Coming to PSN this Week: Fret Nice

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We haven’t covered Tecmo‘s Fret Nice on the PlayStation.Blog, and here we are…two days away from launch. So we’re trying something a little different here. Fret Nice is coming to PSN/PS3 this Thursday, so Producer Ray Murakawa and Creator/Designer Mårten Brüggemann provided a back-and-forth interview with all the details you’ll need when it hits later in the week. Hope you like it!

Ray Murakawa (Fret Nice Producer, Tecmo) – Everyone’s going crazy here for the release of Fret Nice. It’s been a treacherous road up to this release date, but everything came together better than expected wouldn’t you say?

Mårten Brüggemann (Creator/Designer of Fret Nice, Pieces Interactive) – Rock On!

RM– To commemorate the band’s new release and to get a bit into the Fret Nice spirit, we’re gonna rock these paper Fret Nice face masks for this interview, cool?

Fret Nice Customization

MB– What?

RM– OK, you get the Hairbänger one and I’m sporting the Maja one. I’m usually the only one around the office wearing this thing so just roll with me on this one. And NO you don’t have a choice. Marvelous. Since we’re now in true character let’s start this blog off with a little background on Fret Nice. A lot of groupies wonder “Music game or not?” Well, Fret Nice is musically endowed, but it’s an action platformer with a cool new mechanic that’s played with a guitar controller or any regular controller. And no- this is NOT a rhythm game! So how did this twisted idea come to be?

MB– The game actually started as a degree thesis project and as that aimed at looking into the concept of adding an unorthodox game controller into an ordinary game genre such as the 2D platformer to see what benefits could be drawn from the new way of controlling the game. Although the game has since evolved to being not so much about the academic side of things, the guitar controller and what it can be used for in its new context has always been the essence of Fret Nice’s design.

MB– You having trouble breathing in this thing?

RM– NO. We’re rolling bro. The game definitely keeps its retro roots, but playing with the guitar controller really takes it somewhere new. It takes patience at first, but once it seeps in, you begin to notice the advantages of being able to pull off quick riffs.

MB– One important point while designing the game around the guitar controller was to never lose the feeling of actually using a guitar for controlling the game and that it, in this case, would be the ideal choice of controller. We in fact wanted the game to be played like a rock song, and from that the attack system of the game, The Riff Combos, are derived.

RM– Riff combos get really intense on some areas of the game. There are some instances in the game where I need that quick strum to rock my way out of a danger zone- You sadistic designer you!

MB– The Riff Combos focus on a part of music playing that is usually non-existent in existing music games. The games that are normally played with the guitar controller or dance mat games have their focus on rhythm based interaction. In Fret Nice we wanted to add the improvisation part of music, and the Riff Combos combined were a perfect way to explore this.

RM– Good point. Fret Nice is not a traditional music game because your success isn’t rhythmically tied to the music, but how well you freak the combination of notes to attack enemies. How about those of us who were born on the wrong end of the musical gene pool?

MB– Fret not, no need for any musical experience as the magic Riff Combos will always play in tonality with the background tracks. The Riff Combos will always blend into the rest of the soundtrack.

RM– That’s fantastic! No musical “skillz” required! Not that I lack in this department… The game still feels good with the regular controller. It’s a slightly different game from that perspective as well.

MB– It’s getting kinda itchy behind this mask man.

RM– I feel nothing. Let’s get back to the game Mårten.

MB– With the console version of Fret Nice one goal was to make the game playable with a normal gamepad as well, to include players that don’t own guitar controllers, or just to make it easier for players to gather enough controllers to play cooperatively with a friend. When playing the game with a gamepad the player also expects the controls of a platformer to behave a specific way, and this also led to some tweaks in how the game was played with a guitar. Both controller types have their advantages over the other, the guitar being tailored for the music-based Riff Combos and the conventional gamepad stemming from the conventions of the platformer, but none of them should totally outdo the other.

RM– We should also mention that not all Guitar Controllers are built the same. You can change the sensitivity of the tilt motion in the game to compensate for some controller mechanics, but if you have a GH Guitar Controller- pull that one out at the top of my list.

Fret Nice Controller 1 Fret Nice Guitar 1

RM– So explain to me the style of these crazy masks we’re wearing. What compels a man to think hipsters chasing furballs would turn out to be a cool game?

MB– The art style of Fret Nice is a greatly stylized version of the real world with a touch of crazy randomness. The presentation of the world and its inhabitants is inspired by traditional cutout animation made out of paper. Fret Nice mixes 2D and 3D in an unconventional way to create a fresh look. Colors are the strongest tool to express the mood in the world and it’s creatures are simplified but very characteristic.

RM– I think that wraps it up for this installment wouldn’t you say? The game is available on PlayStation Network on Feb 4th! Plug in and rock out!!! I can’t tell you how many compliments I get on these masks! The different gear, instruments, hairdos, you know I’ve been growing out a mustache hoping it’ll boost my Fret Nice skillz!

MB– OK, I’m done with this mask thing…

Fret Nice Screenshot 18

Comments are closed.


  • im mad at Tecmo for taking away Quantums exclusive status :-(

  • im looking forward to purchasing this game today when it is unleashed on the store update. i love the art in the game and im an music artist myself… and i LOVE platformers… and i LOVE multiplayer… i also love character customization (it looks like that might be in the game) but anyway… this game looks like the perfect game for me… i’ll have my copy as soon as i see it go live. looking forward to more games like this from you all. keep on keeping on!

    • Mårten Brüggemann
      Mårten Brüggemann

      I\’m very glad you\’re looking forward to it! I can tell you a lot of love and hard work went into the game, I hope it shows :) I for one really enjoyed making the music for the game.

    • Yes, mad customization available. You can even dress up to look as stylish as Mårten.

  • Thanks so much for putting out a demo. I am hesitant to spend money wihout trying out a game first! Does the demo support both types of controller?
    I am excited and will definately be checking this out!!

    • All settings and controller support is available on the demo. Remember to check the Help Button setting and Guitar Sensitivity settings if you need them.

  • one question, and i might be jumping the gun… but do you all know, if the game is successful in what you’re looking for, if there will be a ps3 theme for it. i just have a gut feeling im going to love the game. and i always love sporting a ps3 theme to games i love… so im just asking.

    • Sorry, no plans for themes at this time. Our guts should get together and talk about how much they love this game.

  • I tried the demo just now, it is pretty awkward controlling it. But I’m still intrigued, but don’t want to purchase it without knowing how much there is to the game! I’ve looked around online and found no info about how many levels, how long it is, etc. If it was $9.99 I would have bought it, but $14.99 does give me pause. That does seem to be most gamers mindsets too regarding PSN game pricing.

  • I’m downloading this now but I have a huge question before I dare think of purchasing the full version…

    I picked up Puzzlegeddon which Tecmo was also involved in and to this day the trophies WILL NOT sync up with the servers.

    I ended up having to do about an 8 hour+ backup/restore process on my HD to rid myself of those unsyncing trophies because everytime I tried to view my profile or trophy list, even if I had earned none since the last sync, it would try and sync those puzzlegeddon trophies and take a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes or more to do this and still never sync those trophies.

    Is the same issue going on with this game? If so, that’s an automatic no-sale here.

    Also, what seems to be the hold-up on getting this issue taken care of with Puzzlegeddon? I don’t think I need to tell you how long it’s been…

  • Just found out through another site that the Puzzlegedon sync issue has in fact been remedied as of a few days ago. Long overdue seeing as though I purchased that game on the 18th of December.

    At any rate, Would still like assurance that this issue isn’t present with this title before considering a purchase.

    • This trophy problem isn\’t in the Fret Nice Build and should not occur. In fact, the Puzzlegeddon issue was a hiccup that occurred when the game went live that SONY fixed on their end.

  • Wow more Childish junk from Sony LMAO! Give me a break!…Come on where is 3.20 delays delays.. this is getting rather really boring with the PSN! Like last night I was getting booted of the PSN every 5-10 Da hell with Free Network I rather pay for it for a much better Experience then now! WAKE UP SONY!

  • Cr^p network! Heck it makes me wonder if its all controlled by kids!?..Hacking Pansies!

  • I really don’t like the music, does it support ingame music? Or is that not the in game music?


    I’m all for more platformers.

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