When we decide on what kind of gaming mouse to get, we look at a couple of factors. Namely, design, comfort, and price. Oftentimes, the price and comfort are the only key points of the deciding factor of the chosen mouse, as this is a peripheral you’re going to be using for quite some time. Any ordinary mouse can seem comfortable, but after gripping it for a while, will you feel the same way? Not only can awkward mice handling lead to sore wrists, ailments such as carpal tunnel can develop over time. There’s one rhythm game in particular that really stresses the ability of your mouse, rhythm, and reflexes while providing great entrainment at the same time and that is Osu! (Exclamation mark important and required)
When I say rhythm games, what do you first think of? Rock Band? Guitar Hero? DDR? Most likely, games that weren’t created specifically the PC. Let me first talk about the state of PC rhythm gaming. Plainly, it’s at a state of zero existence outside of freeware developments. Some of the most popular PC rhythm games are Frets on Fire, Stepmania (and other mania varieties), and now, Osu!. And guess what? They’re all freeware.
So what is Osu! exactly? If you’ve ever played a game of Elite Beat Agents on the Nintendo DS, imagine that but without the cost of buying the game, and on your computer. For those who haven’t a clue, take a look at this video (which doesn’t seem to be embedding properly. Hm…)
Whether you watched the video or not, allow me to briefly explain. You move the cursor over circles with rings approaching it, and you must click on the circle when the ring is exactly on the circle’s outer edge. There are sliders in which you must hold the button until it ends. And lastly, there are spinners in which you must spin your mouse in a circle in a predetermined amount of time.
I could go and ramble on about scoring, details, and all that, but it’s much more interesting if you figure that stuff out yourself. Really. But adding on to grajasekar’s casual gamer post, Osu! is meant for both casual and competitive play. You can easily play for a few minutes a day without getting addicted. And you can easily play for a few hours a day and be addicted. It’s casual in the sense that you don’t need to be necessarily playing against anyone, though indirectly you are. Confused? Intrigued? Not caring? Just try the game.
In the title, you might have noticed I mentioned that this is stress testing the abilities of your mouse. Well, allow me to elaborate. When playing Osu! You have three methods of control: Mouse, Mouse/Keyboard combo, and Tablet. If you have a tablet, you can use that to play, but how many of us have one? The Mouse/Keyboard combo is great for reducing the stress on the mouse hand. This only uses the mouse for cursor movement.
The mouse by itself is where it’s at. When playing Osu! You have to be extremely adept at being able to move your mouse with finesse and precision. Beat circles can be placed at locations all across the screen, and you have to be able to reach them within several milliseconds (well, not usually that fast). Thankfully, you have the option of using both right and left mouse buttons to hit notes. Do note that although both achieve the same effect, you’ll be requiring both. Songs that last up to (but are not limited to) four minutes normally have 500 or so hit circles; that’s about 2 clicks a second (500/240 seconds. Maaaaath!). There are 1/4 and 1/6 beats that physically cannot be perfectly hit with a single clicks; you must be alternating with the other key, e.g left-right-left. This excessive clicking is only matched by expert RTS players. Also, with some songs, you must be so precise that you must be able to keep your hand steady at all times.
So with this, you’re really testing out how well your mouse can perform under stressful circumstances. Using the mouse cursor as an indicator, you can see if you can properly move to locations at your demand. If it drifts, you’ll easily know. If there’s a problem with your clicking, (such as sporadic lag responses), you’ll see it visually. While you can use almost any kind of mouse for Osu! There are a few exceptions. Some mice are known to break easily under massive rampages of clicking. I speak especially for stock laser/optical mice that comes with generic purchases. These are the kind of mice that do not fare well under Osu! gameplay, and for a few reasons. Personally, I find that these mice do not track as well, they aren’t as comfortable (something that should never be ignored) and the clicking randomly stops working for a few seconds.
Make sure you play Osu! with a mouse under warranty; If Osu! manages to break your mouse during game play, don’t look at me.
And of course, most importantly, have fun!