Game Review

Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 Review

Japan Japan Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Once you start, you'll need to call on the Ouendan to help you stop playing this game

In 2005, iNiS crafted Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan for DS. Rhythm games were hardly being made for the system, but they instantly proved that it could have amazing results when done right. People spoke so positively about it that it was popular both in and outside Japan, with it being imported en mass.

Clearly taking note of this, iNiS next created Elite Beat Agents. Featuring exactly the same gameplay, some features were added and others improved on, and the soundtrack, of course, consisted entirely of English songs rather than Japanese ones. Amazingly enough, the same happened for EBA - It was popular all over the world, with Japanese stores actually importing loads of copies to sell to Ouendan fans.

Obviously, such success couldn't go unnoticed, and so, iNiS made a direct sequel to Ouendan, featuring the same characters, coupled with the gameplay improvements and new features offered in Elite Beat Agents. The result is rhythm perfection.

The plot is still as wacky as ever. When people find themselves up against insurmountable odds, they simply shout "Ouendan" at the top of their lungs - The titular cheering squad then shows up out of nowhere mere seconds later, after which they will begin to dance in tune with one of the game's 19 songs to cheer on the person in need. Somehow, this gives the person an almost magical performance boost, being able to overcome anything that troubles him or her. But, if the squad performs poorly, the results will show - Keep going out of tune and whoever you're trying to help will very quickly fail in overcoming their obstacles, requiring you to start the song over.

In this game, there's actually two squads - One is new in town, but very quickly states they're the better squad, resulting in a rivalry between the two. As such, the songs in the game are divided up between the two teams - The new guys get 14, while the old ones get 13. The two final songs are played with both teams at the same time.

As in the other two games, the gameplay consists entirely of tapping beats on screen in rhythm with the music. Each beat is represented by a coloured circle with a number, which reveals exactly what order you will need to hit them in. In addition, a bigger circle surrounds every beat - It will become smaller and smaller, eventually lining up perfectly with the beat. It is at this time that you must tap the beat for maximum points. At some point in most songs, there will also be one or more "spinners," which, as the name implies, require you to rapidly spin a large wheel around to fill up a meter before going to the next part of the song. Due to complaints about these in the first game, they are a bit toned down and don't require you to spin as hard anymore.

Of course, the most important part of any rhythm game is the music. There's 19 songs on offer, and each is of good length. Although it's likely you won't understand any of the lyrics, they're still extremely catchy - Personally, we think there isn't a bad song in the bunch, while the previous games had their share of stinkers. The game offers four difficulty levels to play the songs in - For each higher one, the beats will come in larger numbers and will not appear until closer to the moment they must be hit at, which means you need much faster reactions.

Each song accompanies a specific character in need, and each comes with their own comic book style intro and outro. Again, you're not likely to understand the Japanese text, but it hardly matters, because the pictures will tell you exactly what's going on.

There is also an unlockable "invisible" mode for the true rhythm masters. This removes the shrinking circles entirely and also only makes the beats appear for a split second before they vanish. This doesn't mean you have to him them right after they appear, oh no - You'll have to hit them sometime after they disappear, because, as the mode's name implies, they simply become invisible! This isn't an actual seperate game mode, per se - It can be "applied" on top of any of the four difficulty levels and will simply increase the points you get for each successfully hit beat.

As with the other games, there is also a wireless multiplayer mode available. It's quite simple - You simply compete against up to 3 others players to score the highest on a particular song. Performing well for a certain period of time will also hinder your opponents in certain ways, which mostly just comes down to making their beats harder to hit. In the single player game, it is also possible to save replays of your performances - You can then play against your own "ghost" in multiplayer mode, if you want an extreme challenge. To top it off, the multiplayer mode actually has a few extra storylines. But not another 19 - Each story is simply associated with multiple songs.

The graphics are as good as they could be for this kind of game - All the cutscenes and stories are comprised of great-looking 2D images, while the Ouendan members and level select map are rendered in 3D, yet still manage to look very detailed, something many DS games can't manage.

Conclusion

The original Ouendan was a fantastic game, and Elite Beat Agents repeated that success. Ouendan 2 takes the arguably more interesting characters from the first game and the new gameplay features from EBA, blending them together to form what is, without a doubt, the best rhythm game on the DS. With four difficulty levels, 19 songs and multiplayer, Ouendan 2 ensures you'll be busy for quite a while. I mean, come on, don't you want an S rank on the hardest song, on the highest difficulty?

Although it must be imported to be enjoyed, trust us when we say it's worth whatever you pay for it. Now, iNiS, where's Ouendan 3 and/or Elite Beat Agents 2?

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User Comments (33)

Sean_Aaron

#1

Sean_Aaron said:

Standalone carts turn me off a bit so I do hope we'll see this on DSiWare in some form...still sounds pretty cool so it's on my list of games to look out for in Japan!

And thanks again Drake for another nice import DS review!

Jave

#2

Jave said:

Holy crap, a 10/10?!

Not that it doesn't deserve it, though. The Ouendan/EBA series is awesome.

(Still waiting for EBA 2)

jkgatling

#3

jkgatling said:

not worth a ten... not at all... I would give it an 8 but never go as high as a 10

moomoo

#4

moomoo said:

Looks like I need to try out the first Quendan, Elite Beat Agents, and this. I've got a lot of catching up to do.

MayhemStaff

#5

Mayhem said:

It was harder than the first game imo... I guess it was for those who creamed the original and wanted more challenge heh. Don't think the music was quite as good but it played better.

liammiller18

#6

liammiller18 said:

I have S ranked the hardest song on the hardest difficulty, every other song as well (with invisible notes on). If anyone needs proof, just holler.

Kirk

#8

Kirk said:

What about the language barrier?

Am I actually going to know what is going on if I play the Jap version?

TwilightV

#9

TwilightV said:

I don't see why not. I watched some of the songs online, and I understood perfectly what was happening (even though I couldn't read any of it).

edhe

#10

edhe said:

I'd recommend this or its prequel highly - whether you're fluent in Japanese or not .

I prefer the song list in the first game generally, but this one has a feature where you can skip the intro and get straight into the action - unfortunately in Ouendan 1, if you failed the final level, you could find yourself having to sit through the 1 minute unskippable intro OVER AND OVER AGAIN!

And not forgetting bonus levels and replay data (like in EBA) make it an even better game than its prequel.

JoeDiddley

#11

JoeDiddley said:

I love the first game, I would give it 10/10. I am planning on getting this sometime soon. The only reason I haven't yet is that I wanted to try other rhythm games before getting a direct sequel.
Did they do a re-release of Ouendan 1 because I'm sure that I can skip the intros on my copy?

Objection

#12

Objection said:

Nice review, good to see the series getting the praise it deserves! I only currently own EBA but I've played both Ouendans my friend owned and they're on my "import list" after Fatal Frame IV.

SwerdMurd

#13

SwerdMurd said:

Is it harder than EBA? The turbohard difficulty didn't really provide the challenge I hoped it would on the first one.

Yosher

#17

Yosher said:

This game is so freaking awesome, I can recommand it to everyone, even people who wouldn't like rhythm games otherwise. I did manage to beat the final song on S-ranking on the highest difficulty, but my favourite level is Samurai Blue. The gameplay there is awesome- but then, this entire game is! Too bad you need Action Replay to unlock the Elite Beat Agents models, as well as the Ramen Shop Cat, though, but once you do, it's pretty fun to use, even if it's just eye candy for mostly EBA fans.

gblock

#18

gblock said:

Played this 2 years ago when I had a DS Lite and a rom card. Flippin awesome game (both of them). Wish they'd take more chances and release stuff like this in the states...

Slapshot

#19

Slapshot said:

Great Review Drake! One little addition and to answer Kirk, the language barrier isnt a problems at all. A quick Google search of the game and import guide and you will find screens to help you through. If you have EBA, the menu is basically the same thing. EBA ....... well I hate the American versions of the game. Ouendan is great and Ouendan 2 is just brillant. This game is one of my favorite Imports and wort every penny I spent for it. play-asia.com regurally runs this game cheap for anyone looking for it.

citizenerased

#20

citizenerased said:

Ouendan >>>>> EBA

Perhaps it was their choice of songs, but it just didn't work nearly as well. It's still an enjoyable game, but the whole rhythm mechanic just seems a lot better in Japanese versions. Anyway, I've finished all 3 games, all are worth getting IMO - but the Ouendan series moreso than EBA.

bboy1

#21

bboy1 said:

This game's been out for ages. Why is it being reviewed now? :S

Well regardless, this is the best game out of the 3. I remember playing EBA first and thinking how awesome it was. After I finished it though I sold it because I couldn't stand the theme and characters of the game. The Americanization of it ruined the experience. They tried to fit a Japanese world into an American world and it just doesn't work. It's like when Miyazaki films get dubbed. It ruins it. Same scenario with EBA. Especially the agents. My God...how much more annoying and lame could they get? They're so bad I cringe.

....until I found out about Ouendan. Ouendan is way better and this 2nd one is even better. Plus the characters aren't annoying! They're actually cool and funny. Music is way better too.

DamoAdmin

#22

Damo said:

@bboy1 - There are plenty of classic games that we're looking to review. We don't always get chance to cover every release when it actually comes out. This isn't a new thing; we've been retrospectively reviewing games for some time now.

Awesome review as always, Marcel. This is a fantastic game and well worth the import.

homopod

#23

homopod said:

Thanks for the excellent review, guys! And for the excellent score too! It's one of my favourite games

Marioman64

#26

Marioman64 said:

100% agree with mushroomer, i have 116 songs on my cartridge so far. that game lets me find lots of JPop and stuff and the gameplay is just awesome

as for this, I love EBA, but i tried Ouendan 1 and found it hard to follow along with japanese lyrics (it threw off my timing), so im hoping for an EBA 2 as well

oh and did anyone try EBA with the rumble feature on? omg its so fun

Slapshot

#27

Slapshot said:

@bboy.... I completely agree with you man, but it can get worst in the transation to American shores..... try playing The Legendary Starfy. Its so ........ I dont know the words, but it will make you want to puke the characters are so . I loved the Japanese versions and will never buy another Starfy game for US shores.

Nanasaki

#29

Nanasaki said:

It is so much better than the English one. The press timing is more accurate. Elite Beat Agent the press time is not on beat but on singing.

xxx_Kirby_xxx

#30

xxx_Kirby_xxx said:

Ohhh, no wonder I immediately thought Elite Beat Agents..... and @slapshot .....I liked The Legendary Starfy............. The only dumb character in my opinion is Moe. You can't call Starfy . He's manly.

Hokori

#31

Hokori said:

I love this game and its prequel and Daigasso Band Brothers DX, I love me some imports

Damyx

#33

Damyx said:

I got a copy off of ebay, haven't regretted it since. Though it would be nice to understand what they're saying.

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