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Tapping to the Beat : Elite Beat Agents Review

In DS on January 26, 2007 at 7:13 pm

From baby-sitters split between kids and the boyfriend to anti-music aliens, Elite Beat Agents has it all. But does give it’s all? And is it worth your cash? You will soon know. You’ll know sooner if you’re lazy and skip to the final verdict.

Elite Beat Agents is a rhythm game for the Nintendo DS. You are the aforementioned agents and whenever someone is in a tricky situation, you come in and dance people into a good situation. Yeah, don’t ask. You play by tapping numbered and coloured dots on the lower screen when the halo around them shrink in and come in contact with the dot. You also have to deal with a rolling ball that you need to follow on the screen and a wheel you spin quickly. But these elements don’t appear for no reason (except the wheel). They are synchronized to music and, in most cases, rather well. You need to make sure that you tap and drag with the beat and not just as quickly as possible. The wheel can be annoying, especially when arising in the middle of a stage (They’re normally found at the very end). They might kill your rhythm or make you forget that there’s dots coming up. A larger problem is how you don’t loose. A bar at the top of the bottom screen empties as you play and only fills back up when you get points. The more synced with the music you play, the more you get. The problem is that the bar never refills during a game so if you aren’t good at one point in a song, you diminish your chances of winning. If you loose, you always start from the top. Even if the game eases you in with it’s difficulty levels, you will find yourself repeating certain levels, especially the final ones. The replay feature can help know what you’re doing wrong or show off your best rounds. You can view a full replay right after playing or view a shorter replay after you loose. You can also save and send to others winning replays for later but this is limited to one per song (not per song per difficulty).

Before starting a stage, you are presented with a story in a comic book style about a certain person in need of help. Most the stories are loony but fun to watch. While you play on the touch screen, your performance affects the events presented on the top screen, not that you’ll have time to see them when playing, except during the game’s cut scenes. The 2D graphics look great and the 3D world map and dancing agents in the background are nice touches. The music selection is everywhere, from Madonna to Queen and Hoobastank but fits in well with the stories.

I didn’t have the chance to do some multiplayer but it seems you can play co-op with other EBA owners and Vs with anyone. You can also play Vs against your own saved games. I tried (and lost. Man, I’m good! 🙂 ) and it plays according to a new story line, not to mention with smaller elements at times.

Final Verdict

Elite Beat Agents’ gameplay works well and shows yet another game that couldn’t be done except on the DS. Even with only 19 songs (3 of them unlockable), there’s a lot of fun in the game. The game gets hard at times and the rhythmless should run away from it, but it’s also highly addicting. If you’re looking for a challenge or are a fan of rhythm games or even just looking for a good game, EBA is worth checking out. If you’re on the fence about it, download a demo from a friend who has it.

Blogged with Flock


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