When it comes to music games, few developers can compete with Harmonix and its pedigree in the industry. From Amplitude on the PS2 to the early Guitar Heroand of course the incredibly popular Rock Band and Dance Central, they are known for their quality in the genre. Of course, they’ve had many other titles over the past two decades, and when it comes to developing music games, Harmonix has remained a rock star (despite their studio problems). Players now have the ability to play the role of a professional DJ and wow the audience and community with their newest game called Fuser. Will this game be able to maintain the same sustained rhythm as previous fan favorites?
Fuser arrives on the Nintendo Switch as a game where players take on the role of a professional DJ to achieve big hits in single-player mode and hone their skills to impress others in the community. Unlike previous DJ-centric games, such as the DJ Hero, there are no peripherals here and everything is played directly through the Joy-Con controllers.
From the start of the game, you can enjoy bright colors that caress your eyes and catchy music that immediately grabs your attention. There’s a narrative/student voice that, while perhaps a little too old-fashioned, does the trick to keep the mood lively. There’s no denying that Harmonix took some cues from its Dance Central headers and put them into Fuser.
The most appropriate mode for instant jumping is that of rural locations. There are a few other modes in the game that we’ll cover in a bit more detail, but they focus more on the multiplayer and community aspect. The campaign expanded to six venues, each hosting a number of concerts, which I found very reassuring. I have to admit that when I first saw the trailer for the game, I thought how skilled will it be, since it looks like you’re using a DJ tool? The game quickly dispelled all my doubts.
The game taught me a very linear but decent progression. At my first gig, I just learned that I can drop 4 beats, and any of these beats can be synth type (think vocals, drums, strings, etc). What immediately sets Fuser apart from a traditional DJ mixer is that you’re actually mixing licensed music. That said, if you want to combine the vocals of Bad Boy Billy Eilish with the Born This Way percussion of Lady Gaga, you certainly can. After a few more shows, the game mechanics and feature set opened up and the way the skills come into play became much clearer.
The difficulty you can combine takes place across several sets, and you’ll soon be challenged to shoot at certain paces. Plus, you can use the same type of synth over and over again, stop tracks and a few other tricks that allow anyone to get a smooth rhythm. When you communicate with your audience, you learn that their needs must also be met, such as B. Requests for songs, instruments, etc. By making sure you qualify, you can put on a great show and get a better grade. What I really liked about Fuser is that even mixing the music together sounds pretty good, and even though I’m far from a professional DJ in anything I do, I turned up the volume on my soundbar and the whole family was dancing in the living room in no time. It was so inspiring to play in the rock band and participate in the music in a way that is not typical of my life with opportunities.
Well, since the track library is probably pretty robust, you’ll always find microtransactions for new songs. However, the game offers in-game points for good scores that can also be used to unlock new songs, but if you want an accelerated experience, you’ll have to pay money for about $2 per song.
What’s really cool is that once you have a few songs in your library and start a campaign, you can start customizing the whole thing. You can select compositions before you start recording and then adjust lighting effects, backgrounds, and other visual effects that take place on stage. It’s a nice touch to make your show more personal. It also introduces a second microcurrency, actually style points, which can be used to unlock new scene objects as described above, but can also be used to purchase game materials to customize your DJ character. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t long before I got a pretty cool DJ on deck wearing pants, a gas mask and a hipster shirt and scarf in a pretty weird pattern. It’s certainly an aesthetic ode to what we’ve seen in games of the musical genre from the beginning.
If you get tired of the campaign, Fuser also offers some more basic game modes. The first is an open freestyle mode where you can really DJ if you just want to play, try different tracks and improve your own skills. There are no questions or ratings, and it’s a fun mode if you have a few friends who just want to have fun and listen to background music.
There is also a cooperative freestyle mode that seems a bit more robust, with private shows, active community freestyle shows, or even participating in a freestyle show with up to 3 other players. Unfortunately, there were no active sessions during the entire time I was watching the game, so I never got to participate.
The final mode is Fuser Battles, a hyper-competitive mode featuring a 1v1 DJ mix-off. They will fight for supremacy, which requires certain skills to meet the needs of the audience. If you win two rounds, you have won the fight and are ranked. If you do well, you’ll also get cosmetic rewards. Unfortunately, there was no classified match for me again, and I was looking forward to seeing my opponent. I don’t know if it’s the server location for me, or the Nintendo platform, or a combination of both, but I really wanted to give this game type some time, but it wasn’t working.
Anyway, even if I only have access to Campaign, there is a lot of content to play, and as history shows, collecting music titles now before they are abandoned due to licensing is also key to longevity (oh, what would I do to buy other Guitar Hero titles a long time ago, since I still play them). Fuser has a lot to offer in this kind of music game, and doing some sweet house remixes on a Friday night is also fun in its own way. Since you don’t have to worry about the device breaking down over time, there’s also repeatability here, which should last as long as you want it to. Fuser brings the rhythm, and now I feel at least a little cooler to master some music myself.
- Charts – 7/10
- Sound – 9/10
- Gameplay – 7.5/10
- Late Call – 7/10
Final thoughts : GOOD PAGE
Play the role of a DJ and mix licensed music from different genres to impress the audience and your friends at home. Once you get into the game, you’ll be challenged, and it’s a lot of fun when your creations come to life. Unfortunately, none of the game’s multiplayer modes worked for me on the Nintendo platform, which is a major drawback given the total price of $60, forcing me to play only in single-player rooms. If the dream of becoming a DJ is your thing, here with Fuser you can fake it and feel good while the crowd cheers you on.
Alex has been involved in the gaming industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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