Girl = Field Goal!
Although not a lot of people played it in Japan, the rhythm game, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan became a cult hit among American game importers. The game, created by Guitaroo Man developer Inis, is now being completely redone for North America and being released under the name Elite Beat Agents.
As with many rhythm games, the premise of Elite Beat Agents is quite simple. A song plays and the player must tap the screen in specific locations at the right time, in sync with the game’s beat. In Elite Beat Agents, there are three different interactions possible. The most common interaction is tapping the screen. Bubbles pop up on the screen with circles closing in on them. The bubbles must be tapped when the circle reaches the bubble. These bubbles are often strung together, and have numbers on them so the player can keep track of which bubble to hit next. Next are dragging areas. Long, and often oddly shaped, bubbles appear on the screen with a ball on one end of them. To complete these, the player drags the ball from one end of the path to the other, and sometimes back again. Finally, there are spinners. These show up infrequently, and only require that the player spin a disc, which takes up the entire touch screen, as fast as humanly possible.
Completing these tasks keeps a meter at the top of the screen full, and also helps the characters in the story out. Yes, that’s right, this game has a story. The Elite Beat Agents are a squad of people that go and help people out by cheering them on (in the original Japanese game, they were male cheerleaders). Each story has a different song to go with it. One of the songs available for play on the show floor was Steriogram’s “Walkie Talkie Man." They story associated with it was one of a girl who wants to ask her football player boyfriend to be her steady. However, when he comes over, she gets trapped into playing babysitter. She’s too busy with the kids to ask her boy-toy to go steady, so the Elite Beat Agents come in to help. They cheer her on and help her take care of the kids. If you play well enough, she succeeds, and with the help of her boyfriend, takes care of the kids. Playing poorly means the two will mess up. If you complete the song, she finally asks her boyfriend to go steady, and he says yes.
If you can’t tell from that description, Elite Beat Agents is a hilarious game. The premises for the stories are outlandish, and what happens in them is even more insane. The game is so incredibly quirky, it’s impossible not to find it humorous.