Setup & Timing
The setup is easy to navigate and quick to access. Multiplayer selection is right on the beginning menu. There is not a long,
drawn-out opening credit sequence displaying dozens of company logos, just one (Nintendo on one screen, Inis on the other). Downloading is
split up into sections. First the screens and selection, then the correct agent (after they're selected), then the song (after it's selected). The
song is the longest download and takes approximately 45 seconds (ignore the status bars) per play. During the menu process, only the host's DS will
have sound (to prevent additional download time). If there are only two players, the guest cannot choose to be on the Red Team (the host is the
Red Team by default), so that selection needn't appear if there are only two player, but it only takes a second to get past.
Menus & Navigation
"Vs Player" is preselecteed, as is "Start A New Game". The choices are self-explanatory and fully touch-screen controlled (being a G Touch
Generations game, you won't use any buttons anywhere for anything except the Start button for pausing). The screen area for each selection is easily
big enough to tap (assuming you have enough control to use the touch screen in the first place, that is). During song selection, the host's DS will
show all song options and play an 8-second repeating sound clip for song recognition. The guest's DS will only display the song that is currently
highlighted on the host's DS.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
This is a G Touch Generations game: everything uses the screen and stylus and the buttons might as well not even be there, so there are no
long, drawn-out button combinations to learn. There are long, drawn-out tapping, dragging, and spinning combinations to learn, but that
is the whole point of the game, after all. As you move down the list of selectable songs for Single-Card Download (you start with the song
"Walkie Talkie Man" and can unlock others in Single Player mode), the learning curve and difficulty will jump. If you're good with rhythm and timing,
you'll find this game easier than someone who isn't, but you can learn it if you try. It's actually easier to learn in Single-Card Download mode than
it is Single Player mode because too many errors in SCD mode will not kick you out and declare your mission a failure (like it does in Single Player
mode). Play the first song all the way through a few times with a friend before going solo and you'll start out in a better place (whether it's your
favorite song or not). To keep experienced players for gaining too big of an advantage in Single-Card Download, the circles will randomly shrink in
size for 5 to 10 seconds.
The graphics and animation are mostly stop-motion video, which fits in perfectly with the quirky comic book-like style and intentionally corny
plots. The plots for Single-Card Download mode are different from those in the Single Player mode, but the song breaks, taps, drags, and spins are
identical back and forth. The sound is amazingly clear and crisp. The songs are all covers, not the original artists, but this is a good thing for
three reasons: the covers are written specifically for this song which aligns the beats properly and gives the game a better flow, the covers balance
the instruments and sounds within the music perfectly for both the DS speakers and for the game play, and if the original music was used, the royalties
probably would've driven the cost up to $70 instead of $30-$35. The game is Rumble Pack compatible, but it's more of a bonus than anything else. For
people that are extremely tactile, it might make a difference one way or the other, but for the most part, it neither added to or subtracted from the
If you're the type of person who's good with timing, you'll like this game. If you're the type of person that likes Guitar Hero and/or Dance
Dance Revolution, you'll love this game. If all you want is Sudoku, don't look here. Elite Beat Agents appeals to the same crowd as Guitar Hero and
DDR, but Elite Beat Agents is the first in the category to be portable. For Guitar Hero fans, think of it as Drum Hero (or, more specifically, Tap
Hero), you're just using one hand to hold the system and one for the action. DDR fans can think of it as letting the stylus do the dancing, and you
won't look embarrassing on a bus (but please bring headphones or ear buds so as not to offend big, mean people who don't like these specific songs).
When people play Guitar Hero, they play a lot of Guitar Hero. When people play DDR, the play a lot of DDR. The same appeal will keep
bringing the same people back to Elite Beat Agents.
Besides the obvious (more songs), it'd be nice to have a way to send a song via download that the guest can walk off with and play solo (a
single-player demo), a la DS Download Stations. We'd even pay extra for a Slot 2 (GBA-slot) peripheral that contains additional temporary download
storage so that more information (i.e. any song on the game, regardless of file size) can be played via download.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 95 / 100 (a.k.a. 47.5/50)
Other information available:
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