There’s never been anything like this game before, so I don’t think gamers know what it is yet. If they were to ask ‘What kind of game is Wii Music?’ how - in a word - would you describe it? Totaka-san?
Eguchi-san used an expression that I thought fit. He said it’s ‘musical clay’.
I get it, like clay for playing with. Only for music.
Right. I thought that described it perfectly, and for some reason it pleased me to hear it put that way. Anyone can mould clay. It can be fun just to make a simple snowman, but if you’re more skilled with your hands, you can make something more artistic. The clay, however, remains clay. Similarly, Wii Music possesses a wide breadth of adaptability.
Yes, I feel that it has great flexibility.
Right. For example, when I set up self-evaluation in Wii Music, the software doesn’t score me; I score myself.
You can give yourself full points or be strict with yourself.
Right. I think that’s enough. It’s not much different than what I do when I play a real musical instrument. The game is adaptable, but features like this encourage players to approach music simply.
Right, you don’t get points after a real music performance. You feel a sense of achievement and others may evaluate you, but it’s not like someone scores you and that’s it.
I think so, too. And I don’t think there’s anything dishonest about that so I feel like I can introduce Wii Music to my friends who understand music as a game that lives up to its name.
How about you, Morii-san?
If I were to describe Wii Music in a just a few words, I’d say it’s like a colouring book . The lines are there, but it’s up to each person to decide how to fill them in.
A phrase does come to mind, but it’s a little hard to say now that such a poetic expression as musical clay has been used.
Musical clay is better? (laughs)
Well, why don’t you give it a try?
I think it’s like musical blocks. You know, building blocks: they’re intuitive, and you can build anything with them. They’re sort of like clay, but the blocks themselves can’t change shape.
Clay wins. (laughs)
Yeah, musical clay is far superior. Can we go back and edit this so I answer first?
No, I think we’ll leave it the way it is.
Now I think we’ve given everyone a better idea of what Wii Music is. One thing that concerns me, though, is that everyone seems to think it’s a party game for whooping it up with your friends. I still don’t think we’ve successfully conveyed how fun it can be to play alone.
I think you’re right about that.
But, for the most part, it’s for single play.
Oh, you really think so?
Playing an ensemble with someone has a live feeling to it, but the music - to express it in terms of the clay we just mentioned - will remain relatively unformed, just something thrown together in the spirit of the moment.
That can be fun but lacks depth.
Right. If you try to shape a song according to your own inner vision, you have to spend time on it, and you’ll have a blast.
You try over and over again in an effort to do the best you can, and when it works out the way you intended, you feel an immense sense of accomplishment. It’s a good feeling.
Yeah, like that.
It’s like the game transports you to a place where you feel good. It automatically chooses certain sounds as you play. So even if you mess up a little, when you put the parts together, you think, ‘Oh! I like the way this turned out!’
To you, Wada-san and Totaka-san, do the parts of the finished songs that made Morii-san feel this way make you feel they are very unique to him because of the inclusions of such sounds made by chance in addition to his own way of performance?
I can only do it by chance! (laughs)
Totaka-san, are you able to assemble the same performance Morii-san created by chance like that?
No, I can’t. One of our staff members makes nothing but unusual recordings. His performances never stick to the basic mould for the song, but they always sound good so I decided to try to do the same thing. When I was intentionally trying to make the arrangements by imagining completely different music from the original, it didn’t sound good at all. It didn’t sound good; it sounded artificial.
You couldn’t copy him completely. (laughs)
It didn’t sound as if I’d departed from the original music naturally. Relatively speaking, I have confidence when it comes to music, but I realized there are some types of music I can’t manage! (laughs)
That’s a funny story. It says something about Wii Music, I think.
I suppose it does.
Lastly, I’d like each of you to say something to everyone eagerly awaiting the release. Let’s start with you this time, Wada-san. (laughs)
OK, uh, going first is hard, too. (everyone laughs) Let’s see… We’ve tested it on someone who stinks at music (points to Morii), and even he enjoyed it (laughs) so I hope Wii Music gives everyone a chance to enjoy getting to know music.
I’d like to finish this up as a designer (laughs) so…I’d like everyone to pay attention to all the work we put into aspects of the game such as Mii movement, the sets and the camera angles during performances. It’s mainly a music game, but we really went all out on some of that stuff.
OK, Totaka-san? Any final comments on your directorial debut?
Oh, it is my directorial debut! (laughs) Hmm… I’ve always hoped this game would serve as the starting point for new encounters with music. I think there’s a connection between the fun I have playing this game and the enjoyment I get out of playing a real musical instrument so I’m not exaggerating when I say Wii Music could lead you to take up a real musical instrument. I sincerely hope people who have given up on music or think they’re not the type to play an instrument will play this game.You know how when you were a little kid and you saw a musical instrument you’d bang on it or randomly blow through it? I hope this game reawakens that desire in you.
I like that. When you see someone skilfully playing an instrument that you can’t play, you feel jealous and think, ‘Man, that must feel good…’ With this game, you’ll be able to experience some of that good feeling for yourself.Even if you’re someone who can play an instrument relatively well, time is limited, so it’s difficult to learn many instruments well, but this game will allow you to learn how it feels to play dozens of musical instruments, opening up enormous rewards in return for even the most modest effort. I think that’s the best part of this game.
I hope Wii Music brings more music into everyone’s lives.
I feel the same way.
Can I say something else? I completely forgot to mention it earlier, but this game has a drum mode. You can take some pretty serious drum lessons (*) using both your arms and legs on the Wii Balance Board.
Oh, that’s right.
Some staff members and I were going through the lessons in order, and since hardly any of us had any experience on the drums, we had a lot of trouble at first.
Because each limb has to keep its own rhythm.
Right. It’s really hard! Most of us were sure we’d never get it, but everyone gradually got better. In the end, nearly everyone had made it through all the lessons!
Huh? You mean to tell me that even though no one had any training in the drums or had the coordination at first, everyone mastered the lessons?
Yeah, and there’s more.
After that, I wondered if they would be able to play real drums so we went to try a real drum set in our company music recording studio on the basement floor of our office.
No way! How did it go?
I made a video recording. I had them try beats with quarter-note, eighth-note and sixteenth-note patterns, and they could do it - on real drums!
It sounds too good to be true, but it is.
They crossed their arms the right way and positioned themselves properly. That’s unimaginable for beginners!
Amazing. Maybe Wii Music is too good! (laughs)
The world’s drummer population is going to skyrocket.
Hmm…drummer population expansion? Could that be Nintendo’s mission statement ? (everyone laughs)
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