and you have to tap, or circle them. They then fill in scrolling circles on the top of the screen. You have to press the D-Pad or ABXY buttons in coordination when the scrolling circles are inside the circle at the end. You don't necessarily have to fill in the little circles at the top, but you won't get a high score and will never get an S Rank that way. The game is very short and has several difficulty modes. It also has some unlockables such as extra songs which you can buy using your Ontama Points which you get after finishing a song. I would have to say that this game is good for short gameplay on the go. I recently got it on sale for the generous price of $20!

Taiko no Tatsujin DS (Import)
Well if you follow Japanese culture, or the gaming scene, you have probably heard of the arcade games called Taiko no Tatsujin (Taiko Drum Master in the US). So far it seems that this game is Japan only, and I haven't heard any news on it being released in the US. If it does get released in the US it won't feature the same music, so it's definitely import friendly. Basically the game comes with two special styluses that you can use on the DS screen. Also, for gaming on the go where you can't use the stylus, you can use the various buttons on the DS to play the game. Similar to Ontamarama, you have to wait till the red or blue circle ends up in the circle at the end, then tap either inside the drum for Red circles, or outside of the drum for Blue circles. If you time it just right you will get a higher score. The game features various music from Videogames, Anime, JPop & JRock and various other kinds of music. (Ex. Pocket Monsters "Together" theme song and Super Mario Bros.) I would say this game is definitely import worthy for the music game enthusiast. You don't need to know Japanese to play the game, and there are translation guides out there for the menus. The song has several difficulty modes, 4 player wireless multiplayer, and bunch of unlockables. It even has a mode where it gives you random songs to play each day and rates you with a score. The game will cost you $50. (I'm waiting for a price drop, I'm not rich!)

We need more music games, they are great fun for us all! If you have one of the above games or want to recommend any other music games (but I don't think there are any others worth playing), you can email me about it and I'll post what you think on here! Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope you guys consider at least importing/buying one of these games!!!


Tristan H said...

I could never get how to play EBA. IT took me forever to finally figure out how to get past the first part of some of the levels when I played the demo in Target. Me and the game could just not get along. I should try to find someone who has the game and spend more time playing it. Most definitely.

MidnightScott said...

Yeah, it takes a while to get used to. I found that Elite Beat Agents was alot easier than Ouendan, but I guess that is to be expected. I recently beat the last song on Hard Rock mode a few weeks ago, so it will definitely last a while! Good luck :)

Dani in NC said...

My kids have gone nuts over Elite Beat Agents, and they have spread their love for it to all the neighborhood kids. Thanks for listing other rhythm games; I've got to find something for them after they beat EBA!