Online rhythm and music game Osu! reviewed

Online rhythm and music game Osu! reviewed 

by Daniel Ball
Let face it. When it comes to online games we’re generally thrown head first into a fantasy world of hacking, slashing and more hacking. Why? Because this formula is tried-and-true and provides a great canvas on which we can experience a great world and play a great game. Still, if you play enough of these games (as I’m sure you’ve thought you were at some point) you’re inevitably going to find them a little bit tedious and want something new. That fine. That human! And when this time comes, it nice to find that diamond amongst the rough of all the ‘casual’ games out there. I believe Osu! is one such case.
Osu! is a rhythm game that is controlled entirely by mouse clicks and movements. Have I lost you yet? I hope not, because you’ll come to find Osu! is much more than that. 
If you haven’t been living under a rock in Azeroth, you’ll most likely know of the existence of the Nintendo DS. What you might not know of is a game called Elite Beat Agents; a quirky rhythm game controlled by the DS’ stylus where you tap and slide along to pop song after pop song, with anime videos telling the story in the background.
For those of you who did play it, you’ll feel right at home in Osu! simply because the gameplay is basically identical, only you’re replacing the stylus with your mouse. 
The controls are surprisingly very well done and, some may even argue, better than that of the DS touch-screen. The rhythm of the song is translated into numbered circles that appear on the screen which you must click on in the right sequence and at the right speed. Sometimes, however, more-so on the harder difficulties and songs, you will have to click, hold and slide your way through the song, or spin a virtual wheel to grab bonus points. All these game mechanics were utilised in Elite Beat Agents—almost to the point that it feels like you’re playing Elite Beat Agents—but by no means does that detract from the fun you’re going to be having playing Osu!.
I will say that there is a learning curve to the controls, but it mainly just getting used to being precise with your mouse.
I’ve compared Osu! to Elite Beats Agents a hell of a lot so far, so let go into what makes Osu! stand out as a game unto itself. 
Osu! doesn’t have predefined levels or songs, nor does it have an easy, medium and hard level progression. What it does have is a very strong level of customizability. The official Osu! website boasts a large, friendly community who create their own beatmaps with a huge range and number of songs, which you can download and play to your hearts content. And, if for some reason you get sick of the huge library of beatmaps already available or are just looking to be a bit creative, you can always create your own beatmaps using any song you have on your hard drive. 
One of the beatmaps I downloaded was an opening theme for the anime Bleach (you’ll find a lot of the available beatmaps are anime related). I expected it to be simply the music, over the generic Osu! skin that I could click along with. It turned out to be much more; including the video for the Bleach opening, as well as all the icons and buttons being transformed and Bleach-ified. This is the moment when Osu! really proved itself to be something special. The incredible amount of possibilities the game offers makes it, first of all unique, and accessible to most, if not all, age levels and demographics, granted those who are fans of anime are going to find a lot more content.
Osu! features don’t stop there, however. There is, of course, an online multiplayer mode, as well as the ability to share your scores and compete with people around the globe. 292,874 people to be exact. 
If you’re looking for a slight change of pace, there are two other modes which are surprisingly just as fun as the main single player mode. 
In Taiko (Japanese for ‘drum’) mode your controls are simplified to simple right and left clicking, simulating drums that go along with any of the beatmaps you already have, which whilst not being as captivating as the original single player mode, is still enjoyable.
The other mode is called ‘Catch the beat!’ which involves controlling a small character at the bottom of the screen , running around attempting to catch as much fruit as possible in time with the music (again, of any given beatmap). This mode is a lot of fun and lot more relaxing than the other modes, which is great if you need a break from trying to nail a song on hard.
With such a great, creative community, the ability to make a game out of literally any song of your choosing, and, most of all, addictive and incredibly fun gameplay, Osu! is a game that really deserves to be played regardless of your MMO taste.
Site editor’s note:
Check out the incredible video for this game and you’ll be as pumped about playing it as I am! Head over to our game page to register for the game for free!

About MMO Games