Cosmic DJ Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Cosmic Dj Promo

Cosmic DJ Preview



A lot can be said for uniqueness. Whether it be the concept, gameplay or another important aspect of gaming, there is something special about an idea that has been previously untouched. As gamers we often witness botched imitations of certain game mechanics that only help solidify the original title’s strength in the industry, which can often create a negative impression surrounding new titles. This could be considered a bad thing for game developers, predominantly Indie, due to the high bar consumers set for companies to nervously volt over hoping for success, but for gamers, it will guarantee more impressive and memorable titles, in theory. Whilst it is worth stating that games that are unique have as much chance as failing as a conventional one, you have to remember that due to the number of games coming out on a yearly basis, developers have a greater chance of being discovered if the title is different.

Cosmic DJ is a casual music game by a relatively unknown Indie developer, GI33k. After a casual browse on Google I was unable to find a portfolio for the company or even a website explaining themselves leading me to believe that their current title is there first. This often means young and inexperienced which may put some gamers off but it appears that have brought some fresh ideas to the world of gaming.

The game is currently on early access so many aspects of it could be changed by the full release. Nothing in this article is to be taken as definitive and should be reflected upon the current state of the title only.

The game starts with an introduction from Steve3, the Cosmic composer, who sounds exceptionally similar to the ‘Epideme Virus’ from an episode of Red Dwarf, explaining that you are the Cosmic DJ. Due to his eternal life, he fears he has exhausted his music collection so relies on you for fresh music for his universal party. As you play the party a wannabe Cosmic Composer, Steve4 breaks all the antennas that provide the music around the universe in order to play his creations causing wide spread bad vibes. (Yes I did just say that!) Once all are fixed, you can concentrate your energy on defeating Steve4, achieving balance in the universe once more.

The emphasis on the game is music creation and its effects on the imagery. The gameplay involves tapping rhythms into the grids provided. There are two grids available, giving the player a choice. The grids don’t provide different instruments or notes but instead offer a different user interface for the sake of ease. The grid sequencer allows you to click squares that, once highlighted, emit the required sound at the correct time. This allows you to plan the position and timing of the notes in advance, making a more structured way of creating music. The other is the tap sequencer, which users the Z, X, C, and V keys on the keyboard to enter the notes. This is more of an experimental mode used to jam. It is less precise but the easier of the two to use. Once your short section of music is created it will adjust the notes in order to achieve something that resembles a rhythm, making up for any lack of musicianship the player may have.

Each song uses slightly different instruments to achieve the same electronic-type music. There is always bass and a beat but others may include guitars, synths and vocals that appear sporadically throughout the course of the game. This helps vary the music and keeps the tracks from sounding to similar

To fix an antenna, you have to complete the, often strange, side objectives, which involve create four short tracks. For every track there is a section of the side objective revealed to you, always giving the player a reason for making the track. Due to the bad vibes emitted it has ruined several people’s lives. This includes a Corgi, who has been separated from its body, a band, who has broken up, a friendship, laying in tatters and a relationship that is no more. Your goal is to fix all of these in order for the antennas to be operational again.

Once you have finished the level there is an interesting mode where you create an album cover for your single, which is the music created throughout the course of the level. There are a number of backgrounds and stickers that can be used to customize your cover art as well as a paint tool to draw. It also allows players take photos from the available web cam connected to their computer to implement into the cover creating a truly unique album art. All these features add something special to the game however at this current time, the process seems to rush player. As well as offering limited backgrounds implemented into the game, you only have till the track completes conversion to complete the artwork. There also doesn’t appear to be an option for exiting from this screen for players in a rush or uninterested.

The graphics are a strange mixture between real life and pixel art whilst creating an extremely trippy, drug fueled effect that I’m sure many would describe as an LSD trip. It throws real people, animals and glove puppets into a strange and colourful pixel world where nothing quite fits but somehow manages to work and create a strangely beautiful world. There is no relevance for almost anything but somehow it works. Perhaps in another genre it wouldn’t work, in fact I am almost sure it wouldn’t which makes the graphics a little bit special.

The sound follows the same theme. Every voice you hear sounds like the person is drug induced. Even the mannerisms of some appear to reflect this fact. The instruments all work well together with no clashing. Everything is in tune and even allows you to be proud of your creation. Everything sounds great and reflects well with the visual aesthetic.

The Steam sales page describes the title as, ‘a quick, pick-up and play.’ Certainly quick is the key word. At the games current state, it is extremely short. I believe it took me forty-five minutes to complete, which may seem tremendously short but due to the nature of the game, it was long enough. As you play through the levels, nothing varies, meaning the game mechanics become very boring with only the side objectives that change.

Cosmic DJ was extremely hard to write about. Due to it’s unconventional aesthetics and its even stranger conception means it was incredibly difficult to find the words to describe it. The game does a great job at immersing the player with interesting sounds and graphics but fails to provide a long experience. The game falls short when you realize the game mechanics are just a few simple clicks or keyboard taps and are almost relieved the game finishes early. To make the title more interesting, changing the mechanics to suit the situation would be a benefit. When against the boss add more button or different game modes that involve imitating the A.I. Anything would be beneficial to keep the game enjoyable.