Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ouendan 2 review.

Ouendan 2 is the sequel to the rhythm game Ouendan, released in 2005. It didn't fare so well locally in Japan, but it was a major hit overseas, most import sites having it at #1 at one point. Is Ouendan 2 just as good as the original? I say it's a supreme improvement.

Just like Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents, the main premise of the game has not changed. You tap the beats on screen according to the rhythm. Sometimes there will be slide (also known as phrase markers) which you need to slide to, and there is also the infamous Touch Screen Killer (spinners) which you usually have to spin away. It's a really well done style of play, using the touch screen to its maximum potential.

The songs? These are great Japanese songs from Yaida Hitomi's Go My Way to hyde's Countdown to even Monkey Magic from Orange Range. The songs are very much likeable and enjoyable to beat to. While they are mostly covers they do sound very much alike, very much compared to the original songs (well except one). The scenarios while mostly absurd and really impossible, but it's sort of stuck as a "trend" for Ouendan/EBA.

The difficulty is quite well balanced. Newer players will have no problems jumping in with the Easy and Normal modes, and the veterans of the series will find challenges in the upper dificulties. As for the features, Inis has taken all the good from Elite Beat Agents and made it better. Now replays are not limited to one per song, rather now you have the freedom of saving more than one replay of the same song if you wish. Furthermore now it displays the top 3 scores of the song you have attained.

One complaint of the players of the first Ouendan was the inability to skip intros (a problem in the final song of that game) and it was introduced in Elite Beat Agents and retained again for Ouendan 2. Now they have taken it another step and allows you to skip the endings of every song provided the player has seen it once. It is a very useful feature as it can cut down waiting time.

Is this worth a buy? Definitely. If you're into rhythm games and have a Nintendo DS, Ouendan 2 will keep you entertained for a very long time with massive replay value. Even if you are new to the series, it is very easy to get hooked into playing the game. It is easy to adapt to.

Final score: 9/10

You can purchase Ouendan 2 from Play-Asia. Click here!

(EDIT: I asked my source from Japan to verify, she said most if not all were covers. Thanks Chi-san)

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