Fuser is the latest title from Rock Band creator Harmonix. It lets you play the part of a mash-up DJ performing at festivals, combining rhythm game mechanics and actual music creation and curation.
There’s a lot going on in Fuser at once, since you have to mix up songs and change parts to the beat, while also fulfilling in-game requirements to earn points, like needing to use two pop songs or no vocal tracks. While I played, it seemed like none of my songs ever sounded good. To confirm that I wasn’t having a stroke and that everything just sounded weird, I invited my pals to help me out via Discord’s screen share. But then everything got worse.
Things were going OK for a bit, but then they wanted to see the full track list. I was then forced, through peer pressure, to purchase songs like Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” (with in-game coins, not real money, but can you imagine?). The game’s campaign gives you a differently themed “crate” per level, which holds your songs. One level might give you a pop theme, while another does hip-hop. You have about five songs you can’t swap out, but you can fill the rest of the crate with songs of your choice.
Per my friends’ requests, I had to use the following:
- “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
- “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen (honestly, a personal favorite of mine, so I had no problem here)
- “The Rockafeller Skank” by Fatboy Slim
- “Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle
- “Temperature” by Sean Paul
- The two aforementioned tracks, “Jolene” and “X Gon’ Give It To Ya”
My friends also pointed out that I did not own Smash Mouth’s “All-Star,” a track that was purchasable with in-game points. When they asked why I didn’t already own that track, I replied, “You know exactly why I don’t own that.”
As I tried to take requests and fulfill the campaign’s requirements for me to gain points, I had to put up with my friends begging me to add the lyrics to “The Rockafeller Skank” to the beat from “Never Gonna Give You Up” and the like. It was like adding an unnecessarily complicated difficulty mode where you could hear personalized heckling from your friends as you failed to drop the record on the right beat or cater to their weird, meme-driven tastes.
There are probably some cool mash-ups that could be made in Fuser. I wouldn’t know. Unsurprisingly, mixing in the default songs with the songs my friends wanted me to play ended up sounding like shit. As it turns out, “Jolene’s Never Gonna Give You Your Temperature” is not a banger.