Wii Music Review
Wii Music box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Nintendo 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Nintendo 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 20, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

One of my biggest disappointments with this title has to be the musical selection. The music in this title can basically be described as a hodge-podge of nursery rhymes, classical music, and old Nintendo themes. It seems like Nintendo tried to use these different musical genres to appeal to their base of casual gamers, while throwing a bone to their hardcore fans with the inclusion of the Legend of Zelda theme as well as the Animal Crossing theme. But when the music catalog only has about 50 tracks, which include songs like Happy Birthday to You and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, these nods to the Nintendo base just feel disingenuous. Rounding out the list of musical offerings is "Material Girl" by Madonna, "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven, and "Oh Christmas Tree", just in case you find yourself in that holiday mood.

Wii Music screenshot

The sound quality itself is not that bad, and the different instruments all sound very nice. Sure, none of the instruments sound like "the real thing" but I was pleasantly surprised at the different sounds that came from some of the more exotic instruments like the sitar and ukulele. Standard instruments in this title also have alternate versions that can be amusing to tinker around with. For instance, instead of playing the bass drums and the piano, you can play the galactic drums and a toy piano. However, there are also some pretty hokey music makers included as well including a dog suit "instrument" (I use the term here in the loosest way possible) that barks when you shake the Wii-mote. There is also a meowing cat and a peppy cheerleader rounding out the list of absurdities.

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If Wii Music would have been released as a WiiWare title, I really think it would have been perfect. There just isn’t enough content here to justify a full game purchase, and I can’t imagine anyone seriously playing this title for more than five or six hours. Add this to the fact that most of the game is spent waggling a Wii-mote with no real goal, and you’ve got yourself a frustrating experience that will likely lead to some buyer’s remorse. I really wanted to say that all my suspicions and preconceived notions about the game were completely wrong and that it was a total triumph for Nintendo. However, my only feelings towards the game after a few short hours were of boredom. I really can’t refer to Wii Music as a video game. It feels more like a glorified tech demo or interactive screensaver.

Overall, other player’s feelings towards Wii Music will largely depend on what they believe constitutes a modern video game. If you believe games are non-competitive ways to express yourself and where not much effort is required, then you will probably love Wii Music. However, if you believe games are all about skill, scores, and hard work, then you probably won’t enjoy this title at all. But either way, it can definitely be said that Wii Music is a unique title that stands out among its peers, for better or worse.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
Graphics are very good, despite being very simplistic.
3.8
Control
Controlling all the different instruments is a breeze, but they don't have a clear range, and the generic control schemes feel imprecise.
3.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music selection is pretty good...if you are into classical music, nursery rhymes, Christmas carols, and vintage Nintendo tracks.
2.5

Play Value
There is some fun to be had when jamming with small kids or parents, and the mini-games provide an hour or two of fun, but this title just doesn't have any legs after an evening of playtime.

3.1
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • It's easy to play improv jams. Musicians in your band jam by simply playing their instruments to the beat of a song or by improvising to their heart's content: play faster, play slower, skip a beat, or throw in ten more. No matter what you do, Wii Music automatically transforms your improv stylings into great music. There are no mistakes-just playing for the pure joy of playing.
  • Wii controls immerse you in the music. You can play most of the 60-plus instruments in Wii Music using simple motions with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers. Strum to play guitar, banjo, and sitar. Drum to play jazz drums, congas, and marching drums. Hammer away to play piano, vibraphone, and marimba. Unlike most music games, Wii Music doesn't make you use complex buttons. You only need to imitate playing the instrument.
  • Wii Music offers virtually endless ways to make music. You choose the song and instruments and decide whether to blaze through a rock take on classical songs, put a jazzy spin on folk tunes, or transform Nintendo classics like the Super Mario Bros. theme into Latin-flavored numbers. The song list is only a takeoff point-it's how you improvise with the songs that matters.
  • Send your band-jam recordings to Wii Friends who have Wii Music. They'll see your Mii band members, your players' improv styles, and your instrument selections. They can watch your recordings, or play over parts of your song, then send their modified recording back to you. Improv jams can be sent back and forth over WiiConnect24 and changed again and again.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 480p (Progressive Scan, Widescreen).


  • Screenshots / Images
    Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge Wii Music screenshot - click to enlarge

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