Wii Music (Wii) and Why I Wanted to Like It

I unexpectedly got to sit down with Wii Music over the holidays. I was very excited. It was a new Nintendo-developed game (by EAD Software Group 2, according to Wikipedia, who was responsible for Animal Crossing, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Play), which is enough to get me at least interested. Second, I loved Mario Paint, and Wii Music seemed more like Mario Paint than Rock Band.
I sat down with two other people, one of whom had played before, and set out to jam! You get to choose a song and a venue, and then each player can choose a section, such as melody, harmony, percussion, etc. Then you can pick your instrument. I decided on the standing bass. The bass part is always intriguing, and the standing bass just called to me! Four characters in the bottom right keep time by lighting up, one at a time, for each note.
As far as I could tell, if each player plays a note when told, the song will come out sounding as expected. That’s not any fun though, so we tried improvising. I wasn’t sure if using the nunchuck or buttons did anything when playing my instrument, but I later found that it caused the cat suit (which “plays” meow sounds) to jump around. Each note’s pitch is set, so all you really get to control is when you’d like to play a note. It came out sounding horrible.
My young cousin really enjoyed playing it. I definitely did not enjoy it. As a multiplayer game, it fails completely. As a singe player endeavor, it might be a bit better. You can play each part one at a time, adding all six different sections to create a whole composition. Given some slow thought alone, something good might come out of it! I don’t know though because I didn’t get a chance to sit down alone with it. I do know that I’m very disappointed in the game. If you can’t control the pitch of the note, there’s no chance of anyone being able to create a particular tune they have in their head. They might create something interesting, but it’ll be chance, trial, and error.
I really wanted to enjoy Wii Music because I wanted to know that Nintendo still developed great games. In fact, I know the way I talked about what the experience might be like alone was biased. I still want to like the game, but I really did not. I’d love to see a mode or future game in which you can pick the instrument or sound and the pitch of the notes. The Wii’s current audience would love a game similar to the music creator in Mario Paint. When that game comes out, I’ll play it. I’ll sit this game out.