|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.
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.
If Wii Music would have been released as a WiiWare title, I really think it would have been perfect. There just isnt enough content here to justify a full game purchase, and I cant 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 youve got yourself a frustrating experience that will likely lead to some buyers 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 cant refer to Wii Music as a video game. It feels more like a glorified tech demo or interactive screensaver.
Overall, other players 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 wont 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.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor