Shigeru Miyamoto says Wii Music isn’t a real game and it’s not really an instrument. Miyamoto can say whatever he wants, but that doesn’t mean I have to buy everything the good man says. Wii Music definitely isn’t a musical instrument and it has little to do with a real full game. You have to hand him that alright.
Wii Music appears to be an educational game about music. Your maestro will be explaining the basic ideas and concepts, while making clear how you actually play the instruments. It’s never obvious what you’re supposed to do, because there are no real objectives. You play the game, and you have the right to play it as good or bad as you want it to be. Sounds interesting, but it has no profile of its own, countlessly shifting its focus. Hardcore music fans will find this too easy and I doubt this game will appeal to real gamers. People who have absolutely no rythm will be blown away by too many options and people who like music will find it to be less rewarding than it promises to be.
You can perform your musical skills with over 60 instruments, going from well-known instruments such as guitars, piano, drums and trumpets to silly things like dogs barking, pompoms, bells and modern “instruments” such as mix tables. Too bad most of the instruments will offer you no creativity whatsoever. The good news is that the drums have pitched the premise of Wii Music perfectly. It’s harder than other instruments, but easy enough to keep your spirit up and stay motivated to get better. If you own Wii Fit, you can upgrade the experience by using your feet for bass.
Other instruments, such as a piano, also look like fun. It’s remarkably less fun to play them, while the computer chooses the patterns that you play most instruments. It’s very hard to actually sound lousy, and the only creative process you are involved in is choosing how fast you play.
Nintendo does deliver enough songs to keep you remotely interested. It’s a pitty though that they didn’t knew people made music after the sixties. Most music comes from old libraries and all of them are delivered in a horrible midi quality. You rarely stumble across massive hits because most of the songs are folksongs or anthems that we all have heard so many times. To appeal to the hardcore gamers, Nintendo has put some famous trademark songs of their old franchises in Wii Music. You can pretend to be creative with songs like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros or F Zero X. God knows why the target group of Wii Music should know F Zero X.
It wouldn’t be a Wii game if there weren’t any dull minigames in it, would it? Although they sound cool in theory, you will hardly be bothered to play them several times after the first time. Conducting your own orchestra shows promise, but delivers nothing more than waving your remote in a fast or slow way. Clinging bells is Guitar Hero light without sparkle and I won’t even mention the game where you have to answer different questions about music in general.
If you think you can really show your skills in a jam session; think again. You start off alone, but soon after your first notes the tutes come in. The Tutes are your backup band, but instead of playing along, they will already immediately take over the song, forcing you to follow them. Playing online isn’t possible, but you can show videos of your music on the internet. Needlessly to say, that’s lame.
Nintendo missed it, and we’re not used to that. The idea works, but only in theory. In theory, communism works and so does Wii Music, but actually playing it shows that the idea needs some work. Little creativity, no online gameplay and a horrible song list make this game mediocre at best.