Wii Music (Wii)

Game Review

Wii Music Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Anthony Dickens

Grab yourself a WiiMote, it's time you became a maestro!

Miyamoto is Nintendo's legendary games developer, he's responsible for the majority of Nintendo's success over the past 30 years and proves a lot of people wrong time and time again. The release of Wii Music takes me back to earlier in the year, when Wii Fit was first released.

Wii Fit was demoed at E3 2007 and received a very mixed response from the industry with a lot of people questioning Miyamoto and wondering if the great man had seriously lost the plot. Having genius on his side has helped, Wii Fit was released and instantly became the hottest must have game of the time, it brought countless new customers both to Nintendo and the games industry as whole.

Wii Music on the other hand is Miyamoto's latest venture into the unknown, another game that was demoed at E3 and received a mixed response, people wondering what he was on about.

Personally I've not been swept away by the current, spreading music genre, the music game that is all about hitting buttons in exactly the right order at exactly the right time.

Those games aren't really about music the art form, its about rhythm, about code about button bashing. Music for me is a creative medium and currently there aren't many games that tap into that idea.

Wii Music is set to change all that, it's not Guitar Hero, its not Rock Band its something alittle different, its all about playing the notes you want to play, whenever you want to play them, some what the opposite to the conventional music game.

When you first turn on Wii Music you'll instantly recognise the now familiar "Wii Series" style, with Nintendo using the same styled fonts, menus and icons to other games in the range such as Wii Sports, Wii Play and Wii Fit, Nintendo's secret new franchise.

Nintendo clearly learnt alot from Wii Fit as Wii Music opens with the same format, your introduced to your 'guide' character, the musical maestri Sebastian Tute, who gives you the basics on how to play the game.

The maestro explains that there are four different methods of playing instruments in the game.

The first type is "Piano" for instruments you had to hit or press, such as Drums and Piano. This is simply holding the Wiimote and Nunchuck in separate hands and banging them up and down.

The next, second, type is "Guitar" used for all the different strumming instruments such as Electric Bass and Ukulele. Holding the Nunchuck out, you strum with the Wiimote to play in this style.

Third type is "Trumpet", holding the Wiimote up towards yourself, pressing the buttons to play.

Finally the "Violin" type is for the remaining instruments, holding the Nunchuck out and use your Wiimote as a bow.

Each of the actions plays the basic sound of the instrument, by holding different buttons and sometimes moving up, down, side to side will all manipulate the sound and simulate playing a slightly different note.

These 'loose' types fit most of the instruments well, it helps keep the game simple and yet still have a large number of instruments, there are over 60 in total, including a rather bizarre darking dog suit; yes its real.

Once you've had a go at each time you take part in your first jam session, where 6 band members all play together, each making up a different part of the song.

Jam sessions are the "meat" of the game, this is where the majority of what Wii Music is about actually happens. Starting a jam is easy, you can either jump straight into a random one or completely customise it to your own tastes.

First of all you select the number of players, choose a song, a style and then a stage/location.

Each player then chooses which of the 6 roles of the band they wish to play, they also get to choose which instrument to play it with.

Once the music starts its up to you to play notes whenever you want, the software makes sure whenever you play a note it fits into the general tune and therefore doesn't sound like a total mess.

There is a beat counter on-screen that helps keep your timing, you'll soon get the hang of it and begin to make your own tunes and sounds, quickly getting that feeling of creating something of your own.

Each jam session is "recorded", allowing you to save it and play back later. Whenever you save a jam session you also get to rate it and create a unique CD cover/jacket for storage in your video library.

Once you get the hang of one instrument you can go back to reply a song and choose to play a different instrument, you can do this again and again whilst the game keeps your previous jams, called overdubs, this allows you to play every single part of the song and really create something of your own.

You can make your videos slightly more interesting by pressing the four different directional buttons and cause your character to show off on stage, performing little jumps and spins all whilst the background lights up and reacts in time to your music.

On the side of this main mode there are lessons, games and your video library, all accessed by the main menu. Taking lessons is a useful way of finding out more about the controls, the different styles of music and everything else the game has to offer.

If you simply feel like finding out about all the instruments the instruments improv area allows you to do so, playing each instrument and seeing what different control actions do.

For those of you that did dip into the world of Wii Fit, Wii Music has a nice little bonus in the form of "Drumming mode", where you get to use your expensive scales, the Wii Balance Board.

Drumming mode is just an enhanced drums controls which allows you to use the Balance Board as drum pedals, giving you four way control. It's a nice little addition to the game and certainly shows how "virtual" controls of quite complex equipment is probably going to appear more in the future, Wii HD anyone?

Consumers do need to be careful when accessing Wii Music, like Wii Fit it's not really a game, its a hybrid piece of software come game. It clearly won't suit everyone and might loose the attention of alot of the 'hardcore' gaming community due to its need of personal investment.

Obviously there are also things that could be improved, the main issue is the amount of music to play, there is always room for extra songs. Wii Music comes with a mixture of public domain, Nintendo and real world licensed music.


Wii Music is clearly well made, well produced and certainly innovates. The game takes a massive emphasis on creativity, you can't win or beat this game, only play music as fast or slow as you like. There is no doubt this game expands the genre and will be welcome in alot of households this Christmas. It's worthy of praise for what it is and what it tries to achieve, but I warn you, it's not for everyone.

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

Wii Music coming this holiday

User Comments (16)



bri said:

Wii music sounds like an interesting and innovative new game.



SuperMarioX said:

I wonder should I buy this? I'm still thinking on my own conclusion it looks rather good but there's other great music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I'm just not to sure to have the Wii-Remote next to your mouth and start thinking that it's a trumpet



antdickens said:

It's hard to know if your going to like it, I guess my advice would be this, if you really like the idea of the game you'll like it, if your not sure, its probably worth sticking to the traditional music games. Perhaps try and play it somewhere before you buy it.

Wii Music is abit like Marmite, you'll love it or hate it



hero-of-time said:

its fun but can get boring. its so easy but playing it in japanese i had no idea what to do. may keep you good for about a week but if your a guitar hero fan then this is a no go. its just............too cute



blaineca said:

@720BOMBER: Think of it this way... Wii Music is just like a Mario game. You can just follow the path or you can explore around for little secrets. Rather than saving the Princess for the reward, however, you get a music video. If you did a good job it's a great reward. So if that sounds interesting to you... a kind of musical take on Mario/Zelda, then you will love it. The alternative is Rock Band/Guitar Hero where you do not explore but instead practice to complete a level as shown. I love the game, but honestly I'm not surprised that a lot of people have trouble with it - it's very hard using your ears rather than your eyes! And the reward is not very traditional.



Bahamut_ZERO said:

Good to hear a positive review. I found this to be just plain fun, and its great to see it appreciated somewhere. Just goes to show the NintendoLife/WWW?VC-R guys know what they're doing



warioswoods said:

This review gives me great respect for the site; you're one of the few publications that was able to recognize the intent and ingenuity of the game. Your conclusion sums it up perfectly.

Other reviewers simply played for 5 minutes, couldn't figure out how to produce anything musically coherent, called it 'waggle,' and rushed to write their self-congratulating "I'm to hardcore for this" nonsense review.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Definitely one of the more accurate reviews out there. I wouldn't personally fault it for its small song selection as there's a lot of variation among them, but I would fault it on two things:

Switching Miis when overdubbing one instrument at a time is pretty clunky, and it would be nice if you could double or triple the runtime of certain songs for the sake of jamming out. Sometimes the song runs out of steam just as you're getting into it!

Otherwise, a really great game, and a wonderful review.



Kid_A said:

This is a truly brilliant game. I'm glad to see a positive review!



Mabbit said:

this is a perfect example of different viewpoints on a game:

the hardcore guys would want something where you need to practice at and get better and also they would need some grading system in order to brag to their friends about

on the other hand the casual guy would just want something to experiment and play around with. they would rather spend time fiddling with the instruments and not have to worry about being good



Nintenzo said:

Wow, accordion on the Wii. I already have a real one though. And I have to say, the Wiimote is quite a bit lighter.



JLFM said:

Hated this game. The case CLEARLY states that you can "compose your own music." Ha! All you can do is "play" a bunch of instruments in songs the game's already written. Had a lot of potential, but didn't keep it's promises.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...