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Wii Music Review

After all the controversy, does Nintendo's music-maker hit a bum note?

Forget Bully, forget Madworld, forget Grand Theft Auto. When it comes to controversy, few have courted it quite like Wii Music. Sure, there's no blood and guts to speak of, but nevertheless, no other game has had so many people up in arms as Nintendo's latest lifestyle title.

Since its unveiling at E3 in July, the game has attracted some pretty vicious condemnation. The more hardcore end of the gaming spectrum have been lining up to take a shot. "There's nothing to it!" they cried. "Where's the game?" they bellowed. "It looks like something for my kid sister!" they insisted.

Click to view larger image
Were they right? Well, to be honest, to a degree, yes. Wii Music isn't technically a game. It's very content light. And, yes, it's a game aimed at a younger demographic than, say, Twilight Princess or Metroid Prime 3 were. However, surprisingly, it's something else too. It's a lot of fun.

Stop, Hey, What's That Sound?

The core of the game sees you choosing a song, selecting an instrument and then playing along with the Remote and Nunchuk. For instance, if you pick the guitar, you'll be making a strumming motion with the Remote. For the drums, you'll be pretending the Wii's controllers are drumsticks. The piano sees you tapping out a tune with both controllers on an invisible keyboard.

Unlike Guitar Hero, you don't select which note you play, merely when you play it. You'll be given a beat to follow and while you have the option of bringing up a bar showing you when to play each note, the emphasis is very much on doing your own thing and adding or subtracting notes to make the song your own.

You have the choice of playing along with the house band (a motley crew called The Tutes), going multiplayer and assigning up to four different players an instrument each, or building up a song from scratch yourself. The last option is easily the most enjoyable and where the real meat of the experience is.

There's scope for using up to six instruments per song. You can start by, say, laying down a drum beat and then, one by one, going back and layering further percussion, bass, chords, a melody and then harmony on top to create your own take on a particular tune. Once you're done, you can make a record sleeve, watch your video back and then send it to a Wii-owning friend.

Name That Tune

As mentioned above, one of the main criticisms levelled at the game is that it looked to lack substance. Ironically though, out of all the 'Wii...' games, it probably offers the most depth. You can spend hours tinkering with your track by changing the style, altering the tempo, adding new instruments and so forth. With patience (be warned: it's not easy at first), imagination and a little musical flair you can create something really rather remarkable. ONM's synth-reggae take on The Police's Every Breath You Take (see panel), for instance, has to be heard to be believed.

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Indeed, Wii Music's strengths lie in the freedom it affords you to unleash your creative side and come up with something unique. Unlike Guitar Hero or Rock Band, you'll never play a song the same way twice. The instruments available range from the straightforward (guitar, piano, violin, trumpet, clarinet), to the exotic (marimba, castanets, bongos, sitar), to the downright bizarre (NES horn, human beat box, cheerleader, dog suit). With over 60 different instruments to choose from and six slots available on each song, there are roughly (*gets out calculator*), ooh, a gazillion different ways to play every track.

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Comments

46 comments so far...
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  1. flaming3 Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 16:15

    Wiiplay over again?

  2. marioforever Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 16:17

    well, i knew it wouldnt get a gold, but i knew the review would be something on those lines. i might get it if i have some money to spare, but i doubt i EVER will :(

  3. ILoveWii Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 16:22

    Wiiplay over again?

    LOL. You haven't played Wii Music yet. Do you even know if it's good or not?

  4. Super_Sonic96 Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 16:32

    ok, it wins. It's won me over.

  5. Ichigo Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 16:33

    Wiiplay over again?

    That game was quite good, Ł35 for an ok game which is fun in multiplayer from time to time and a free wii remote. Semms good to me.
    --
    Any way, I don't think this looks very good at all =<

  6. flaming3 Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 17:25

    Wiiplay over again?

    LOL. You haven't played Wii Music yet. Do you even know if it's good or not?

    You see that thing at the end of my sentence? Iy#t's called a 'Question mark' and it represents a feeling of uncertianty.

  7. Joerulesdaworld Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 17:27

    another overrated game

  8. daddybobo Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 18:20

    Wiiplay over again?

    They look like two totally different games to me. One has fun multiplayer games. The other is an instrument playing game.

    I dont think I will be getting this but I dont think this is a failure by Nintendo. I think it would be great for kids and I hope it doesn't put Nintendo off trying something new in the future.

  9. Flash7 Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 18:28

    ok, it wins. It's won me over.

    That didn't take a lot.

  10. VivaLaGabe Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 18:29

    Looks crap and a waste of money,
    My opinion of course :D

  11. Oni-91 Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 18:37

    I probably won't buy it, but fair play to Nintendo for trying something like this.
    Also, your last pic is from GH:WT >_<

  12. VivaLaGabe Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 18:40

    I probably won't buy it, but fair play to Nintendo for trying something like this.
    Also, your last pic is from GH:WT >_<

    What about WiiFit, that was risky, and the game sucks.

  13. WIIexpert Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 19:00

    Ever since I herd about this I thought that it would be a BIG risk(bigger than WiiFit) but in my opinion people might go for this as it's MUCH MORE cheaper than GH:WT(the whole set I mean) & I'm going to get Wii Music myself. No matter how much people say how bad it is!!!!!

  14. Rob3rt Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 19:27

    Also, your last pic is from GH:WT >_<

    or is it? heh heh heh ...oh it is- my bad!

  15. Dan663 Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 19:44

    haha, i watched the out of the box thing on screwattack and it looks sooooooooo bad, i would never get this.

  16. Doctor Who Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 19:48

    Wait, is this the same magazine which calls the Mii Freestyle a "waste of disc space" and then gives Wii Music 80%?

  17. haggisii Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 20:32

    Maybe Wii Music would be fun if it had a lot of contemporary songs like Guitar Hero does. But somehow I don't think playing a punk/jazz/hip hop version of "Row Row Row Your Boat" has the same appeal.

  18. 20chambo08 Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 22:14

    this game looks crap has no pont to it really if you want a music game get RB2 or GH:WT because you'll get your moneys worth

  19. Fii Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 22:26

    Kudos to Nintendo for making a game that absolutely anyone can play, but in my opinion I think they overdid it with the "absolutely anyone" thing. I want a game. Not a toy.

  20. The Traitor Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 13:33

    Wii Music - another reason for the belief that rational society has about three weeks left before collapse.

  21. Ryu5 Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 18:31

    I thought you would suck up to this game because it's from Nintendo, (because you generally do it to every Nintendo game), be a bit biased and because of that, I was certain that it was going to get a gold award, but...there you go. :?

  22. faridmon Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 19:44

    it is a sad day when Nintendo fans hit this low to obey thier masters.

    not everything from Nintenod is good and this game is just rubbish.

  23. GamerKid Saturday 15th Nov 2008 at 15:28

    I probably won't buy it, but fair play to Nintendo for trying something like this.
    Also, your last pic is from GH:WT >_<

    check the mag review and you will see y its there


    oh its rock band

  24. Jman_Vere Saturday 15th Nov 2008 at 15:44

    another overrated game

    have you even played it yet?

  25. Oni-91 Saturday 15th Nov 2008 at 20:27

    I probably won't buy it, but fair play to Nintendo for trying something like this.
    Also, your last pic is from GH:WT >_<

    check the mag review and you will see y its there


    oh its rock band


    It's all the same thing really. And yes, I know why. And to be honest, it means diddley-squit to me, because I already have a drum kit :D .

  26. flaming3 Saturday 15th Nov 2008 at 21:57

    Can I ask why you didn't mention the appalling sound samples?

  27. FrederickONM Monday 17th Nov 2008 at 11:46

    Can I ask why you didn't mention the appalling sound samples?

    We did actually. If you buy the mag, you'll see that we discuss them in a few picture captions.

  28. flaming3 Monday 17th Nov 2008 at 21:37

    Can I ask why you didn't mention the appalling sound samples?

    We did actually. If you buy the mag, you'll see that we discuss them in a few picture captions.

    I do apologise then. I thought that was the full review posted.

  29. MPWSnomi Saturday 22nd Nov 2008 at 11:36

    ok, this is nintendo mag all over.
    its a new nintendo game, so it scores highly.
    it looks BS to me.

  30. Manius Saturday 22nd Nov 2008 at 18:13

    I play Piano and Violin Grade 7 (both) so it will be interesting to see how it turns out :D

  31. MPWSnomi Sunday 23rd Nov 2008 at 00:33

    I play Piano and Violin Grade 7 (both) so it will be interesting to see how it turns out :D


    no! DONT GET IT!

  32. Manius Sunday 23rd Nov 2008 at 13:12

    Is is that bad?

  33. Pluck It Wednesday 26th Nov 2008 at 15:55

    Actually, I got this game at Asda, and you can be VEEEEERY creative. Forget World Tour or Rock Band 2, if you are not very intrested in perciphials, get this. If you are a hardcore music fan, get Korg, World Tour, Rock Band or Jam Sessions.

  34. faridmon Saturday 29th Nov 2008 at 12:53

    Actually, I got this game at Asda, and you can be VEEEEERY creative. Forget World Tour or Rock Band 2, if you are not very intrested in perciphials, get this. If you are a hardcore music fan, get Korg, World Tour, Rock Band or Jam Sessions.


    am buying Korg DS, however am really hesitant about picking up Jam Session, is it really good music creator?

    am really thinking about getting this, but am not really sure what to expect.

    and World Tour is rubbish, if anyone is interesting in a music game game get Rock Band or Korg DS.

  35. joshwithtriforce Wednesday 10th Dec 2008 at 21:54

    i bought this game and its bad when you first play it , but as you play you unlock things and it starts to get better. but it feels rather untouched

  36. Pluck It Friday 19th Dec 2008 at 17:32

    ok, this is nintendo mag all over.
    its a new nintendo game, so it scores highly.
    it looks BS to me.

    Your opinion looks BS to me.

  37. Tom East Monday 22nd Dec 2008 at 10:51

    Ign Review: 5.0
    Gamespot Review: 6.5
    Gametrailers Review: 3.8
    Game Informer: 3.0
    VideoGamer: 4.0
    EuroGamer: 5.0

    My point has been proven. You given an extra 20% to games made by Nintendo.

  38. hellokitty123 Monday 9th Feb 2009 at 19:16

    I got this because I knew that my little brother would love it, but I actually ended up really enjoying it myself! It's a fun concept, but people just can't get to grips with the fact that it's not meant to be one of those high-maintenance games you can really get into; it's supposed to be a bit of casual fun that you can show off to your friends- and it is :)

  39. Rabbid_girl Thursday 8th Oct 2009 at 07:32

    hmmmmmm..... to buy or not to buy...... :roll:

  40. dreadzrus Sunday 11th Oct 2009 at 12:54

    when onm faulted the slight problem of unfinished modes, does that honestly make it 80 percent?!? Deserves at least 93 percent.

  41. dreadzrus Sunday 11th Oct 2009 at 12:56

    Just because of unfinished modes doesn't mean that you have to make it 80 percent.
    93 at least

  42. Rabbid_girl Sunday 25th Oct 2009 at 18:08

    I brought wii music today and I personally think its great. I mean, any game that think that putting on a cat suit and meowing is music HAS to be good. You get to make your own music videos on it too! I just made one of me and my brother playing 'Daydream Beliver' in a field of flowers. Now that was nice!

  43. goombastommper11 Sunday 22nd Nov 2009 at 19:51

    I actually liked this game. In my opinion it is better than the first four 'Wii' games (Sports, Play, Chess and Fit). It is absolutely hilarios and compare it to the Ł160 costing Guitar Hero. It is now One-Fifth of that

    + Lots of Instrument

    + Easy to do

    + Cheap for a Music game

    - Not many 'cool' songs

    88% Maybe?

  44. sheepfreak Wednesday 14th Apr 2010 at 10:31

    :shock: a good game but it is let down by the over-explantion in tutorials.
    I mean... just let us work it out ourselves!

  45. oracion666 Thursday 3rd Jun 2010 at 14:31

    :shock: a good game but it is let down by the over-explantion in tutorials.
    I mean... just let us work it out ourselves!

    True, there was a heck of a lot of explaining. And I kept saying, GET ON WITH IT! D<

    But it is a sweet little game for fooling around and making loads of racket on. But for serious gamers, I don't recommend.

  46. Auraelement Saturday 11th Sep 2010 at 15:34

    I borrowed this, And i am amazed.The only modes that
    are unfinished are handbell harmony and pitch perfect.
    This is my opinion.

    + One of the greatest "wii" games ever.

    + Sleeve Creating is AWESOME!!!!

    + Overfilled with lots of instruments and music

    + Gazillion ways to peform a song??? Whoa,Man!!

    - Handbell Harmony has low depth

    How about a %88???

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