elite beat agents was the game that tipped me over the edge and caused me to finally buy a DS, and i wasn’t disappointed: it quickly became one of my favorite games of all time, and ever since then i’ve been hankering to play the original japanese version, osu! tatakae! ouendan (i.e. go! fight! cheer) and its sequel.
ouendan is certainly an import-friendly game (and now that i think about it, i think it’s the first import game i’ve officially completed), and i thoroughly enjoyed getting to re-experience the series’ unique and totally awesome gameplay with completely different stories and songs. (i also enjoyed the character design, which is by the same artist as EBA, atsushi saito.) there are a number of other small differences between the two games, and in some ways it’s a bit surprising that i so preferred EBA to the original. part of it is no doubt due to the language barrier, but in general the situations and characters in ouendan seemed just less wacky and off the wall overall. the songs throw enough curves that even an EBA vet like myself will have to spend some time getting to the highest level of difficulty, and not knowing any of the songs except one added to the challenge (although i’d only known a bit more than half the songs in EBA). incidentally, if anyone’s wondering, the one song i did know in ouendan was “linda linda”, originally by the blue hearts, which is featured in a pretty rad japanese movie called linda linda linda. the one major drawback in ouendan compared to EBA is that at the hardest difficulty level the markers appear for what seems to be a shorter amount of time than in EBA, thus requiring much more memorization, which i find to be a fairly cheap way of adding “difficulty”. so all in all this doesn’t surpass EBA in my affections, but i’m still definitely looking forward to playing ouendan 2, and of course i’m still hoping for the day we get a US sequel to EBA.
– crackedrabbitgaming.com has a great fansite including links to original versions of the songs, screenshot translations of the menus, and a page of trivia
– the official website is in japanese, but it includes some rad wallpapers and interviews with the developers that google translate might be able to help out with but isn’t working for me at the moment. 😕
– gamefaqs has a few good FAQs including translations of almost all the game text and the japanese lyrics to all the songs and their english translations
– interview with iNiS co-founder and game designer keiichi yano
– entry at wikipedia