This blog post…it looks like osu!.

So I’m on Facebook around 3:00 and I’m browsing posts from my music game acquaintances and friends when I see this:

this image looks like osu

Ah, osu!, the Osu! Tatakae! OuendanElite Beat Agents simulator that have a number of fellow otogamers in a bunch.

I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of osu! myself. There’s almost zero original songs, the game is ass to play without a touchscreen or a tablet, and the game takes the godawful combo-oriented scoring system of OTO/EBA and makes it even worse with modifier multipliers. (Want to top the leaderboards? Double the song speed, among other things!)

But at the same time, there’s a few problems with the outrage I see over someone playing the “looks like <game one is more familiar with>” card.

It’s kinda standard fare when osu! is such a popular game and not something I’d get worked up over tbh, even if I’m a bit contemptful of osu!. I mean hey, people who use comparisons when looking at media that reminds them of other works are pretty common; playing Touhou for the first time reminded me of DoDonPachiO2Jam looked an awful lot like beatmania IIDX to me at first glance, and it’s hard not to look at falling block games and instantly go “oh, looks like Tetris” (despite the specific mechanics and strategies of, say, Puyo Puyo or Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo being completely different from that of Tetris). We draw such comparisons because we want to put new experiences in terms and quantizations that we can understand.

Many people (at least those whose initial exposure wasn’t to rhythm game superplays, often with sensationalist titles like “Crazy Japanese Speed Game!”) are first exposed to rhythm games through StepMania or osu! because of availability and ease of access; they can be loaded with simfiles of familiar songs, they’re on PC rather just on a specific less-universal platform, and most importantly, are free(-ish). Sure, games with high content-to-price ratios like Cytus ($2 for 100+ songs with two charts each) and Tone Sphere ($2 for 40-ish songs with 2-4 charts each) exist, but not everybody has a smartphone or tablet, and even if they did, some people, especially minors, don’t have their own card for conducting online transactions with; I received my first payment card at the age of 17 in 2006 and until then had been playing Albat–I mean, PangYa and O2Jam for a few months, with no way of purchasing things that require real money until my card arrived. It’s not fair to look down on people for choosing a game because it’s a lot more affordable especially if living circumstances prevent them from buying other games. One of my friends freaked out after discovering that 4-song music packs for jubeat plus and REFLEC BEAT + were $4 each, and I don’t know how many people who don’t already like BEMANI are willing to put down, say, $100 to have 100 songs. (There are ways to get these songs For Free, but that steps into territory I kinda don’t wanna touch in public.)

So while it is kinda annoying to see the osu! comparison when I introduce people to other rhythm games, given my dislike of Everyone’s Favorite circle-clicking game, when a game like osu! is very popular and very accessible, it’s inevitable that the comparison will pop up.

Pop culture, everyone.

Update (7:25)

Okay, so a friend of mine provided some context to the above paraphrasing. Apparently, the original complaint is over osu! players who look at other music games and ask “is this osu?”  That makes more sense as to why people are irritated, as comparing osu! and IIDX (for example) is like comparing Tetris to Puzzle & Dragons. I saw this image without knowing the full context, which said image doesn’t allude to, though my points still apply when people do comment in the form of “looks like _____.”

the creator of this image is indonesian lol. i think it actually meant “is this osu?” (context being an osu player’s comment when they see another game)

indonesians are bad at translating with context o<-< people take things quite literally here