Just got my hands on one of the newest games Nintendo revealed at E3 08, Wii Music. I guess it’s their answer to Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but just in a much more simplistic, casual way. 

Using one of your many Mii characters, you can play with up to four other players and jam out to a number of different songs with over 60 different instruments.

I hopped on to play the game with three other random dudes, and while they grabbed the drums, guitar and saxophone, I got stuck with the flute. The exhibitor at the showcase called the game mode a “Jam” session.

To play the flute, I held it up like a flute, of course, and just pressed the 1 and 2 buttons to play. I noticed the other guys playing their instruments and it all was like “air” instruments.

One guy was just rocking out using the Nunchuk and Wii Remote as drum sticks. The other guy was playing the guitar with one arm up and one arm down, and just kind of seemed to waggle around. The last guy played the saxophone and just kind of held it in front of himself and tapped the buttons.

All the Miis are on the screen at once with their designated instrument. In the corner there was a little timer to keep players on beat, but other than that there was nothing else that displayed the timing of your instrument. Not only did it seem like a bunch of chaos, but the music sounded like ass.

Chad spoke to a PR rep at the Nintendo conference about this issue and the PR rep said there would be an on screen thing called a “ledger” to display the timing. Both Chad and I were really confused at this because if every player has there own ledger it would take up the whole screen.

It was confusing for sure, because when I played the game I didn’t notice any sort of ledger for me or any other player, just that one little timer in the corner. Without a real ledger, I had no real way of knowing if I was on beat with the other players or not.

The game really seemed like a freestyle session. Just pick a song and you can try to go along with it, but you necessarily didn’t have to. I guess it’s a sort of freedom compared to most music games, but what the hell is the point of the game then if you aren’t trying to match your tones to the rhythm of the song.

Oh, and although you aren’t scored on your performance, every performance is recorded and can be replayed. You can also send your performances to anyone on your friends list and they can add their own tune to your song.

A pretty neat idea, but it would we be a lot better if you could actually play the game online with a friend through the Nintendo Wi-fi Connection. Come on Nintendo, it shouldn’t be that hard.

Wii Music will be available this holiday season, but hopefully we’ll know more about the game in the upcoming weeks.