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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 November 2008
This is my first Amazon review, after reading alot about Wii Music - and reading the reviews on here, I felt compelled to post my thoughts.

This game is nothing like Guitar Hero/Rock Band, so best to put those thoughts aside immediately.

What it is, is more musically challenging. At its core, GH/RB are just pressing a button that corresponds to a note on the screen. If you dont press it, you start to fail = no creativity.

With Wii Music, you CAN get different notes out of the instruments, by practice and experimentation.

Basically, when you play the 'Custom Jam' mode (1-4 simultaneous players), after selecting your instrument part (from a choice of 60), you then start to play your part of the song in the band. You can play by 'ear', or by pressing the - key, you get a note chart. This note chart is a key feature, especially for the beginners. If you 'play' your instrument when the note chart indicates, you will get the right note for that time in the song and carry on doing so will see you complete the song as intended.

Doing this is hard enough at first (each song is graded 1-3 stars in difficulty) and it can be a bit frustrating as mis-timed notes begin to sound like a real-mismash of noise.

Stick with it though and you'll be completing the songs fine.

Now you can start to customise the song to YOUR style and begin the creative process. For example, if playing the guitar part and 1 note is coming up, by holding DOWN on the d-pad, you can enable quick strumming, so 1 note becomes 10 - 5 notes before and 5 after the 'charted' note. The game will then pick the right notes and pitch etc for that part of the song.

Other examples are holding 'c' to play a chord instead of a note, 'z' to palm-mute notes etc etc. So by using combinations of all these controls, you really begin to add your own style. More skilful players can slightly (and deliberately) mis-time their notes to pick out another note from the song.

On top of all that, you can adjust the timing of the song - so perhaps miss notes out (deliberately) to produce a different sound. The 4 bouncing 'be-bops' in the corner of the screen help you keep time and also to indicate what section of the song is coming up (melody, solo etc).

When you have completed one instrument in the song, you can go back over the song with a new instrument and so on, until you have filled all 6 parts of the song.

It truly is quite deep - much deeper than what you may think before playing it.

The drum mode is actually very good too and feels quite authentic. Its not 1:1 controls and you do need to use buttons on the controllers as well as waving the sticks, but you do get a good sensation of actual drumming and the wealth of lessons provided help a complete novice such as I, to get a good idea of rhythm and timing. This is a mode I will practice over and over.

I've rambled enough, but hopefully that will give people a different opinion. Dont take this game on face value of 'oh its just waving the sticks around and you dont really play anything'. Its deep, fun and educational - and well worth getting!
22 Comments| 272 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I love music. I DJ, produce my own tracks, have a garage full of old keyboards (yes, I'm a saddo!) and record interesting sounds... Like alot of people, I guess music's my life, but theirs always room for fun elements to my work and play. So it came as a big surprise when I saw the Wii Music ad on TV.

OK, so this isn't trying to compete with Ableton, Logic Studio, or daftly any other software, This is Nintendo's apparent fun take on making some music on your Wii at their usual fair price. And fair do's to them! Theirs already Guitar Hero and the alike out, so how does Nintendo's approach fair?

It's a mixed bag, to say the least.

Presented under a plush card case that's very funky, it sends all the signals that this would be ideal for Christmas. Even the release date, a month ahead of the maddest time of year, suggests they want this to be a gift to which alot of people can relate to.

An induction session (similar to most of Nintendo's own Wii games) takes you through the 3 main different ways of using the Nunchuk and Wii Remote. Suffice to say, all 3 are genuinely easy to pick and make sense, using a combination of buttons and movements. Unfortunately, a little of the 'spark' is lost once you realise that you don't need to hold the Nunchuk and Remote in the exact position it tells you to, which already signals a pulling factor for a younger audience who won't think of such things. Hopefully!

Jam, Videos, Games, and Lessons make up the main menu, and each accordingly do what they say.

The Jam mode is essentially the core of the game; made up of Improvise, Custom Jam and Quick Jam. All three grasp the same idea that you are basically putting your Wii Remote/Nunchuk movements to backing music, but they offer different ways of implying this. Obviously Custom Jam and Improvise are the funnest, and allow you to 'build up' to a peak after your solo. But among all three modes, the strengths and problems lay throughout.

Lets take the Guitar as an example. Naturally, you'd expect their to be different notes being played to the different position you strum, Wrong. All the instruments for this matter are set to pre-defined note patterns, meaning you have no control over creativity, aside from picking an instrument and the song. This goes for all instruments, and even more surprising on hammer-action instruments such as the piano or vibraphone, which could have very easily incorporated varying notes to your wish. Instead, its just a wash of waving your hands about, which is indeed fun, but as I'll keep saying, it just wears off once you realise you have no control on what you want to hear.

But what about the song choice? Thankfully, a challenge element has been incorporated; you must unlock all the other songs, to which their are 50+. However, after unlocking the majority and viewing whats ahead, it's hard not to be demoralized by the lack of excitement put into the track list. Indeed, simple songs, lullabys like Twinkle Twinkle cater for younger people, and Nintendos own game songs are nice, but their are no golden oldies to which we can all relate to, or at least not heard over and over. The backing tracks themselves lack spark in their MIDI fashion, and sometimes almost drown out your own music.

Games mode offers 3 further choices; Open Orchestra, Handbell Harmony and Pitch Perfect. Open Orchestra is basically just a game in which you must play the chosen at the right tempo (timing). Hardly groundbreaking, but offers a nice little break and has some humor elements if you don't keep in time... Handbell Harmony isn't much better either either; relying on you to play 'handbells' in time with the music. Difficulty isn't so much the problem, but understanding and grasping the concept is, as it isn't clearly explained what the objective is. Finally, Pitch Perfect is an almost opposite as it's incredibly easy - your task to merely match a Note being played to which of the Mii's on the screen is copying. Nice but their are plenty of levels at least which get more tasking due to different music definitions and concepts; some of which I fear many people which become frustrated at, such as 'harmonies' where it make take someone with a genuine musical ability to pick out the sounds rather than those without.

Lessons speaks for itself, though as you begin the game for the first time, you get tutorials and you have the option of playing them on each mode anyway, as well as instructions only a button away.

Video's mode is a fantastic idea that allows you to save your song and video together, thus being able to play them back from the main menu. You are able to create your own videos after performing a piece of music, which then goes on to allow you to choose a design for your 'album cover' and arrange the characters on it. A nice concept, but it wears off after you've explored the few templates.

Throughout all the modes, the music quality is fairly descent. Some will not approve of the MIDI quality, which is indeed sub-standard given the Wii plays 750mb CD's; and it's hard imagine the production team not being able to use this all up, Then again, if all the samples were in WAV format as an example, how long would be loading times be extended? The most disappointing instrument is the guitar, which sounds more like an elastic band being flicked.

The drum mode is interesting. Hidden away unless you own the Wii Balance Board for full functionality, it was perhaps the mode I was most looking forward to - letting off some steam without the space needed for a full set-up. Unfortunately this time round, the problem doesn't occur with the level of creativity you can persue, but with functionality. While there are six different 'movements' you can make on the four different drum kits, the level of sensitivity on the Balance Board is much to high. This results in both a snare and a kick being played at the same time, because once you step on one side of the board, it registers the movement on the other side. The only way to get round this (still sitting down) is by placing your feet right on the edges of the Board. The Nunchuk and Remote registrations are OK, but again, lack precision to interpret real movements. It's safe to say modes like this are in desperate need of the Wii Motion Plus to create 1:1 simulation that would ultimately engage the person into creating real movements.

But in all honestly, the whole of Wii Music needs this functionality. Without it, you are limited to merely waving your Remote around and being told to "imagine" the instrument, as you are not actually required to hold the equipment in its correct place, which takes away some value, challenge, and indeed 'gaming' elements of this software. Combined with a disappointing lack of support for expressing your creativity, relatively poor song choice, and fairly simplistic online option, I honestly feel this is Nintendo's final straw in the market of casual gaming, as this is a concept which has been partially flawed by making it too simplistic, even for the younger gamer. I'm in no way being synical or too harsh. I love my Wii, and I love music, and I understand such concepts should not be taken too seriously. However, their is a fine line between it being too simple, and too complicated. And it has to be said, Nintendo have crossed the line too far to cater for lack of creative input.
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on 19 November 2008
Not the best Wii game ever and as usual it is more fun to play this with other people.

I have no musical skill whatsoever - can't really recognise notes/pitch....find it difficult to stay with a rhythm etc so I see this game as perfect as its a bit of a challenge. It just sounds so funny when you get it wrong! And watching your Miis dance around is funny.

As the other reviewers have said it doesn't matter really what you do when you 'play' the instuments as it plays the right notes you just have to keep rhythm really. Therefore it isn't a game if you are looking for a 'proper' music challenge.

I wish there were more mini games - I like the handbell one and the conducting game is also fun. The quiz is a bit difficult in places too. (luckily I know someone who is musical and can help me out)

There are songs that are popular all over the world so there are some that I have never heard of being from the UK.

Overall - OK for a bit of fun and you will enjoy it more the less musical you are!
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on 24 November 2008
I have read the other reviews on here and note the points made but i have got to say are you taking it to seriously? My family have had this game two weeks now and we are still playing it. So, why have i given it five stars? Its the simplicity and ease of the game for everyone that makes it so enjoyable. No one has any musical talent in our family (No one can read music or play an instrument!)however, that does not matter. The game talks you through everything with a nice and easy tutorial that gives you the basics of a song and what goes into it, such as the bass, the melody, percussion and so on. Once you have learnt these basics you can put them together in jam sessions using yourself for every part of the band! How good is that. You can even decide what style your band is going to play by selecting the instruments to get the right sound. An example of this is to make your songs sound red neck style by using the banjo, uckele and the marching drum. Or form your own string quartet and play some classics. When you have finished your track you can save it as your very own video. There are also the mini games, handbells being the most fun with four of you playing. the other mii's looks when you get a note wrong put you to shame. I'll admit now that I am a FPS fan myself but this game is ideal for the wii and it's unique use of the remotes linked to it's bias towards family games. Imagine this, a french nursery rhyme, sur la pont d'avignon, played by a heavy rock band with a cheerleader as the singer, performed on a balcony, what a laugh!
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VINE VOICEon 24 October 2009
I have to say, this is not the sort of game that would appeal to everyone but bought this for my youngest. Her and her big sister have not put it down! They spend hours 'jamming' I think if I hear 'jingle bell rock' one more time I'm going to go insane!!
There has a lot to do in it like having lessons on a variety of instruments, playing mini games that are really quite hilarious to watch and jamming using the mii characters you have created. Also once you have made your music the way you like it you can design your own CD cover and keep it in the wii for later viewing or as mine do show off to anyone who walks through the front door while they are playing!
A great game for younger children and their daft parents.
There is a couple of the mini games that would be fun to play at parties or family gatherings.
Enjoy, just don't take it too seriously its just a fun thing. Although a few of the tunes begin to grate after the millionth play through.
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on 8 January 2009
Wii Music is a game that should be approached with extreme caution. The game is well worth your money, but it really comes down to what you are interested in.
For example, I wouldnt recommend this to anyone who is thinking of creating a brand new masterpeice of music, because , simply, you cant do this. The game does not let you change the notes...just WHEN you play them, allowing you only to create your own take on a song.
Thats said you can come up with a pretty original take on a song such as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" by changing the tempo and genre.
So in all, buy this if you cant play an instrument and what to let your feelings be expressed through music, just dont expect to create your own original masterpeice.
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on 30 December 2008
I bought this game in time for two family Christmas parties and it generated hours of fun beyond our expectations: our guests were absorbed by it all afternoon.

The Open Orchestra and Handbell Harmony games are fantastic interactive party games and worth 4 stars alone (but note that the latter really does need 4 controllers + 4 nunchucks to get the best from it). We found the level of difficulty just right for a family of 10 ranging from 7 to 70 with lots of scope for increasing the challenge for the more talented/experienced. Also, it's worth noting it is not overly competitive: the collaboration elements worked very well in a mixed family group.

Playing alone I found a lot of the subtlety described in some of the other more considered reviews and this will ensure I keep coming back to it in the coming weeks.

Despite the fun, I withheld the fifth star for the following reasons:

i) the jam sessions which form the main body of the game are too challenging for impromptu parties - you really do need to take the tutorials before you can get the best from them, otherwise they tend to descend into audio-mush.

ii) not enough tunes, at least not until you've progressed further to unlock them.

Despite these two minor gripes it really is a very imaginative and well-executed game.
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on 7 December 2008
I love this game, there are so many different instruments, although you only start with a few and all the songs are well known, but you only start with about 5, you have to work for the others. but this price is a little overpriced
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on 12 March 2014
Took me ages to find this, they are all over the bloody place now thou , but my kids wanted this particular one, could have bought all the others , but they always seem to want the one out of stock! Great thou now they have it.
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on 6 January 2009
This is a good game but could be a bit better.

I received this game for christmas and played it straight away. Up front i had great fun and thoroughly enjoyed it - me and my brother both said we had fun.

We then unlocked some new stuff and recognised some of the songs which at first was even better but now we've unlocked all of it, we can only play around and make some videos which is getting pretty boring although it is fun when our friends come around and try to play because the videos are rubbish!

To conclude, a good game and a lot of fun but it does get a bit boring if you play it too much which is what i thnk our problem was.

My recomendation - Buy this product and dont play it too much.
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