Review: Musynx (PS4)

Review: Musynx (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita
  • Nintendo Switch
  • iOS, Android

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
  • Cross-Buy No
  • Cross-Save No
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Musynx
Format: PSN (799.2 MB)
Release Date: June 21, 2018
Publisher: PM Studio / acttil
Developer: I-Inferno
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: TBD
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Originally released as a PlayStation Mobile title of all things, Musynx is a very, very basic rhythm game that stays true to the genre’s roots. Based more on the mobile phone version than the PlayStation Mobile version, the latest Musynx will appeal to hard core rhythm game fans – and probably no one else.

That might sound a little harsh but Musynx is definitely a game that knows what it is. Even just booting it up, there’s no main menu or anything. The game simply drops you straight into the song selection screen as if to say “have at it.” There isn’t even a long settings page, as the options tab you can open only lets you edit the button layout and a pre-song menu has just a few other settings.

The base gameplay is very familiar: notes fly down a series of tracks and you must hit the corresponding button at the right time. Musynx doesn’t bother with any extra mechanics for ‘fever’ or ‘overdrive’ or anything. It’s just: try to hit the notes with very precise timing, and that’s it.

And Musynx does take the precise timing very seriously. The game’s rating scale offers a few note judgments but also has several hidden ones that can strongly affect the “sync rate” you get at the end of a song.

Trying to get a high sync rate is tough, even for a seasoned veteran like myself and it’s made tougher by today’s modern and sometimes laggy TVs though the game does offer options for calibrating lag but getting them right can take a lot of fiddling.

Review: Musynx (PS4) Review: Musynx (PS4)

From a gameplay perspective, the note charts are generally pretty well charted. Being keysounded (more on that in the audio section) helps the feeling of playing along too and I never felt like anything was too far removed from the song I was playing.

Some charts can be a little tricky with some tough sections but there are a lot of songs to practice on if you’re having trouble and there’s no fail mechanic in the game anyway.

That’s really the thing the game has going for it the most: the large library of songs. The base content is just shy of 100 songs and according to a representative for the game, they are working on more songs which will all be free. In terms of song-to-dollar, the library offers a good value proposition.

Unfortunately, outside self-improvement there isn’t much else. There are no mission modes or effectors or any other kind of fluff that helps give rhythm games extra staying power to those not looking to simply keep playing.

The only real goals, outside of bettering your local record, are the game’s Trophies which actually might be a solid case for getting the PS4 or Vita version over some of the other versions of the game.

Review: Musynx (PS4) Review: Musynx (PS4)

The representative I talked to said that free updates are planned to add more features and a leaderboard in addition to the new songs. The current in-game shop, for example, doesn’t have anything in it but is supposed to in the future.

I have to rate the game we have right now and based on what’s currently available it’s hard to recommend Musynx too highly. Especially to those who only usually dabble in rhythm games or those who might find the lack of goals a deterrence.

Visuals:
Again, the game is very simple in its visual design. The note tracks are good looking, especially for an indie game like this. One of them features a futuristic-road-like-thing flying through the clouds while another has notes falling on a rainbow. They’re simple but effective.

However, there are only six different note tracks. One of them I personally can’t stand and two of them I’d rather not play much. Unfortunately, there’s no way to change the note track. Each song has the track it uses and that’s it.

Each song can affect the track in different ways. For example, several have a night and day version and songs swap between these versions for different parts of the song, but no swapping out note styles. Again, there’s supposed to be a new style coming in an update but it’s not currently here.

Review: Musynx (PS4) Review: Musynx (PS4)

Outside that, there’s not much else to say. The song menu is fine and the only other flourish is that each song gets its own unique art for the menu. These don’t impact anything in the song, they just give it some flavor in the menu.

Audio:
Audio is important in a music/rhythm game and the fact that Musynx has a large library of songs helps with that. Being a Chinese developed game, there’s a clear influence there and many of the vocalized songs have Chinese lyrics.

Many of the songs feature Xingchen, or Stardust, a Chinese vocaloid of the same ilk as Hatsune Miku. As always, these synthesized vocals can be hit or miss for some listeners but I found the vocalized songs in this game usually worked well enough.

Some other prominent rhythm game artists have contributed to this game as well, giving the library some names that will be familiar to those who play Korean or Japanese rhythm games. Artists like Memme, M2U, and Paul Bazooka.

In terms of style, there’s a lot of variance though most of the songs sound synthesized. With some upbeat pop-style songs, some trance and electronica, some retro sounding 8-bit music, and some more traditional Chinese styled music there’s a decent breadth among the game’s ninety-two songs.

As noted before, the notes in this game are also keysounded. This means if you hit a note slightly off, it will sound slightly off, as compared to a game like Rock Band or Project Diva that simply mutes your track if you miss a note.

The ‘strength’ of the keysound is one of the few options in the game, in case you don’t wish for it to sound ‘off’ when you’re not playing well. I generally like keysounded rhythm games, and it works well here.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component or online leaderboards.

Review: Musynx (PS4) Review: Musynx (PS4)

Conclusion:
From a mechanics perspective, Musynx is a solid rhythm game. While not breaking any ground in the rhythm game genre, the tight judgment window and nuanced scoring system make it a good high score seeking game for rhythm fans. Though not having an online leaderboard means you’re only competing with yourself at the moment.

A lack of any extra flourishes or goals beyond the base rhythm base is what really hampers this game. Sure, the large soundtrack helps, but without any kind of unlocks or goals I found myself drifting from this game, wanting to play other rhythm games instead.

Several times, I’ve been told by representatives of the developer that the game will improve over time, and all for free, but unfortunately that’s not here yet and I don’t review promises.

These problems don’t keep Musynx from being a good game, just from being a great game. Despite being good, this is a tough game for me to recommend because there are a lot of great, and similar, rhythm games out there.

Still, if you’ve exhausted those options, Musynx can be a good go. I did enjoy the time I spent playing it and I really hope these promised updates add everything they say is coming. Perhaps in a couple of years, Musynx will be in a high tier of music game recommendations. I’m certainly rooting for it to get there.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook