Then there’s the sub-par audio quality itself – there’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that the actual sounds many of these instruments make are low quality samples. Compare this to the fact that the recent Metallica actually sounded better in Guitar Hero than it did on CD, and the difference becomes apparent.
Even the four minigames seem like an afterthought. The simplistic drum tutor is okay, but Mii Masestro, in which you “conduct” an orchestra, is an aimless snore. Not to be outdone is Bells, a game in which up to four players all cooperate to ring up to two bells each (basically, it’s like sawing a guitar hero controller into four pieces and playing one song) - is so sluggish it’s practically uneventful. Lastly, Pitch Perfect, in which you hear a note, then decide which of four Miis just played it again, is only really a challenge if you’re completely tone deaf.
The best bit for us is the free-form “jam” mode. It enables you to record your performances (in fact, you can record each part of the song individually, until it’s you playing every part) and then either tweak the arrangement or upload the whole thing to friends via the internet. This is the part we feel has the most promise, and hope it’s expanded for the eventual sequel.
So what are we left with? A music game with such a strong auto-pilot that you don’t usually do much, and what you do doesn’t really matter or look or sound all that cool. It’s a fair party game - there’s a certain novelty charm to seeing a roomful of people gyrating and gesticulating along to the music. And we appreciate the chance to play songs with different instruments and arrangements – Happy Birthday to You really does sound better as a jazz song with kung-fu yells tossed in – and share our performances. But once this novelty wears off, there’s not a lot of longevity here. That makes Wii Music an offering best left to the mainstream market, where the players are less discerning.
Oct 30, 2008