The Jam mode demo for Wii Music had five songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Turkey in the Straw, Yankee Doodle, From the New World, and the Super Mario Brothers theme. I chose the last option and picked the lead trumpet and started jamming. You play the trumpet and other wind instruments by pressing the 1 and 2 buttons. Holding down the B button changes the sound, but you don’t have to hold the remote to your mouth as shown at the Nintendo press conference. The dog suit looks like it only works with motions. A dog suit? Really. The person who picked it shook the nunchuck and remote to play the song with me.
In Wii Music’s Jam mode is you can’t “lose”. You can randomly mash buttons and attempt to remix a song. I tried doing this and it turned out awful, but there wasn’t even a warning except for a scowl from the other player. I bet he was thinking something like, “Don’t you know the Mario theme? What kind of gamer are you? Play this song right!” I kept experimenting with the controls much to his chagrin.
The next song we picked was Yankee Doodle and I switched to the Sitar, a string instrument. A presenter explained you pluck the strings by moving the remote in between the attached nunchuck cord. You don’t need to do this. Shaking the remote anywhere works fine. I actually didn’t know how to play Yankee Doodle except for the chorus so I pulled up a pop up set of notes above my Mii. By watching an icon scroll past the notes I was able to keep up with the other players. I still experimented with the controls and discovered picking directions with the analog stick makes your Mii show off with “tricks” like jumping in the air.
After the song was over I asked if these songs would be in the game and a Nintendo representative explained these songs are not confirmed. However, the songs at the demo are an example of what we might see in the final version of Wii Music. The Super Mario Brothers theme feels like a shoe-in as one of the 50 songs, but I can’t imagine Japan playing Yankee Doodle. Since Wii Music will have Nintendo themes, public domain music, and licensed songs it seems likely the content in Wii Music will vary region by region.
Images courtesy of Nintendo.