The Current – Agents Are Gone? Hoping For A New Elite Beat Agents

Posted on Nov 20 2013

The Current Elite Beat Agents

In 2006, the Nintendo DS was making its way through the first years of what would become a monumentally successful reign over handheld video gaming, full of great games, interesting redesigns, and new innovations in game design and development. One of the most interesting games to ever hit the handheld was iNiS’ Elite Beat Agents.


Elite Beat Agents was a game about a mysterious government agency that would seek out and help those who found themselves in very stressful situations; they would then send Agents to these characters and cheer them on to victory! EBA gameplayThe situations ranged from the mundane babysitting jobs to a crazy battles against music-hating aliens. What made EBA so much more unique, however, was the gameplay. Using the touchscreen, players tapped numerous “Hit Markers” to the beat of the music in order to make the Agents dance with a smooth groove. Depending on how well the player matches the beat of the music and follows the various markers, multiple endings could be seen, from total failure to perfect happy ending!

elite-beat-agents-screenshot-theagentsThe song list was pretty great for a game released in 2006; songs from various genres of music, such as rock and pop, kept things varied and interesting, especially since they matched well with the various storylines. Some of my favorite missions included helping a pathetic ninja steal back his father’s stolen blueprints to the beat of “Canned Heat” and saving the world from the aliens while jamming to The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. But for all of its great humor and fun gameplay, EBA couldn’t satisfy the itch for more crazy stories and fun beats alone. Fortunately for fans, EBA was actually iNiS’ second rhythm tapping game.

Before the Agents arrived in the West, iNiS created the foundation of the series a year earlier with Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! Essentially the same game but for Japanese audiences, Ouendan became quite popular in Japan and even saw a surprisingly large import rate in other countries. This convinced iNiS to create the Westernized version, Elite Beat Agents. After EBA was released, iNiS took the improvements they made in their second game and applied them to their third game: Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! Ouendan-2-CharactersOuendan 2 introduced a rival cheer squad that would compete against the original Ouendan squad before the two squads ultimately come together in a climactic race against time to recharge the sun and prevent a new ice age. New stories, more songs and a new squad on the scene brought new life to an already great series; it would have been easy to think there would be more. Unfortunately, nothing else showed up.

It has been over 6 years since the release of Ouendan 2, and I find myself longing to play an all new EBA. I’ve seen numerous internet commenters also wishing for a second game while simultaneously hiding their disappointment by playing through the game again just for old times’ sake. iNiS is still making games, but none have been for the Nintendo DS since Ouendan 2. I believe it has been long enough, and a new Elite Beat Agents or Ouendan would be welcomed with open arms, especially with the improvements shown by the 3DS; a new game would surely be able to hold more missions, more songs, and maybe even more Agents. No one knows when or if there will ever be a new Elite Beat game, but for those wanting to scratch their EBA itch, a freeware game appropriately osu gameplaycalled osu! has been created which allows players to create their very own missions and “beatmaps” to music they choose or play thousands of other player created beatmaps. Players can play osu! on PC/Mac or the mobile version, osu!stream, on iOS and Android. The future is still unknown, and the possibility of an Ouendan/EBA revival is still out there; I will continue to wish and hope until that dream comes true.

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  • Elk November 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    I played the hell out of EBA. I’d love a new one. Final Fantasy Theatrhythm is awesome and kind of similar. At least the cutscene songs are. Princess Debut was a slower paced more girly version of EBA which was fun for a playthrough.

  • Kayarath December 12, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    You know, it just occurred to me that the EBA would be good Smash Brothers characters…

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