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.
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.
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.
Mm I got this game today, pretty swell so far though some of the later stages are killing me (canīt get past first part of pee-ghost level). I pity Daa Foo who canīt import this great game.
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!
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.
GameSpot used to review imports, Annexx, but now they focus their reviewing efforts on domestically released games only.
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.
When this game is localized, they should just do a straight translation, screw changing the songs, characters' looks, and the dialogue. Looks good!
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.
If anyone is interesting in donating towards my "Ouendan 2 for Articuno" appeal, then please go right ahead.
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:
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.
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.
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 :|
I forgot to order this, i should order this very soon. And Seriously Guys.. EBA sucks. Ouendan ROCKS
I love the songs on this game, especially the GOING UNDERGROUND, kimra KAELA, and sukima switch songs.
"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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!