Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan
Touching and inspirational -- literally.
Preview by (Email)
September 9th 2005
The Basics: "We'll support all those troubled with just a touch!"
Imagine you're working on something, and you just can't get it done at all. All of a sudden, a Japanese cheer team busts in your room and cheers you into completing that project. In Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, you are that very cheer team, running around town and making it a better place through your inspirational dances.
How well you do depends on your rhythm-action skills, through the game's tap-in-time interface. Numbered dots called "hit markers" pop up on the screen, and as this ring closes in around it, you tap it in time with the rhythm. Eventually, hit markers will not only be tapped, but followed and even spun to shake things up. The effects of your performance are shown on the top screen of the DS, in a mini-cartoon of sorts.
What do we think? The simplest way to describe the game would be "Dance Dance Revolution with a stylus" (because that's word-for-word how it was described to me), but it would be doing the game a great injustice. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan may remind many gamers of the PS2 rhythm-action sleeper Gitaroo Man in both gameplay characteristics and off-the-wall humor – not a surprise when you take into account that both games were crafted by the same developer, iNiS.
Being a monolingual American, I've always been wary of any games that required me to... well, not understand English. I saw those Japanese characters and instantly recoiled -- I didn't want to play a game that I'd have to wait for someone to translate for me. The best thing about Ouendan was the fact that, while I didn't fully understand what was going on, the gameplay was just so addictive that it didn't ruin my experience with the game at all. I played a brief tutorial mode that was enough to convince me that, even though it's doubtful that it'll get a stateside release, it's still one of the best DS games out there.