|Developer(s)||Dean "peppy" Herbert|
|Release date(s)||September 16, 2007|
osu! is a freeware rhythm game originally for Microsoft Windows. It is written in C# on the .NET Framework. The game has also been ported to Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. Its gameplay is based on commercial titles including Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Elite Beat Agents, Taiko no Tatsujin, O2Jam and DJMax.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Special game modes
- 3 Beatmaps
- 4 Multiplayer
- 5 Critical reception
- 6 Non-PC Platforms
- 7 osu!stream
- 8 Community
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
Game levels are called beatmaps. In each beatmap, a song will play and different hit elements (hit circles, sliders and spinners) will appear on the play field. Players must use a pointing device to manipulate these elements in time with the playing song's rhythm in order to earn points. While the mouse is considered the most popular input device, combinations of mouse, Tablet PC, graphics tablet and keyboard can be utilised.
The main objective when playing osu! is simply for players to hit, complete, and clear enough hit circles, sliders and spinners to keep their health bar, which drains at a steady rate throughout the game, above 0 until the song is over. More experienced players will often strive for a more specific and difficult goal, like improving their high score or grade on a particular map, usually by attempting to time their hits better and avoid as many misses as possible to increase combo multipliers.
Also sometimes referred to as notes or beats, hit circles are a common object on nearly every beatmap. When a hit circle appears, a ring, called the approach circle, will appear around it and begin to shrink. In order to score points from a hit circle, players must place their cursor over the circle and click the hit button as the approach circle touches the edge of the hit circle.
Sliders appear as two hit circles with a solid path, called a slider track, between them. As with hit circles, an approach circle appears at the beginning of a slider track, which must be clicked when the approach circle touches its edge. Unlike hit circles, however, after the start of a slider has been hit, a ball, called the slider ball, will begin to roll along the slider track, and players must continue to hold down the hit button and keep their cursor hovered over or near the slider ball until it has reached the end of the slider. Sometimes a slider end will have an arrow, which means the player will be required to follow the slider ball back to its starting point.
A spinner is a large circle that takes up most of the play field when it appears. A ring like the approach circle of hit circles and sliders will also appear and begin to close on the spinner's center. Players must hold down the hit button and spin their cursor about the center of the spinner. As players continue to spin, the spinner gauge at either side of the screen begins to fill, and once it has been filled, the player will be notified that the spinner has been cleared. Continued spins after this and until the blue ring reaches the spinner's center will award bonus points.
Hits and misses
Hit circles, sliders, and spinners have different criteria to how they can be hit or missed, and to how points can be gained.
Clicking the hit button at the right time while the cursor is hovered over a hit circle or the start of a slider, or clearing a slider will earn a player points. In the case of hit circles, the points awarded are completely dependent on the timing of the hit. Sliders are generally considered more lenient, and as long as a player doesn't hit the start far too early or too late, collects all the slider ticks, and continues to hold the hit button and hover the cursor over the slider ball until it reaches the end, a maximum number of points are earned. The points awarded by a spinner are dependent on the number of spins completed. Additional spins after a spinner has been cleared will further increase the points earned. Successful hits will fill the health gauge a small amount.
No points are earned when an object has been missed. Hitting a hit circle too early or too late, failing to either collect any slider ticks or finish the end of a slider, or failing to fill the spinner gauge an adequate amount will result in a miss being added to a player's score. A miss, or missing a slider tick, will cause the health gauge to drop a small amount.
A combo multiplier is kept throughout the song. Upon successfully following an object (hitting a hit circle, hitting a slider end or slider tick, clearing a spinner, etc.), the multiplier is increased by 1; upon a failure (missing a hit circle, missing a slider end or slider tick, not filling a spinner an adequate amount, etc.), the multiplier is reset to 0. This multiplier is then multiplied by several factors including the difficulty of the played beatmap and "mod multiplier", user-applicable multiplier resulting from activating gameplay-altering mods, which is then multiplied by the base score of the hit to get the score of the hit. To be more precise, the score formula of a hit is:
Score of a hit = Base score of a hit * (1 + combo multiplier * difficulty multiplier * mod multiplier / 25)
osu! has several mods that can alter the gameplay. These mods are categorized into three groups:
- Difficulty reduction: These mods reduce the difficulty (for example, by disabling failing so a player can play even when the health bar reaches zero), but at the expense of reducing the score multiplier.
- Difficulty increase: These mods increase the difficulty (for example, by applying a "flashlight" so only a small region around the cursor is visible at any time), for an increase of the score multiplier.
- Special: These mods are the mods that don't apply to other categories. These mods make the play "unranked" and scores not being kept.
Special game modes
osu! features three special game modes that are accessible in the Special selection of the play menu: Taiko, Catch the Beat and osu!mania. These game modes allow a different style of gameplay from the regular play mode.
The Taiko mode is based on Taiko no Tatsujin, another rhythm game which involves hitting drums to the beat of a music piece. Taiko mode does not require the use of the cursor except for browsing the beatmap list and the pause menu. Instead, only clicking is required, which is done on a keyboard. However, the osu! community has found various ways of supporting a Tatakon or DrumCon controller intended for the Taiko no Tatsujin PS2 games. Usually, an external script is used to map the controller input to keys on the keyboard. A PlayStation to USB Controller bridge is required to adapt the controller for a computer.
When playing the Taiko mode, red and blue beats, as well as long yellow drumrolls (with an appearance similar to a slider) will scroll across the screen – the player gets more points for the more hits they can achieve. In the original Taiko no Tatsujin games, the red beats are referred to as "dons" and the blue beats "kats". The red beats represent the Taiko (drum) center and the blue beats the rim. Spinners are also present in the Taiko mode. Towards the left of the screen is a stationary circle. A player must hit the key(s) corresponding to each coloured beat when a beat passes under this circle. Key configuration can be reviewed and changed in the Options menu, under Input.
To hit the red beats, players must hit one of the two Taiko inner hit buttons. For blue, a Taiko Outer hit button must be pressed. When a large beat passes under the circle, pressing both corresponding keys will earn players extra points. When a long beat passes under the circle, players should tap to the rhythm in order to earn points. When a spinner appears, they must alternate hitting the inner and outer hit buttons until the number at the bottom reaches 0.
Catch the Beat
This mode puts the player in control of a character holding a plate above their head, with the objective of catching fruits falling from the top of the screen.
Regular beats on a map are converted simply to fruit falling straight down. Sliders have one fruit at each end of the slider and a trail of juice drops leading between the ends. Large juice drops are the equivalent of slider ticks, while small drops add extra points to the score (and affect accuracy). Spinners become fruit falling en masse from the top of the screen; the player does not need to catch all of the fruit, although catching more fruit will earn them more points.
osu!mania is a mode similar to Beatmania IIDX and DJMax where players need to press keys bound to several columns according to the music. As the music plays, notes are falling from the top of the screen in several columns whose number depends on the map. As a note reaches the bottom row of some column, the player is expected to press the key bound to that column to clear the note.
A special set of mods is available in osu!mania, namely 4K, 5K, 6K, 7K, 8K. Usually beatmaps are meant to be played by a certain amount of keys set for the beatmap; however, using one of these special mods can change this amount of keys for a score reduction.
This mode was made public at September 30, 2012.
The game uses player designed "beatmaps", which are the files containing the actual gameplay data. Created using an in-game editor, this allows the user to pick any song they like and create beats for it. Beatmaps for specific songs can then be shared through an in-game uploader directly linked to the main site. Moderators can then provide feedback for the beatmaps, usually suggesting some means of improving its quality. After the author has modified the beatmap according to the tips it received and the moderators are content with its quality, they may approve it for ranking. Statistics for each quality approved beatmap, known as "ranked" beatmaps, are maintained on the osu! website. Scores for each ranked beatmap are totaled to determine a player's ranked score, which determines a player's score ranking.
As of September 27, 2012, over 60,000 beatmaps have been created, out of which about 6,800 have attained ranked status. The number of ranked maps gradually increase as the Moderators or Beatmap Appreciation Team rank newly submitted maps.
On June 3, 2008, multiplayer was added to the public release (b335). Multiplayer consists of a central lobby displaying available rooms, and current online players. Rooms are created with the "New Game" button. A game begins when all players in the room are labeled as "Ready" and the host clicks start. The Multiplayer game is made up of the normal components as a Single Player osu! game, but with the in-game scoreboard displaying the current rankings of the players in the room. All play modes (including Taiko, Catch the Beat and osu!mania) are available in multiplayer mode, as well as a variety of scoring rules, such as osu! Standard Score, where the highest score wins, or osu! Standard Accuracy where hitting the notes perfectly seizes the top spot. Players are also able to play tag co-op where the room works as a team to complete the song as each player is given certain beat clusters to hit, 1 player at a time. As of release b593a, Tag Team mode has been introduced where players are sided on two teams (Red and Blue) and work as one to win.
The game has been featured in several magazines and websites. The reception has generally been positive, with the biggest complaint being that playing osu! with the mouse takes a long time to get accustomed to.
An official App Store version of osu! entitled osu!stream was released on 08/01/2011. osu!stream does not allow for user made beatmaps to be played, instead allowing only a select number of songs that are purchasable from an in-game store.
An official version in the Apple App Store was added for the iPhone/iPod Touch called osu!stream. This version of the game does not include custom beatmaps. It instead has both free and paid beatmaps available for download in the ingame store.
osu!stream has three gameplay modes:
- Easy: Slow beats, and it is impossible to fail.
- Stream: This mode is unique to osu!stream. This mode causes the gameplay to switch between "streams", or different difficulties in a single game based on the player's performance.
- Expert: Can only be unlocked if the player has achieved the ranking of "A" or better in stream mode. In this mode, gameplay is difficult with beats appearing faster, more stacking beats, more connected beats and faster drain of the health bar.
As of February 12th, 2014, the osu! homepage stated that the community included over 4 million registered users, with a total of over 2.06 billion ranked plays.
Notes and references
- osu! ranked beatmaps list. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- osu! uploaded beatmap list. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- Orland, Kyle (2007-10-18). Free PC Ouendan/EBA emulator hits public beta on joystiq. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- eddie (2007-09-23). 'osu!' – Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents simulator on Bemanistyle. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- Santos, Elena (2007-10-19). PC clone of the popular Nintendo DS rhythm game on Softonic. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- nuudles (2008-11-16). osu! for iPhone and iPod Touch. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- osu! for Android. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- http://osustream.com/ osu!stream. Retrieved March 2, 2013
- http://osu.ppy.sh/wiki/Osu!stream#New_Modes_to_replace_the_difficulty difficulty levels of osu! stream. Retrieved March 2, 2013
- osu! Homepage. Retrieved January 31, 2014