Wii Music is an utter fucking disgace to the video games industry

Oh my god, I just saw another cut of the UK tv advertisments for the latest feather in Nintendo's cap, Wii Music.

I've not read any formal opinion on this product at all, I don't need to. I had a sneaking suspition that taking the basic (and I mean that in the loosest) format of your Rock Hero World Band: Mania! style game, and making t shit, sorry acessible was never going to work.

My proof of this has been the horribly self conscious rictus of the "Dad" in the tv advert. The whole thing just proves that Nintendo actually had no idea just why Wii Fit was so successful. I see now that it was just a case of "with this technology we could do this..." and it happened to take off. I mean I'm no gaming industry guru, but if one of your employees came up to you and said "if we pretended the controllers were instruments then we could do this...[Wii Music]", my answer would be "You are fired", not "Awesome, I think we'll lead with that at next year's E3".

Anyway, what was I on about? Oh yeah - the guy in the Wii Music advert. The Marketing guys Nintendo UK are using were clearly good enough poker players to sit there and convince the Nintendo staff that it could become another lifestyle product if marketed in the same way as Wii Fit was. They guy in the advert though, he know''s. He clearly still has a healthy soul, and every last bit of it is writhing in agony as he bravely tries to smile over it and pretend he's having a good time.

It's a shame, my take is he took a gig he didn't like because he's got bills to pay or a family to feed. Yeah, it's a real shame because he clearly just went straight out after filming and spent everything he earned, plus a bit more on the hardest drugs he could get his hands on. Just so he could face his family again.

And if you go out and buy this game, the blood from his nose is on your hands. YOUR hands!

And anyway, assume for a moment we were to spend any time with the game. The way I see it, it has merit if as a really bit of fun for very young kids. Except the adverts are attempting to position this as fun for 'all' the family, or not even that, as an evening in for a bunch of trendy twentey somethings - what?

At a time when video games are finally starting to break through into the mainstream media as a valid form of entertainment, this is something of a step in the wrong direction, thanks for that Nintendo.

I wasn't there at the NES days, but I basically grew up with Nintendo over the years, they were always good clean fun and had an overriding sense of charm. Two things are happening here. In an industry which I feel is coming of age, we've got one of the gang that's continuing to behave in such a childish manner it's starting to become embarrasing for the others to associate with it. I'm not saying companies can't develop games for a younger audience, but you have to realise which products to target at which groups.

Ok, so on the one hand you've got Nintendo's innapropriate behaviour undemining the efforts of the rest of the industry to generally grow and make more of the non-gaming public take it seriously. On the other you've got one of the games companies that I grew up with, and always highly regarded that's suddendly lost all apparent sense of reason, and that can't even make the distinction between things that are fundamentally good and things that are bad.

It's all a bit sad really. And that's my rant over.

16 Comments
17 Comments
Posted by Pictoben

Oh my god, I just saw another cut of the UK tv advertisments for the latest feather in Nintendo's cap, Wii Music.

I've not read any formal opinion on this product at all, I don't need to. I had a sneaking suspition that taking the basic (and I mean that in the loosest) format of your Rock Hero World Band: Mania! style game, and making t shit, sorry acessible was never going to work.

My proof of this has been the horribly self conscious rictus of the "Dad" in the tv advert. The whole thing just proves that Nintendo actually had no idea just why Wii Fit was so successful. I see now that it was just a case of "with this technology we could do this..." and it happened to take off. I mean I'm no gaming industry guru, but if one of your employees came up to you and said "if we pretended the controllers were instruments then we could do this...[Wii Music]", my answer would be "You are fired", not "Awesome, I think we'll lead with that at next year's E3".

Anyway, what was I on about? Oh yeah - the guy in the Wii Music advert. The Marketing guys Nintendo UK are using were clearly good enough poker players to sit there and convince the Nintendo staff that it could become another lifestyle product if marketed in the same way as Wii Fit was. They guy in the advert though, he know''s. He clearly still has a healthy soul, and every last bit of it is writhing in agony as he bravely tries to smile over it and pretend he's having a good time.

It's a shame, my take is he took a gig he didn't like because he's got bills to pay or a family to feed. Yeah, it's a real shame because he clearly just went straight out after filming and spent everything he earned, plus a bit more on the hardest drugs he could get his hands on. Just so he could face his family again.

And if you go out and buy this game, the blood from his nose is on your hands. YOUR hands!

And anyway, assume for a moment we were to spend any time with the game. The way I see it, it has merit if as a really bit of fun for very young kids. Except the adverts are attempting to position this as fun for 'all' the family, or not even that, as an evening in for a bunch of trendy twentey somethings - what?

At a time when video games are finally starting to break through into the mainstream media as a valid form of entertainment, this is something of a step in the wrong direction, thanks for that Nintendo.

I wasn't there at the NES days, but I basically grew up with Nintendo over the years, they were always good clean fun and had an overriding sense of charm. Two things are happening here. In an industry which I feel is coming of age, we've got one of the gang that's continuing to behave in such a childish manner it's starting to become embarrasing for the others to associate with it. I'm not saying companies can't develop games for a younger audience, but you have to realise which products to target at which groups.

Ok, so on the one hand you've got Nintendo's innapropriate behaviour undemining the efforts of the rest of the industry to generally grow and make more of the non-gaming public take it seriously. On the other you've got one of the games companies that I grew up with, and always highly regarded that's suddendly lost all apparent sense of reason, and that can't even make the distinction between things that are fundamentally good and things that are bad.

It's all a bit sad really. And that's my rant over.

Posted by HandsomeDead

Welcome to the 21st century. Where being different is more important than being enjoyable and the girl always wins in the advert in order to promote diversity.

Posted by Gameboi
HandsomeDead said:
"Welcome to the 21st century. Where being different is more important than being enjoyable and the girl always wins in the advert in order to promote diversity."
There is much truth to this statement.
Posted by Endogene

Young kids will absolutely love and adore this game, everybody else not. It is not a game made for you and i.

Posted by dsplayer1010

I think that everything that could be said about Wii Music has been. Let's just try to forget about it.

Posted by Stevokenevo

Its telling for the wii in general that when you walk into a games retailer, 90% of the wii games are completely unheard of.  It makes me feel as though the people being brought into the gaming industry as casual gamers are just getting consistantly short changed with utter shite games.  And if they come to the conclusion that games in general are crap.....then nintendo are not doing anyone a favour.

A question I would like people to answer is:  If nintendo decided that next generation they would ignore the 'casual' audience and focus on the 'hardcore' audience, would you respect them enough to purchase their games?

Posted by TurboNinjaPanda

It is no secret that Wii Music is no masterpiece but I can't blame Nintendo for trying to make a buck.  I would not be surprised if sold like crazy to unknowing parents who want a cheap & easy alternative to Rock Band/Guitar Hero for their kids.  The only problem with games like Wii Music is if they start to become the priority for Nintendo to the point that they start to harm the core franchises.  At least the last batch of Mario/Zelda/Metroid games were good.  Lets just hope that Nintendo doesn't let their casual friendly thoughts cloud the development of the next round of core franchises.

Posted by MattyFTM

From your blog I get the impression that you feel that nintendo's marketing strategy is a disgrace to the games industry, not the game itself.

Moderator Online
Edited by Meowayne

Pictoben, HandsomeDead and dsplayer 1010, you have obviously not played Wii Music. If this is indeed the case, you are strongly advised to



Because you are just making yourself look stupid.

I feel the same way about Wii commercials, Nintendos casual approach, or about the Wii Music presentation @ E3 2008 as most people around here.
But that didn't stop me from trying it out myself. And while it's true that Wii Music may offer less than other games of the same price for many who call themselves "gamers", I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It is not shovelware. It is not made to make cheap bucks. It has a very honest, and very honourable approach - Making you enjoy music and musicmaking, and encourage experimentation instead of rating or punishing you - that is presented in a simple, but effective and easily accessible way. I put it in, and the next 30 minutes were some of the more memorable, albeit weird and perhaps embarrassing, but ultimately immensely fun gaming experiences in the last months and years. It was definatly something new.
For young kids, it is one of the greatest and most advisable toys I have ever seen in my life, and I wish I could've had something like this when I was little.

There are as many great ideas as there are moments you wish the controls were more accurate. I own Guitar Hero III, and I five-star many songs on Hard and Expert, and still I adore Wii Music's approach. I am not a fan of Nintendo's casual policy, but the way this game presents and promotes the experience of music to young ones and ones young at heart earns my highest respect. Don't get me wrong - It is a toy. As a game reviewer, I guess I'd have no choice but to give it an average score. There's tons of things to criticise. It's very simple. There aren't a lot of songs, and they are MIDI. Some of the modes just don't make sense, these kind of things.  But as interactive entertainment, Wii Music beats a lot of the stuff you will find in kid's rooms nowadays, is probably cheaper, and even older players should definatly give it a try.

I'd rather have Wii Music representing the video games industry than Gears of War. Go ahaed, show both games to the average consumer, and ask him which of the two is "ridiculous" and a "disgrace" to it's media platform. Just because you experience something like Wii Music as "shitty", it doesn't mean everyone else does. All of you started gaming because you saw something interesting and wanted to try it yourself. If you think the gaming community should consist only of people who joygasm at interactive works that try to mimic the quality of Bruckheimer movies with a gritty look, or regard Halo 3 as "good storytelling", or are unable to play a good game just because "the hero looks feminine!", then I pity you. It does not sacrifice enjoyablity for being different. I'd estimate there are just as many people who'd enjoy Wii Music but wouldn't enjoy Call of Duty as it is the other way around.

As I often said here, I am extremely disappointed with what Nintendo has done with the Wii. But Wii Music is a respectable piece of software - which admittedly could have used more content and a little more work to appeal to an even broader audience, maybe even including some of you. But to call it "an utter fucking disgrace to the video games industry" just because people look stupid when playing it is just downright dumb, ignorant, and shows impressively what might really be wrong with the industry.

Posted by HazBazz

thankfully, the game apparently sold poorly, so no harm is done

Posted by rerty

"I'd rather have Wii Music representing the video games industry than Gears of War. Go ahaed, show both games to the average consumer, and ask him which of the two is "ridiculous" and a "disgrace" to it's media platform.'
---A gamer would say Gears of War and a non gamer would say wii music. That's what the TC is trying to say.  I can't kill locust with a chainsaw bayonet in real life , but i can learn to play an instrument.

Posted by Shadow2K6

Yeah its a disgrace along with every other "Wii"  series game (and what I mean by that are games like Wii Play, Wii Music, Wii Fit, etc).  Its funny, people say "well kids will like it better" but I rented Wii Music for kicks and my nephew hated it (who is 6).  The problem is Wii Music is not for gamers, its for non-gamers.   I'm just glad it sold horribly, lets just hope there won't be a Wii Music 2.

Posted by Meowayne
rerty said:
"I can't kill locust with a chainsaw bayonet in real life , but i can learn to play an instrument."
Exactly my point.
Posted by pause422
Endogene said:
"Young kids will absolutely love and adore this game, everybody else not. It is not a game made for you and i."
Actually from listening to 1up yours, John got it for his kids and they hated it and lost interested within 5 minutes.....I think mostly everyone finds this "game" to be absolute garbage.
Posted by Gizmo

Nintendo are turning into the bane of hardcore gaming.

Posted by HandsomeDead
Meowayne said:
"HandsomeDead you have obviously not played Wii Music."
Wrong. I got it for my cousin for his birthday and together we played it for about 10 minutes and neither me nor my 11 year old cousin has been back. If it appeals to kids, it must definitely appeal to ones even younger than that.

Meowayne said:
"rerty said:
"I can't kill locust with a chainsaw bayonet in real life , but i can learn to play an instrument."
Exactly my point."
I don't really get what your point is here, but if you can play an instrument in real life, go and pick it up rather than playing some jarg Wii game where you pretend to do it.
Posted by Pictoben

Meowayne, thanks for the considered response there, although I'll confess that I stopped reading at the point were you tried to use clip art to get your point across. Did you go and trawl then internet for that on behalf of little old me, or have you been hoarding it for the last 6 months, just waiting to crack that beauty open for the general public? What I mean is, are you trying to be provocative and spark a heated debate in a crass manner, or are you some kind of teenage fanboy with his Nintendo branded knickers in a twist? What's with all the aggression man?

I should qualify that the blog was posted with my toungue firmly in my cheek, and was really just a way of venting the inner anguish I felt when that confounded advert turned up on my TV. For example - I do not really believe the actor referenced ever touches anything stronger than the occasional bottle of bud.

I think ultimately, my point in this: If your product is so weak that the people you pay to sell it can't buy into it, then you have to ask yourself some serious questions.

Here's another question on the casual / hardcore destinctions that everyone get's so het up about: Should Wii music happen to be one of the products that convinced someone to make the investment in a piece of video gaming hardware, do you think they would have experienced value for money? Would it leave them wanting to explore further?

I've got a 5 year old myself, and the thing about kids is that they're not stupid, they just don't know very much yet. I think the line between mastering the fine motor skills to manipulate the controllers and being bored by the simplistic nature of the mechanics of the product must be fairly fine.

Anyway, what is the game supposed to teach you / replicate anyway? Half of the criticism I've heard levelled at Wii music is that the 'actions' in no real way simulate the playing of a musical instrument (Not that rock band is about to qualify you for buskers night at your local dive). Once the instrumentation is out of the equation what have you got? Bad midi sampled renditions of music?

That's all I'm saying, and I understand that this is only my perspective, but hey guess what, within the fragile confines of MY BLOG, my opinion is valid.