marzy's Elite Beat Agents (Nintendo DS) review

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Elite Beat Agents

The DS’s touch screen has provided many new experiences in the way we play games. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass let players control Link directly by using the stylus and dragging in the direction you wanted him to go. While we personally didn’t find it worked to well, it helped towards proving that a huge 3D Zelda could work on the DS and has been well received in general. Another fine example of the touch screen being put to good use is, Metroid Prime: Hunters. The controls felt spot on and made aiming very precise, apart from left-handed players may have found it slightly harder to get to grips with. There are many more examples we could list, but to cut it down, there’s one that gives a new experience to be had with the Rhythm genre on the DS and that’s Elite Beat Agents.

Elite Beat Agents follows many simple and sometimes more realistic, comic-styled stories throughout the game. Some of the more unrealistic, but rather funny situations, have a young couple trying to baby-sit a bunch of crazy kids, while a more heart-warming story about a girls dad who had died, could bring a tear to your eye.

Each of these stories features a set song to go with them and players take hold of the Elite Beat Agents. A squad of three men in suits, which help rescue those in need of help, by dancing their way to victory. In short, players do this by using the touch screen to follow and tap bunch of numbered spots to the rhythm of the music. To add more to this though, you’ll also have to also use your stylus to drag balls along a set path sometimes, making sure not to go out of the line. There’s also parts in which a disc appears on the screen and players can spin this to rack up lots of extra points. Overall, these controls work really well and bring a fresh approach, compared to the ways in which many other rhythm games are controlled.

Visually the game looks great, as mentioned before, the whole game features a comic book styled look to it. This involves a few animations throughout the stories as well, which help create a better look for the game. The game also features a small amount of 3D though, with the Elite Beat Agents character models looking very nice.

One of the most important aspects of the game though is the music and overall, it’s pretty good. The game features 16 tracks to play through, although it contains 3 unlockable extra tracks as well. All these are cover songs, but still sound great, especially coming from a system like the DS. We found using headphones also made them sound slightly better too. One of the slightly worse covers is Walkie Talkie Man though, originally by Stereogram, but we thought it sounded like the lead singer in this cover version was being strangled. To be fair though, the rest of the soundtrack is pretty decent, including some great covers of songs like; Deep Purples Highway Star and Avril Lavignes Sk8er Boi. There’s a bit of everything in the games soundtrack and which should help it appeal to a wider music audience, with some older songs on the game too.

In addition to the above, the game features tons of extra options as well; to keep you entertained for many hours. These include multiplayer modes and a replay feature that allows players to save a replay of any high scores they’ve achieved. Multiplayer offers extra replay value to the game, with a co-op mode, single-card download play and multi-card play. Unfortunately the game doesn’t feature an online mode, but with 4 difficulty levels in the single player as well, we feel there’s plenty of content to keep you hooked to the game.

Elite Beat Agents is one of the finest games for the DS, depending whether or not you’re into rhythm games. It features great and stylish visuals, some brilliant covers songs and controls that work extremely well. The single player modes can be completed quite quickly, but the tougher difficulties provide an extra challenge for the more experienced players. Multiplayer can provide further enjoyment and we also found ourselves replaying songs many times to try and beat our highscores. Too finish off, this is a great game and is worth checking out.

Thanks for reading
Ross Marrs


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