Posts by Tag / GAME: Elite Beat Agents (2)


Capsule Review: Elite Beat Agents

A rhythm game in which you play along with pop music by tapping, dragging, and spinning on-screen targets at the right time. It is essentially an Americanized version of the Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan games by the same developer released in Japan. The titular agents are essentially a government agency of cheerleaders - when someone has a personal crisis and calls on the agents for help, they show up and dance to motivate the person to succeed.



Real Games Have Curves: Welcome to the Competence Zone

Let’s make a graph. The horizontal axis is player skill. On the far left is no skill - just random button-pushing. On the far right is perfect video game godhood, always doing exactly the correct thing at the correct time in the correct way. The first time you play a game, you’ll probably be somewhere in the middle - farther right if you’re a veteran gamer, farther left if you’re a novice. As you play the game, and learn its mechanics, you’ll trend right as you get better.

The vertical axis is performance level. At the very bottom is complete failure - game over as quickly as possible, not achieving any of the game’s goals. Farther up is the passing line, separating failure below from success above. The line itself is a performance level of just barely passing a challenge - surviving the boss fight with one hit point left, clearing the race course just before the clock runs out, and so on. And at the very top of the axis is absolute perfect performance - winning by the largest margin possible.

Now we can chart the performance levels achievable with a particular amount of player skill: the “skill curve” for a given challenge.