Your not like all the others you're strange.
Support Matthew, click to buy via us...
Elite Beat Agents is unique and intriguing, perhaps this is why it's able to teach my kids musical timing better than all those music lessons.
I am always interested in musical games, I have even gone so far as to make my own to get kids interested in playing and learning music. So I am always interested in what others are doing, whether it be the amazing Electroplankton DS, Samba Di Amigo Wii or even a tiny little musical bonus level on Purr Palz DS. How music is used, especially interactively interests me, some times it annoys or upsets me, but always interests me.
Let's be clear from the outset Elite Beat Agents is strange and wonderfully so - imagine Men In Black meets Glee, or an X-files musical. I am not entirely sure of what is going on in the plot but I know it's crazy. The story however isn't important, in fact it is there to distract you from what is essentially a standard rhythm game. I am shocked to say this but, I was immediately absorbed into this insane teeny-pop music filled world, it is really good.
In terms of its musicality, although your not going to learn to be a virtuoso the game does obviously have a really strong rhythm element and the songs are perfect for this. Even my son who although can sing in perfect pitch struggles with rhythm was able to get a good sense of timing from this - and when we started singing and counting along with the songs he understood it a lot better.
His ability to use the game to count and feel the beats was priceless - that alone validated the purchase. Even after loads of music lessons he had no idea where the beat was, but thirty minutes of Elite Beat Agents and he was on time. I'll be interested to see if the skill transfers back into his playing.
You're not playing notes on a virtual keyboard or shaking virtual maracas with Elite Beat Agents. Instead you're tapping screen at certain points keeping the morale of the ultra-camp FBI dancers up and keeping them in time, but for some reason I am ok with this.
Sadly I didn't get to see if the game went on to inspire any crazy dancing or musical playing as we picked it up on the way home from school on Friday night, we also had to get dinner and some reading in before bed. However I can tell you the kids are all tucked up in bed and I am sat on the couch with headphones on playing along to Skater Boi. Oh yes!
Now, it's important to note that it is rated 12 for violence, but to me it is very cartoony. It does have some surreal and suggestive plots though. But this is all very cutesy, Japanese, and fun focused. I am amazed at how much I liked it and continue to do so, if you can find it, I strongly recommend it.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: