Mentioning of Elite Beat Agents earlier this week made me remember something about this game that unnerved my friends and I. The general idea of this game is great (and SUPER Japanese): a secret government agency sends out a group of agents to help people in need. They don’t directly help people, though. The Agents of Elite Beat instead get the person to realize the potential to succeed… by dancing their brains out!
Elite Beat Agents is a rhythm game which utilizes the touch screen on the Nintendo DS to keep the beat while a song plays. Some of this involves tapping the sceen, or following a musical note as it travels in a pattern. Most of the music is upbeat, feel-good stuff that is played over levels that are silly and pretty laid back. In one stage you help a director make a blockbuster film (about a giant cat attacking a city, majestic). Another level has you aiding a babysitter in keeping an eye on some little brats. Stuff like that. The idea of male cheerleaders saving the world through dancing seems like it would be a game filled with non-stop humor and fun. But this is not the case.
Towards the middle of the game, you have to help cheer up a little girl whose father has just died on a business trip. You accomplish this by reminding her that her father really loved her, and helping his ghost get the last gift he bought her, a teddy bear, home for the holidays. What the hell?! How does this flow with the idea of a lighthearted game? The music accompanying the level is “You’re the Inspiration,” by Chicago, which only makes this level even more sad to play. But if you think you are not affected by video games, that they just lack the hard hitting emotions that films and books can deliver, then I invite you to watch the video below. Try not to cry.
See? Oh, you didn’t cry? Hmm, you must not have a soul. Too bad for you. Because all the cool kids have souls.