Old School Musical – Review
Follow Genre: Rhythm
Developer: La Moutarde
Publisher: Playdius, Plug In Digital
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Old School Musical – Review

Site Score
7.9
Good: Amount of songs, Concept
Bad: Can become monotone after a while
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

While Old School Musical either sounds like a new Disney contraption or a senior citizens hootenanny, it’s actually a new game for the Nintendo Switch. Old School Musical tries to pay tribute to many old school games, such as the Zelda series, Megaman, Outrun, Metal Gear and so on, but all accompanied by some good old fashioned tunes, in a Guitar Hero-like fashion. This means that you won’t actually be able to play the retro-inspired backdrops, but you’ll have to press the right buttons in sync with those popping up on screen, in order to progress and see what your sibling characters can achieve. We were intrigued by the visuals, but we stayed for the tunes.

Story

The story of Old School Musical revolves around Rob and Tib, who are brothers. Both siblings live with their super strict mother, who trains them for their destiny of becoming heroes. Nonetheless, they know nothing outside of the forests surrounding their home. When they come of age, things go south as the world around them starts glitching. Everything is obscured, items are not working as they’re supposed to, and their mother has left them a parting letter to meet them at the communications tower, which is god knows where. Before they fully realize it, they’ll be hopping from one dimension to another.

While a game such as this shouldn’t truly require a storyline, it’s quite refreshing that the game turned out this way. Not only the not-so-subtle winks to other old school franchises are hilarious, it’s just a fun storyline to go along with the flow. The developers certainly had a great idea and they properly worked it out.

Graphics

The game is very reminiscent of games from the 8 and 16 bit era. Older gamers will immediately recognize many titles they may have played in their childhood, as the game takes a spin on many popular titles such as Zelda, Megaman, Outrun, Metal Gear and many more, in order to make you think back of the days when you were still enamored by the pixilated graphics of the many new releases for your cartridge based console. The game is very colorful, vibrant and even appealing from a modern point of view.

Sound

Chiptune might be the best word to describe this title, as all the music sounds like the era from your good old fashioned NES or SNES, which means that the real orchestras of modern titles are replaced by old school beats. There’s a decent variety of tracks, making sure you can enjoy a decent soundtrack and afterwards pick those that you love to replay them over and over again.

Gameplay

Old School Musical is a rhythm based game such as Guitar Hero. This means that the game will constantly show you buttons which you’ll have to press at the right time, to stay in sync with the music, to score points and of course, stay alive in this parody of many different old school genres. The game itself will constantly show you ‘gameplay’ of what is going on, but you’ll just have to focus on the button presses in order to progress. Consider this entire game as one big Quick Time Event.

The game itself only uses six different buttons, namely the four main buttons A, B, X and Y and the two shoulder buttons L and R. The latter will be shown on the screen by bars that float from the bottom of the screen to the top, placed left and right, making it easy to know if you have to press L or R. The normal buttons are colored, but they come from every side of the screen, going to the corresponding button that’s conveniently placed on the same spot as on the controller. For example, the X button takes the top spot of the four main buttons, so the command on screen that is linked with the X button will come from the top, and you’ll have to press X when it reaches the center. This makes the game very intuitive and easy to learn, but due to the different difficulty options, very hard to master.

When you clear songs in the story mode, you will unlock them in the Arcade and Multiplayer modes. The game in turn offers several difficulty options, and it’s fun to test your resolve on the higher difficulties. Nonetheless, the Multiplayer mode is a bit weird, as every player will just have to press the buttons at the right time, never getting the proper indication if they’re doing well or not, as only one set of buttons appear on the screen as it would in the Story or Arcade mode. It would have been better to let players mash buttons in turn, or to split up the screens in order to make it clear when they hit or miss a beat.

Well, all of the above is true, until you’ve completed the story mode, which will unlock the Chicken Republic mode. This mode consists out of more than thirty levels, with some songs that you’ve already played through, but mostly new tracks. In this mode, the game decides to make things a bit harder by changing the tempo of how the instructions onscreen fly by, it’s also possible to have a more narrow view, that things are obscured, that colors fade, and so on. Overall this is a fun mode for those who want a bit more challenge compared to how the base set of tracks worked.

Conclusion

Old School Musical is truly a great Switch title that pays a proper tribute to games that may be from a distant past but are long from forgotten. The music itself is fairly expansive with around forty tracks, allowing us to fully enjoy the chiptune soundtrack and the gameplay that ensued in the background. If you love rhythm based games and want to relive some classics in a parody setting, then this musical might sing the right tune to win you over.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Old School Musical - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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