No, It's Not Medicine But You'll Feel The Rhythm Fever
Perhaps bearing the distinction of having one of the most unfortunately mispronounced names in video games, MUSYNX was an interesting project by PM Studios. The company is best known for the renowned DJMAX series, one of the most coveted franchises on the PSP. Following the release of DJMAX Respect on the PS4 in 2017, PM Studios released a rhythm game on the Switch in the same spirit as their flagship title.
Co-developed by I-Inferno, there was very little I was able to find from this developer except that MUSYNX was the only game they worked on. One of the main benefits of playing it on the Switch is that the included DLC is free. Of course, there is a "catch," as the mobile and PC versions are "cheaper" than the console versions. That's because MUSYNX originated as a mobile game, which follows the "premium" DLC model. Buy the game for dirt cheap and spend five times that amount on DLC packs. There's a reason why this works on mobile games and not on console games, so thankfully PM Studios took the sensible approach.
While MUSYNX Is An Obvious Port Of A Mobile Game, It's Not Bad
The game boots up with a simple animation followed by developer credits, leading directly to the song select screen. The presentation is as barebones as a rhythm game can get. Each song plays a preview, with each set of songs separated into groups. That note will be important later when we get to the gameplay. There are two difficulties for each song, an "easy" and a "hard" mode, followed by two modes of play. The 4K mode uses the left and up directional buttons as well as the X and A buttons. 6K adds the right dpad and Y buttons, as well as adjusting the charts to accommodate the new buttons.
Players who are used to DJMAX will immediately catch on to the button scheme as it's exactly the same as the PSP games. Despite two different generations from different manufacturers, the games play similarly to each other. By default, MUSYNX has a "3D" mode, shifting the perspective to a waterfall-like grid. Notes will come toward the player past the judgment line and players are expected to hit the notes to the beat. While the aesthetic is unique and it favors well on mobile platforms, it's a mixed bag on consoles. Fortunately, the devs thought this through and added a "Classic" 2D mode for those who want their music fix the traditional way.
The Gameplay Takes Some Adjusting But It's Very Lenient
I've played several rhythm games like MUSYNX for years, like the aforementioned DJMAX series as well as EZ2ON. Of these titles, the former is much more lenient on judgment than others, which took a while to adjust. For non-rhythm game players, "judgment" is what determines how close a player is to hitting the notes on the beat. There's a line that indicates this and the closer the player hits the note to the line, the better the "judgment" and the score. For me, it felt like the notes attracted to the line like a magnet and there were times when I felt like I was off sync.
It turns out that MUSYNX's gameplay is very lenient and takes into consideration whatever lag there will be with the player's TV or output device. It's similar to DJMAX Portable in how certain games in the series would behave similarly. To compensate for this, I recommend going to the settings and adjusting the Sound Enhancer to "Strong," as it amplifies the keynotes. As with every rhythm game, playing with headphones isn't recommended. It's a requirement. Trust me, playing these games through your output speakers is more of a headache than it's worth.
MUSYNX On The Switch Comes With Loads Of Content
I mentioned earlier how the console versions for MUSYNX are ports of the mobile version and how that version comes with limited content. This is not the case with the Switch version as it comes with an impressive setlist. There are close to a hundred songs, all of which are playable from the moment the player loads the game. As these songs were added over time, expect a large patch to download before playing. Also, free up around 5GB of space, because that's how much it took on our Switch.
Despite the game releasing in 2018, there's still content being updated for MUSYNX, the latest being a set of premium skins released in February. While the game's songs are free DLC, these themes cost $1.99 on the eshop. However, they are highly optional and take nothing away from the game. Each DLC set includes a group of songs, which changes the theme in 3D mode. Some are colorful rainbows, others are tech-inspired. There's one that's hand-drawn and comical but it hurt my eyes so I switched to 2D mode immediately.
Overall, whether you buy it digitally or pick up both physical prints for your gaming collection, MUSYNX is a must-own for rhythm game fans. The simplicity of its menu designs and gameplay elements may turn off some, but it's impossible to deny that a hundred songs are a bang for your buck. The joycons may not be the most comfortable option for console rhythm games, but it does more than enough to hold their own.
MUSYNX is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC