- Genres : Music, Party, Multiplayer, Lifestyle
- Publisher : NCSOFT
- Developer : Harmonix Music Systems
- Nb joueurs : 1 – 12
- Consoles : Nintendo Switch
- Languages : French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English
- Date sortie : 10/10/2020
Fuser is the new music video game from the studio Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band and Dance Central. When Rock Band allowed you to play existing piece of music and Dance Central to reproduce the choreographies of the music clips, Fuser proposes an entirely new game experience: create your own music pieces by mixing existing titles.
It’s a very particular game by its unique and well thought out gameplay. Therefore, I propose you to discover this new game in 2 steps: first a description of it and of the game’s mechanic, then how I felt about it. Let’s go !
Fuser a gameplay that rocks !
Fuser allows you an immersion in the world of mixing, the one of the DJs! After a nice and very colourful intro showing an audience going wild, the game menu appears allowing you to create your avatar.
An extensive customisation
The graphics on Switch are pretty nice without being exceptional, but that is not the most important part of the game. However, Fuser allows a great diversity of graphic content to personalise your avatar as well as the stage you will perform on.
You will have access to a sufficient amount of characteristics with which you will be able to create your avatar that can resemble you… or not: man or woman, size, build, face shape, haircut…
You can of course choose the colour of the skin, hair or eyes. Once happy with the general look of your avatar, you can then choose its clothing style: clothes, jewellery, accessories, make up, tattoos and even its attitude.
The customisation is really fun and you can even create different styles to go with the different style of music that you will mix. The customisation of the stage and the effects will come a little after in the game, but it is also quite complete allowing you to choose the decor, the stage lighting, the style of the animations on the screens placed on the stage…
As I told you, it is not the heart of the game, even though it is classy to be allowed to personalise everything. Now, let’s talk about the gameplay the true stake of this game.
Several game modes for a complete gameplay
The game’s menu proposes different game modes in order to use the maximum of your DJ skills:
- Campaign: this mode will allow you to discover all of the game’s possibilities and win points to unlock content. It corresponds to the story mode.
- Freestyle: it’s a completely free mode that allows you to create your own mixes without restriction from a public or a manager.
- Freestyle coop: to mix with other players or to watch other player’s concerts (possibility to only play with friends)
- Battle: a one vs one online mixing contest with matches with international rankings. The key to exclusive rewards
- Social: this mode allows you to participate to one event per week that asks you to create a mix according to a precise theme
- Customisation: this menu allows you to access to the customisation of your avatar, it’s disc repertoire as well as the scenes and effects, you wish to apply during your shows.
- Shop: it allows you to access to the eShop to buy additional content.
A group of game modes that will satisfy all types of players, be it to show off you DJ skills or simply to mix for yourself and enjoy.
After the customisation, it’s time to mix!
The campaign mode will allow you to familiarise yourself slowly to all the mixing options available to you. It is very well thought out so that from the very first time you play you can create good mixes, then, step by step, you get better and familiarize yourself every mixing technique. It allows the player to create more and more complex mixes as you go along.
Practically, every music piece is represented by its cover and divided in 4 tracks: the rhythm with the battery in blue, 2 support tracks or melody tracks (guitar, keyboard, violin…) in purple and red and then finally the singing track (lyrics) in yellow. The colour code is very important.
In front of your character, 4 turntables: the first one receives a blue disk, that is to say a rhythmic disk, the second one, purple, can receive a melody as can the third one, in red. Finaly, the fourth one, in yellow, allows to receive a singing track.
The first thing you have to do is to mix 4 different disks: a rhythm one in blue with the Y key, two melodies, purple and red with the keys B and X keys, and finally a vocal track, with the A key. It’s extremely easy and very intuitive! You change disk when you want to and that’s all there is to it
But little by little, things get more and more complex and you will have to respect the “highlights” to change the disk at the right time to satisfy your audience as well as answer to their demands. To visualise the “highlights”, a gauge situated at the top of your turntable models the bars of the music under the form of segments divided in 4 (this gauge looks like a ruler of some sort): the fourth segment being the ideal “highlight” to change one of your disk. This graduated gauge will show you the best moment to make an action and most importantly which disk you should change thanks to a nifty colour dot system. To make your life easier, a sample of this gauge will be available as an indication under each of the covers of the disk you will have selected. It’s really well done!
Then, afterwards, you will have the possibility not to respect the colours of your turntable to play multiple rhythmic disks at the same time… For example, you will be able to put only blue disks and as such only have percussions. You can also eject a disk to only mix with 2 disk or less. Mute one or more disks or loop one of them…
A multitude of possibilities offer themselves to you. Finally, you can act on the totality of your mix by applying effects on the reading speed of the disk: speeding up, slowing down, progressive or direct…
The gameplay is really complete and each novelties is very well explained during the campaign mode and thanks to a coaching system. Step by step you learn the basis of mixing and will quickly be able to do quality mixes.
In order to enjoy the game to its fullest, the campaign mode is essential, because it will allow you to discover all the possibilities and bring you points to buy new disks or customisation items. Your character will also win levels that will let you access to locked content. Every level of the campaign completed will also offer you access to a new stage.
However, for the players more in a hurry, the freestyle mode is available from the beginning and give you access to all mixing functionalities. It’s your choice to make, either learn yourself or step by step.
And on a content level?
The playlist of titles available is pretty impressing! The basic game includes more than 80 titles, going from Rap, RNB, dance, Pop Rock… to Country. There is something for everyone.
Furthermore, some titles are available for purchase on the eShop or already included in the VIP edition, taking the number of titles up to about one hundred! You will also be able to enrich your disk collection with your own mixes that you will have recorded!
Concerning the clothing options, their number is large enough to create an avatar that you will like. Other clothes are unlockable as you play in the Campaign, Battle or Social modes.
In short, enough to satisfy a large public!
Let’s now talk about my experience as a DJ
Honestly, I really had fun testing Fuser! The Campaign mode allows to discover each functionality slowly and therefore to take the game in hand super simply. Your first mixes have nice sonorities even if you are just a beginner, which avoids any frustration.
For the younger players, the safe mode will allow them to mix like the adults, but if you activate it and mix badly, your coach will no longer guide you and you will quickly find the game bland and boring. So I advise you to play normally… Losing is part of the game and part of the learning process to become the best DJ on Switch!
I found the missions in which I had to mainly mix Rap and RNB titles pretty difficult, but that might be because they are not the type of music I usually listen to. After all, to each its style, I am more into Pop-Rock! Actually, all the missions are nicely calibrated on a difficulty level and if one wishes to improve its score out of 5 stars, you just have to play again and again to know the disks by heart like a true DJ and acquire the automatisms. So train!
I loved the freestyle mode! Long story short, I saw myself animating an evening for my friends only with my game console. I choose the titles I like then a little DJ magic… and voilà! It was pretty good (my boyfriend was impressed). I must be a DJ at heart!
More seriously I am going to make myself a playlist on Deezer to get to know the music better in order to mix them better together and make nice tracks.
I haven’t finished all the missions of the Campaign mode, but I really like the gameplay and the possibilities that Fuser offers. I already saw a couple of titles on the eShop that I think I’ll add to my disk collection… I think that you understood, I fell for that game, even though I don’t really like the festive ambiance of it. I must be the DJ that enjoys mixing alone in her garage, out of sight.
Let’s conclude, Fuser is really nice. It proposes an introduction to the universe of music other than with a simple rhythm game putting the creative side of the player forward. The entirety of the modes proposed will allow each player, whatever its style is, to have fun: discrete DJ mixing for itself and his loved ones or international DJ sharing its mix with the community during the battles, the show or simply contests.
The gameplay really successful allowing a multitude of different mixes and via a rather impressive catalogue of titles. I didn’t like the atmosphere as much but it fits perfectly with Fuser’s world.
In short, if you like music and want to try mixing out, go for Fuser that will give you access to a large amount of content with a very nice ad super original gameplay.