Games are released in many different countries, but not all games are released in all of the countries, some are stopped due to language barriers, some are stopped due to low interest, and some are stopped due to lack of effort to find a publisher for said game.
In this game’s case, the barrier language is the obvious one, as it is a music game… With Japanese music… With weird as heck Japanese weirdness… And it is quirky as all out, let me just tell you that it is a music game from Japan, and as such, will have Japanese music and it is for the Nintendo DS.
The first game in the series Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, or rather, “Long Japanese title game” is a game developed by iNiS and published by Nintendo, which is followed by a sequel of sorts, a more known game called Elite Beat Agents, developed exclusively for North American public, and THIS game is the sequel of sorts to EBA released only in Japan.
The story is simple and to the point: 2 groups of cheerleading squads are in odds against each other, and they are trying to find out which of the groups is the best, and they do it by helping people in need! Except they don’t wear awesome MIB outfits but some sort of Japanese school uniform.
The first thing you need to know is the gameplay, you use the Nintendo DS’ stylus to tap circles, move balls across sliders, and spin a circles as fast as possible.
But what is the point of that you ask? Well, you have to do it in rhythm with the music, vocal tracks that were famous around the year the game was released, think of it as Japan’s version of Guitar Hero, only not quite as overdone, the good thing about the game is that you don’t even need Japanese knowledge to play it, but if you dislike not understanding what the heck the songs are saying, you will find no joy here, but if you are one of those who liked enjoyed Japanese music, you will find some fun here.
The graphics are mostly unnecessary but those exist, most are hand drawn manga style that work as cut-scenes in-game as well in “story driven“ scenes having to do with the characters you control, but not all is 2D it also combines 3D rendered characters that dance in the Touch Screen to the rhythm of your taps, and the World Map, where you are taken to choose the songs available to play at that moment.
3 more songs are unlocked longer you play, and after you beat the 2 initial difficulties, you unlock hard mode, and when you beat hard mode, you unlock the hardest difficulty which has you controlling female cheerleaders with an added difficulty by reducing the circles’s size.
If you are lost by this point, don’t fret, most would be, this video will show AND explain it better than I ever would.
Speaking of points, this game is all about the High Scores, your points multiply times the number of circles you haven’t missed at the moment of it happening, it is mostly for bragging rights, but you unlock the songs this way, as well as a new mode called “hidden mode” where the circles disappear early and any rhythm indicators are gone, and with this mode, the amount of points gained is increased.
So… As you can see, this game is difficult to explain, much less show, but hopefully the above video has helped you understand what the heck you are supposed to be doing, so, what is my recommendation?
It’s on Ebay for 20 bucks, I recommend this game to the Otaku fan base, Japanese music loving, and to the “Gangnam Style” groups, if only to get them to try this addicting game.
Nintendo hasn’t released a new sequel since then, but there exists an Ipod/Android/Computer fan based version of the game, where you can create your own songs and even download fan-made music with more known artists and an extensive amount to choose from.
In conclusion, this is a fun game to own if you are curious about Japan’s quirky games, and musical taste, just don’t break your stylus and/or DS when playing it.