Review: Old School Musical

Everyone remembers Guitar Hero , right? Those good old days when you were throwing your guitar around the living room trying to get the highest possible score. Playdius Games  wants to bring this feeling back and thus recall a genre. What do we think of this idea?

Titles like  Beat Saber  and  Beat Hazard , coupled with a number of mobile titles, are trying to bring back the rhythm genre. This is a genre that used to be a lot of fun. I can still remember sitting on the couch with a friend of mine, while he was throwing his guitar around, waiting for my turn. Now it's time for  Old School Musical to earn its own spot in a long list of these types of games. Studio  La Moutarde , in combination with Playdius, brings a title with a unique view on this, spoiler; It works!

Nice and retro!

Old School Musical is essentially a rhythm game, but it's more than that. Think of it as an adventure game too. Why am I saying this? Well, you're following a story, broken down into sub-stories. You follow two characters, Rob and Tib, as you progress through the story mode. These two 'characters' are not only in for a silly joke, but want to save different kinds of 8 and 16 bit games from a number of bugs. How do you do that? Shake that booty! During this story you will encounter many nonsensical but very funny moments. The formula works a bit the same as with Guitar Hero. You have your arrows, or function keys (Switch), to hit certain colors at the right times.
You use your trigger buttons to hit certain drums. You have the choice to play more than 50 different songs, divided into games such as  Pokémon  and Metal Gear Solid . The story mode is funny, fanatical and works fantastic. Not only do you play the music, but you also follow a solid story that can grab your heart sometimes with some emotional moments.
You can play the game with up to four people, co-op or versus (online). With over 50 chiptune songs and multiple difficulty levels, the replayability is quite high. The game is also quite addictive and I kept shouting; 'oh, one more level then…' The music is also quite unique, they are adapted versions of official songs, with some actual songs mixed in. The music was composed by Dubmood, Zabutom, Hello World, Yponeko and LePlancton. Those names will mean something to music connoisseurs! Not every song was equally great to play, but hey, tastes differ.

Achieving combos actually gives a sense of completeness, as it is an achievement to 'play' the songs completely flawlessly the first time. You will really have to memorize the levels to get the highest scores. The game is quite challenging and will frustrate you a lot on higher difficulty levels. The highest degree was almost impossible, even after several hours of play. This is because you are working with an 'hp' bar. If you miss your buttons too often, you will lose health points. If the bar reaches 0, it's game over.
The nice thing is that Rob and Tib wear an outfit in every game that also fits that piece, those outfits are not always… socially accepted. But hey, laugh anyway! OSM is truly a trip through your childhood, I promise you that. Of course the game is not perfect and there are some annoying things here and there, but nothing worth writing about. The developers have said there will be more levels to come, so brace yourself.

Verdict

There is not much to say about Old School Musical, the formula and the idea is quite simple. All in all, the game is extremely addictive, and for the price of 13 Euros, it is well worth picking up. It's hard to find such good games for this money, and that alone gives the game a higher score. The replayability is very high and playing together with friends is super fun. When I let him play some friends, they all wouldn't stop. For a small studio, this says a lot! Keep making games like this so I can keep wasting hours on it! OSM is not only playable on Nintendo Switch, but is also available on Steam, starting today! Fancy a fun, simple game? Hop on the train!

 


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