Rhythm games have always been a joy of mine, Guitar Hero and Rock Band were my childhood back on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As I got older, I found new rhythm games to sink my time into, these being Hatsune Miku Project Diva and Taiko no Tatsujin. I heard of DJ Hero around the time of me playing Guitar Hero but never got around to playing it. As I have gotten older, I feel like my taste in music has widened, allowing me to enjoy listening to a lot more genres. That’s why I believe that I was drawn to Fuser when I first came across a trailer just over a month ago. I have wanted to go to Tomorrowland for some time now, which is a massive EDM festive, but because of COVID, it put a stop to that dream. However, it was somewhat restored when I got my hands-on Fuser on the PlayStation 4.
In Fuser, the player takes the role of an up and coming DJ and gets to perform at various venues. Using a Virtual DJ table with four record players, and a list of records known as crates you get to put on a show to remember. Each of the records has four tracks keyed by colours relating to the type of musical instrument that is on that track. For example, it will show you the vocal track, guitar track and drum track to name a few and it’s the player’s job to take these tracks and mix them to create awesome music and to jam out to some sick beats. The game comes with a campaign, however, I feel that it has mainly been put in for a solid tutorial for the players rather than a massive story-driven one. It allows the player a real in-depth look at the core mechanics and all that Fuser offers before letting them loose on the other game modes available. You can still play the other game modes right off the bat but I think you will have some difficulty about how the game works, I still struggle now and I have been playing it loads over the last few weeks.
Like Guitar Hero, the player is tasked with putting on a good show and is judged by the crowd during the set. If you make the crowd happy by fulfilling requests or by doing the tasks that pop up on the right-hand taskbar you earn points and keep the crowd happy. However, if you miss these requests and tasks you can start losing their interest and get booed off the stage and your gig comes to an end. You can get a max of five stars for a gig and you earn stars by gaining points. Points are earned by fulfilling crowd requests and by completing the mini-tasks in a quick manor. It’s all about timing and knowing when to drop a track or to add effects to certain records. It’s not a walk in the park and I was taken back by how much detail the game goes into when it comes mixing and making a good track. Keeping the crowd happy is a huge challenge and one that had me getting booed off countless times, that was until I found the option to never fail, this gave me some clarity and saw me finishing more sets and progressing through the campaign.
You can do pretty much everything when it comes to mixing your tracks, you can edit the tempo, musical keys and effects at any time as well as playing your custom tunes via the extra instruments you unlock for your deck. You can create custom crates ahead of the performance to make your life easier while on the big stage. There are tons of songs currently available and alot of them I have heard before and love, it would have been nice to see some Marshmello or maybe some Avicii but sadly there wasn’t any currently on the game. However, it has an online store that offers extra packs so who knows what else could be added in the future to expand on the tracklist that Fuser has. The songs that you get in the base game are amazing and offer a lot of different genres, it makes it even more enjoyable mixing records with songs from the 90s with the modern era. It is everything I imagine Tomorrowland to be like but instead of me being in the crowd, I’m the resident DJ.
The customization is something that I enjoy with Fuser the amount of different clothing, hairstyles and desk setups you have can have help you stand out from the other DJ when playing online. I currently have two different DJs that I swap between but they both carry the same overall level, so you don’t have to level up multiple characters you can just level up the account which is good. Fuser also has a few multiplayer modes that allow players to compete against one another or work together to put on the best show of all time. These add a whole new dynamic to the game and further enhance the experience for the player, if you don’t feel like playing or just want to listen to what other players have come up with you can enter co-op freestyle and select watch a freestyle show, this allows you to become part of the crowd and watch other players performing. If after a few sets you want to jump in and join the party then you can, this is a lot of fun and is very enjoyable seeing as all the Clubs in the UK at this moment in time are closed, so having your own little festival in your bed rooms is fantastic. If you fancy practising on your own or further enhancing your DJ skills then you can jump into solo Freestyle where you can play around and try new things out and continue learn what Fuser has to offer.
I love this game but have struggled with it when it comes to pleasing the crowd, I feel like there is a hell of a lot to take in and not enough time to react to everything that is going on at once. The gameplay can feel overwhelming at times but is made easier by enabling the No Fail setting. This has been turned off now by the way but for the first few days was my safety net while playing the campaign, Freestyle is my new best friend as it allows me to perfect my Fuser skills and become a better DJ.
Graphically the game is very colourful and I like the cartoon like art style they have gone for with it, it gives off the same vibes as that of Guitar Hero which I like, though saying that I bet it would have looked amazing with a more realistic art style too but I’m very happy with what it looks like now. Audio wise this game hits the nail on the head which is a huge selling point for a rhythm games seeing as it is heavily music focused. The track list has some bangers and the overall atmosphere when performing on the stage is incredible. If you are doing well the crowd lets you know and same goes for if you are doing poorly. The different effects, instruments and tracks that are on offer in this game puts it up there as one of my all-time favourite rhythm games.
There is hours of gameplay on offer with Fuser and that is just with the single player campaign, when you add in the multiplayer and solo freestyle mode then it has as much replay value as you are willing to give it. I have been putting on mini concerts for people online as well as my friends via Share Play on the PlayStation this is tons of fun and has become a regular thing. I feel like Fuser is one of my go to relaxation games as I enjoy being creative and making new mixes to show my Girlfriend and friends when I’m playing. Trying to get five stars on venues in the campaign is a challenge in itself and once complete offers more clothing items for your DJ to wear. Fuser is like most rhythm games addictive and very relaxing to play and an excellent hit with friends and families.
Fuser has bought me a lot of fun and enjoyment these last few weeks, it is very addictive to play and offers a in-depth DJ experience that most rhythm games don’t have. All the other rhythm games I have played up till now have been straight forward and simple but Fuser takes it to a whole new level which is both brilliant and hard. Like mentioned above there can be a lot going on at once which makes the game hard to play but it does get easier with practise and making custom crates. It feels natural to play on the control but would have been interesting to see if they could have implemented something like Guitar Hero and Rock Band did with the instruments. A fantastic track list and visually pleasing graphics its up there with one of my favourite games of 2020. If you enjoy EDM music as well as a good Rhythm game then I highly recommend Fuser, it is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. I feel like it stands out from other rhythm games on the market but what I’m hoping for the most is some more song packs from artist I love, not only this but if Fuser does well it might show companies that rhythm games still have a market and we can maybe get Rock Band 5 or a Guitar Hero like the ones from the good old days, for these reasons I’m give Fuser a score of 7 out of 10.
Fuser is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC.
This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game.
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