FUSER (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Steven Mattern 07.01.2021 1

Review for FUSER on Nintendo Switch

The rhythm genre has had its ups and down over the years, but at the centre of it is a rivalry of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series. Both franchises gave players the ability to simulate playing instruments, but as one can imagine, this required the use of peripherals to control the whole thing. With digital game platforms becoming more prevalent, the two series have since died out because of that. Harmonix, the developer behind Rock Band, has embraced this new market with Fuser, a DJ rhythm game that provides a robust and accessible way to mix a selection of songs on the fly.

A game in the rhythm genre can live or die by the strength and variety of its music library. For that, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that the selection of songs from multiple genres you get with this is very well put together, and there are ways to gradually get more songs for free at a good pace. This happens either by using currency to unlock them, getting high scores in the Campaign, or raising the account level. The Campaign, especially, keeps a good pace for unlocking songs and cosmetics. The bad news is that there is a large selection of songs available for almost two pounds each, or a launch pack including all the songs and avatar cosmetics for £41.49 or the regional equivalent.

The core and backbone of Fuser's gameplay is how each of the songs are separated. Each track is split into four parts; drums, bass or synth, lead instruments, and lead vocals. It's worth noting that not every song is divided in this way. For example, songs like Expresso by Steve Porter don't have vocals. So, the song just simply has three parts instead. To begin a set, you drop discs from one or more songs onto the four slots on the turntable. While there are only four slots, you can include two or more lead vocal tracks at once or two drum beats.

Screenshot for FUSER on Nintendo Switch

Fuser does a great job making almost every component from completely different songs sound well together, but that can't always be true. A couple other controls to add a little extra to a mix are raising or lowering the BPM to see what fits, as well as start a raise that causes an automatic crescendo of music. A Campaign mode does a great job of teaching these functions little by little, so it's best to play most of it before you decide to go online.

Scoring for sets, or levels, is based on primarily two things. First, it's always a good idea to place and remove discs on the downbeat of the tempo. If actions are done off beat, your score increases at a faster rate, and the audience bar fills up. The second thing to note, then, is that if this bar depletes the set ends. Another way to keep the audience bar filled is to fulfil audience requests. Sometimes, you may get prompts to add a specific song or instrument into the turntable. Thankfully, failure states can be turned off.

Outside of the Campaign and Freestyle, Fuser features an Online mode where you can collaborate or compete for better scores with other players. Being a Viewer in these rounds can also feel impactful, as you can make suggestions similar to how they work offline. Sometimes, it's really cool to just watch and see what others can come up with on the spot. The one downside here is that the Nintendo Switch version can suffer slowdown while connected to a lobby at times. This can also cause you to miss the timing of downbeats more often than not due to input latency.

Screenshot for FUSER on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Harmonix still shows that it knows its stuff with rhythm games, as Fuser satisfies with its accessible, but deep controls, accompanied by a thorough campaign, a diverse song library, and engaging online components. However, having a large chunk of songs only available through micro-transactions, and some net-code issues do hamper the overall experience. Still, it is fun to try things like finding out how well the vocals of Never Gonna Give You Up mesh with some Country or Rap tunes.

Developer

Harmonix

Publisher

NCSOFT

Genre

Party

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

Comments

Brilliant, Steven - got me very excited about this one now Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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