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Osu! :D! on PC
Osu! as much as it sounds, is not a game by the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or any type of Asian. It is actually by a white man named Dean “Peppy” Herbert. Aside from that little trivia, Osu! is a rhythm game. What the gamer must do is match the beat that is being displayed either through the use of a mouse or using the buttons “z” or “x”. However, it is not that simple as you may think, but first let’s talk about the requirements for this game.
First let’s start by saying that this program is playable on all software programs! That means that if you’re worried that you have to upgrade from Microsoft Windows XP to Microsoft Windows 8, then have no worries because it will operate on Windows XP just as well as it would in Windows 8. Surprisingly, one does not need to have a high quality graphics card to run this game despite it’s smooth art and video background while matching the beat. Monitor screen size does not matter at all. However, a mouse and keyboard is required because those are the objects used to match the beat in the game. Headphones are preferable to contain the sound while playing, but speakers are fine. Once you have all the equipment, you can download the game at http://osu.ppy.sh/. It is virus free, and yes you do have to create an account and give your email address.
When you first open the game, you see a big pink Osu! button, stars fluttering on the side and a random song being played. For newcomers, it will be the tutorial song being played since you do not have songs downloaded yet. As you gain more songs or beatmaps , as we veterans like to call it, you’ll have songs being played randomly in the beginning. Now some of you newcomers are probably wondering “Well where do I find the so called ‘Beatmaps’. “ You can back to http://osu.ppy.sh/ and hover over where it says “Beatmaps.” You may have four options which are “Ranked”, “Qualified”, “Pending”, and “Beatmap Packs”. I usually go to the “Ranked” one and find ones that I think are good songs to play; you can also order the songs under “Ranked” by rating, artist, plays, etc. Now to play songs, you press the Pink Osu! button and go to “Play”. You can choose either to go to “Solo” or “Multi”. If you are new, I highly recommend you go the “solo” option and learn the tutorial by Peppy.
The game is not what some people think, and that is just pressing the button that shows up on the center of screen, and this game is not quite that simple. The beat is often following a set or random path across the screen. Sometimes the beat makers make interesting shapes to make the game more interesting (i.e. squares and hearts).
What the creator does in to making Osu! into a challenging game. First you have two different options to match the beat. You can match the beat with just clicking and moving with your mouse, or you can use the “z” and “x” buttons with your mouse. Preferably, the latter is better because supposedly it’s easier, and the person can have a better reaction time that using a single mouse. However, some pro players use the mouse alone and still obtain high scores, so it really boils down to preference. I prefer to use the “z” and “x” method, but again, it is to the person’s comfort. Next, the creator has created three types of buttons or patterns that can match the beat. They are the “hit circles”, “spinners”, and “sliders”. “Hit circles” are just circles that you must simply time and hit. “Spinners” are big circles that take up the monitor screen for short period of time, and you must spin the circle with your mouse cursor as fast as you can around a point. You must hold down the mouse button or “z” or “x” buttons. “Sliders” is where you hit the circle but must use your mouse cursor to follow its trail until the end, and you cannot let go of either the mouse button or “z” or “x” button. If you lose control it will mess up the score multiplier, which will be discussed in the next paragraph. Another challenge to the game is the pacing of the beats. There different speed beatmaps in which you have to match the beat with your quick reaction! You can’t just be quick either. You have to be accurate as well, and let me say this now: IT WILL HURT YOUR HANDS SO MUCH!! Practice before you try the hard songs, otherwise suffer the built up lactic acid in your hands.
The scoring of this game is quite interesting. The scoring for each beat or note hit is using 50s, 100s, and 300s. 300s are given if you hit the note perfectly; 100s are given if you were just a little bit off beat; and 50s is coming close to going off beat but doesn’t sound bad. Of course, if you miss the note you will be given an “X’ and it will deduct from your raw percentage. Also, if you get an “X” for missing a beat, the score multiplier is gone and gaining points to beat records is going to be much harder. A score multiplier is when every time you hit a note (perfect or not), it will multiply the amount of points gained on the next beat. For instance, I hit 60 notes before hitting the 61st note. Currently my next beat will multiply by 60 since that’s how many notes I hit to make my score multiply. As a result, If I hit a 300 on the 61st note then it will be 300 times 60. The score is then added to your overall score. Your raw percentage is how many of the notes you have hit in the game. It is determined whether you hit your note perfectly or not so pay attention to the beat!
A cool feature about this game is that it can allow players to customize the skins being used in the game. By skins, I mean the art detail such as the mouse cursor, hit circles, sliders, and spinners. Not only are you able to customize themes to your liking but you meet so many people around the world such as the British, Australians, Germans, Koreans, Japanese, etc.
Overall, I find this game to be very exciting because it involves matching rhythms in a challenging way, and I get to play the songs I like. Beware though! This is mostly songs that are involved in Asian culture such as Japanese Rock, Korean Pop, and Anime OSTs. There are other genres such as dubstep, alternative rock, rap, and so forth, but it is not as popular as the genres previously stated. I also like how the game makes multiplayer very entertaining, fun, and laid back. In most multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Halo, etc. we have these people who gamers like to call “Butthurt” who complains about everything as to why they are losing. It just makes other gamers looking to have fun, lose all their interest in playing because of listening to someone else’s problems, complaints, or unneeded criticism. In Osu! you hardly see any of this. The players online are really friendly in general, and often times, give words of encouragement to be better players. Half the time, they even give you tips on how to be a better player such as practice tips. I must say though, this game requires an enormous amount of patience to play because usually players will come to this frustrated at the fact that they cannot match the beat. You have to be calm and just get used to the way the game works, but I understand. I would highly recommend this game to anybody on any day because it never gets boring even after playing it for five hours straight.
-Challenging to the point that it motivates you
-Hardly gets bored
-Doesn’t require multiplayer to be fun. You can see if you can better yourself
-Meet many people across the globe
-Art detail provides a sense of enthusiasm
-Most of the songs are not what people consider “modernly good”.
-Requires an enormous amount of patience to become a top player
-Can become monotonous for some.
-Favor the “z” and “x” playstyle.
My overall rating: 10/10