Ouendan 2 Import Hands-On

We save the world through the marvels of male cheerleading in Nintendo's portable rhythm sequel.

When you come right down to it, there really aren't enough games in this world that deal with roving male cheerleading troupes swooping in to save ordinary citizens from mind-twistingly bizarre scenarios. Japanese developer Inis agrees, and so we have Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2, the impossibly long-named sequel to the original, superlatively strange Ouendan. Like its predecessor, Ouendan 2 is a Nintendo DS rhythm game that pits your nimble stylus reflexes against a variety of Japanese pop music as you guide a team of three male cheerleaders in an effort to aid the populace.

The gameplay itself is exceedingly simple. You select people to aid by using the touch screen to pan through an urban cityscape, where those in need of assistance will show up in certain areas, flailing their arms and crying for help. Tapping the person (or group of people) will let you access that stage, and each stage is set to its own song. As a series of numbered circles appear on your screen, you must tap them in order and with the music. If you succeed, the energetic gestures and posturing of your cheering group will bolster the courage of your clients and enable them to overcome their troubles. If you miss too many circles, the cheering will falter and the hapless victim will fail his or her task.

As you progress through the game, more and more scenarios become available to you, and the difficulty steadily ramps up. In addition to tapping circles, you'll have to drag the stylus from point to point along a certain path or quickly spin a large disc within a time limit. These are essentially the same mechanics that the first Ouendan and its spiritual successor, the English-language Elite Beat Agents, used to good effect. Because of the natural variety in how the stages are arranged, the gameplay holds up very well.

Is there no problem in this world that a tightly choreographed squad of male cheerleaders cannot solve?

But a large part of the magic of Ouendan isn't the gameplay or even the J-pop; it's the sheer insanity of the scenarios. The same trio of male cheerleaders from the original is here, but this time a rival group also appears on the scene. Headed by a dashing young man with long blond hair, the group sports snappy blue dress uniforms and a competitive attitude, staking out one half of the city as their personal cheering turf. The stages alternate between the new and old groups until the final stage, where they at last join forces to save the people of Earth from almost certain combustion. Cheerleading is serious business.

Along the way, it's the people you help and the total inscrutability of the situations that will have you grinning, regardless of whether or not you understand Japanese. There's the young doctor that gets sent to a remote village to practice, only to have to heal not just people, but also horses and nonfunctioning microwave ovens. A strapping lad struggles to date a beautiful woman while not turning into a werewolf every time he sees a moon-shaped object. Haunted by visions of a watery demon on his sheets, a boy fights to make it through the night without wetting his bed, aided in his dreams by a pair of plumbers and a sumo wrestler. Whether you're trying to make sure an author finishes her romance novel on deadline or are helping a man sell performance sneakers to a race of alien cyclopes, making your way through the stages is always a bizarre and rewarding experience.

Each event is divided into three sections, and as you successfully complete a section, you'll get to see a cutscene play out on the top screen, with your position on the cheering meter determining whether you see a happy triumph or a failure. Your efforts during the game are always played out on the top screen, but during the active portions you'll generally be too busy tapping madly in the touch screen to peek up and see the sumo wrestler being towed behind a speeding car, or whatever happens to be going on at the time.

If there's one thing this game teaches you, it's that drinking milk before bedtime gives you the most horrific nightmares imaginable.

The music in this version covers a range of Japanese artists, from Ken Hirai to classics like SMAP, but most of these tunes are generally catchy and easy on the ears even if you don't know any Japanese. While each difficulty level features the same 15 songs and stages, there are bonus songs you can unlock by achieving high scores while you play, bringing the total to almost 20. Another nice thing about Ouendan 2 is that it scales very well--each of the multiple difficulty levels (easy, normal, hard, and insanely hard) causes the given stages and songs to play very differently. This makes each tier of difficulty its own entity, worthy of conquering.

This game is entirely in Japanese, but it's extremely import friendly due to the accessible gameplay and the wealth of comic-style images that accompany each stage. Even if you can't read all the Japanese text to understand what's going on, while playing Ouendan 2 you get the sense that being able to read the text wouldn't make the game any less strange or more understandable. When you're faced with a man massaging a horse, sometimes words just don't help you. If you were a fan of the previous Ouendan or Elite Beat Agents, consider giving this import a try. The chances of this ever seeing an English localization are pretty slim (Nintendo just skipped the insanity of the first game to release Elite Beat Agents instead), but if there's any news forthcoming, we'll report it. Keep an eye on this gamespace for further announcements and events in the world of heroic male cheerleading.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

60 comments
EL_LECHERO_GIL
EL_LECHERO_GIL

elite beat agents was great and this looks better but how much does this import cost?

1PSman
1PSman

hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm

beamme
beamme

Mm I got this game today, pretty swell so far though some of the later stages are killing me (can´t get past first part of pee-ghost level). I pity Daa Foo who can´t import this great game.

placi69
placi69

Wow. Interesting!! Gotta buy it!! :)

lightning150
lightning150

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ReAL_LUiSo
ReAL_LUiSo

This game is the best in the series, it has the amazing music of the Ouendan 1 (BUT this ouendan track list is much more popular, trust me when your teacher says, hey i know that song, its from my times! (i live in japan)) and it adds the cool features of EBA (like being able to skip super long intros, as in ready steady go...). AND you should try the mode where only the dots appear without the rhythm circles, its totally crazy. I completely recommend importing this game, specially if you are a fan of either J pop, Rhythm games, or just japanese manga. PD: some of the stuff in the gamespot review is not very accurate actually, like the songs being divided into 3 parts and such... PD: i could swear the blue ouendan is British!

ckmlb
ckmlb

I prefer the songs of EBA over Ouendan actually and find that they work better as far as being cheesy and fun because they are exactly the kind of songs I would never listen to, but they work so well in the game . Some of the Ouendan songs are catchy, some are weird but it doesn't have the same 'cheese factor' when I dunno what it is saying.

dsuser12345
dsuser12345

elite beat agents needs a 2 also god i hope it happens!

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

GameSpot used to review imports, Annexx, but now they focus their reviewing efforts on domestically released games only.

gizmosan
gizmosan

its an awesome game. I have no idea what anyone is saying, but the picture animations are hilarious. The tunes and button presses are synched much better than Elite Beat Agents which seemed as though they were thrown together.

TongLong
TongLong

When this game is localized, they should just do a straight translation, screw changing the songs, characters' looks, and the dialogue. Looks good!

Annexx
Annexx

Can they not give an official score for imports???

SMBfan13
SMBfan13

Gamespot missed talking about the female cheerleaders.

teknicz
teknicz

Male cheerleaders are the norm in Japan. Female cheerleaders are available on the highest difficulty setting. And Ouendan 2 is a bit of a disappointment, it feels a bit too much like Ouendan 1 and EBA, not much progress has been made since then. The addition of the second group doesn't change the gameplay in any significant way. It's also short, and pretty easy for anyone who mastered the first two. Still a great game though.

Articuno76
Articuno76

If anyone is interesting in donating towards my "Ouendan 2 for Articuno" appeal, then please go right ahead.

Reetesh
Reetesh

There are female Cheerleaders too. They are like the secret difficulty level.

Hikiera
Hikiera

Is it only male cheerleaders? ...Well what ever turns you on is your business I guess. :P

Reetesh
Reetesh

Oh, and In the Bed wetting song. Mario and Luigi make a Guest Appearance.. kind of :P There are two plumbers one dressed in red(hefty and short) and the other in green(taller) who fix the little kids "plumbings" :lol:

Deathwing13
Deathwing13

I got the game last week (as it came out on the 17th) for my birthday, and it is incredibly fun. I played the first Ouendan, and enjoyed it still. I recommend this game entirely.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

How come they didn't mention the female cheerleaders?

S2333
S2333

I want Elite Beat Agents 2 but I don't think it will come out.

belmont67
belmont67

Ehhhh...ill probably just wait for EBA 2 to come out...

StricerOokami
StricerOokami

For all those who favor EBA,the thing that sucks about EBA the most is the tracklist,nothing more. I own all 3 of them and ouendan and 2nd ouendan just feature better songs that suit the gameplay better,it's not that EBA is a bad game,it's just that they could've done better with the music selection,there are some gems in EBA, unfortunately not too many.

Reetesh
Reetesh

I already have Ouendan 2 and completed it too! it was a bit easier but good :D EBA was very bad compared to Oendan.. the BEAT sounds were not at all Beaty in it.. it had like balloon pop sounds.. not cool :|

ahyumifan
ahyumifan

I forgot to order this, i should order this very soon. And Seriously Guys.. EBA sucks. Ouendan ROCKS

Kaze_no_Mirai
Kaze_no_Mirai

I love the songs on this game, especially the GOING UNDERGROUND, kimra KAELA, and sukima switch songs.

aygol
aygol

"If there's one thing this game teaches you, it's that drinking milk before bedtime gives you the most horrific nightmares imaginable." LOL WTF

blacktorn
blacktorn

It's good,but not as good as eba imo

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

Well, if Elite Beat Agents 2 winds up being anywhere near as fun as the first was, it'll definitely be worth picking up. Time to keep an eye out and save, just in case.

Lithavalon
Lithavalon

i can't wait for the elite beat agents 2 if they make it! tap tap tap

bugsonglass
bugsonglass

Have just put in my order for this. If it's anything like as good as the first Ouendan then i'll be looking at a new favourite DS game soon.

SaxxyGamer18
SaxxyGamer18

I sure hope EBA 2 comes soon. And please, somebody read my Game Boy Advance blog I just did. I spent a lot of time on it so I want comments and opinions.

KirinLime
KirinLime

expert-yeti, I'm sure there are other sites, but I know yesasia.com and playasia.com carry Ouendan 2 as well as the original.

expert-yeti
expert-yeti

this is going to be awesome! but where can i go to import this?

Zonic505
Zonic505

Got both Ouendan & EBA, gonna get Ouendan 2 soon.

Jragon7
Jragon7

I've only played 2 songs and ive fallen in love with this game

Shishio817
Shishio817

It'd be cool if they did bring this (localized) to the US, but if they don't, then please...make an Elite Beat Agents 2!!!