In 2005, Japan was treated to an awesome game that got so popular in the import scene that Nintendo took notice of it. That game was Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! Push! Hot Blooded! Cheer Team. This is a rhythm game based on Japanese cheer leading, which is done by males rather than females. Ouendan is typically performed at school sports events, but it is sometimes performed by request by those who are in need of encouragement and motivation.
The plot to this crazy and awesome Japanese game is that you play the role as a leader in an Ouendan group, and there’s a cry of help from someone having a bad day, and it’s your job to Ouendan hard enough to make that person’s day better! This ranges from a kid trying to study for exams, a woman having a crush on the dude at the office, placing bets on winning horses at the race to surviving an alien invasion!
You play the game by taping markers placed on the touch screen in a sequence. They’re marked 1, 2, 3, etc, telling you which one to tap first and what to tap next. However you need to tap these at the right time that’s indicated by a ring that shrinks around the marker. When the ring wraps around the marker that’s the moment you tap on it. There are markers that are stretched to make paths, with these you tap the marker at the right time and it begins to move, you follow it with your stylus until it gets to the end. Sometimes there’s a big spinner that you have to spin at a certain speed in order to earn bonus points too. Playing well will make the client in the level succeed, whilst playing bad will cause the client to fail and it’s game over. This is one of those games where you really don’t need to know Japanese in order to play; the menus are very easy to navigate, and the scenes displayed in the game are drawn in such a way that you really don’t need the speech bubbles to know what’s going on.
Nintendo noticed the big spike on import sales of the game that they made a western version of the game named Elite Beat Agents. It replaces the Ouendan male cheerleaders for dancing special agents that do the same thing; help those in need with the power of dance and music!
A sequel was made in Japan where a new Ouendan team appears on the scene, and a bancho style rivalry happens between the two, until they’re forced to work together to prevent an apocalypse from happening.
Since Osu Tatakae Ouendan 2, iNiS, the developer of the game hasn’t made a new sequel to the game. After Ouendan 2 they worked on the XBox 360 Karaoke game, Lips, worked with Ubisoft to make The Black Eyed Peas Experience game, and released a rhythm game on iOS and Android called Demons’ Score. It’s a shame that iNiS isn’t working on a new Ouendan, but it has lead to numerous games following the style of Ouedan and Elite Beat Agents such as OSU on PC and Happy Feet on the DS.
So what do you think of the Osu Tatakae Ouendan games? Have I convinced you to find a copy? Ready to help others with the power of Ouedan!? Tell me in the comments below!