Contemporary Games

Maestro Game Review

Maestro Game Review

Nowadays, there are quite a few attention-grabbing and creatively formatted music games available that offer much more variety than just guitar-centric or heavy metal tracks. Having said that, you probably haven't found a game that gives you total control over an orchestra; hence the reason why we have reviewed Maestro, a game where you do take full control and test your conducting skills to the absolute maximum.

Rainbow Interface

Now don't get us wrong, being in total control of an orchestra might not be a life goal for most people, but Maestro gives you the next best thing and lets you take the lead of orchestrating and putting layers on certain tunes as if you're a musical pro. The game starts off with a rainbow looking interface, with diverse colour segments, each one representing different elements of a real orchestra. Blue signifies percussion and harp; yellow violas and violins; and green, pink and red are cellos, horns and basses correspondingly.

Each rainbow colour is divided into 3 parts numbered from 1 to 3 characterizing the level of intensity for every part. All the colours can be located on the musical bar at some point which is positioned directly underneath the semi-circular shape and, is your guide whilst the music plays. The purpose of the game is to make sure that each orchestra section plays at the right intensity every time the cue point is activated. Sounds like a bit if a breeze, yeah? Even so, it's actually quite a challenge juggling five different segments playing at the same time and all at different intensities.

Classical and Film Score Option

The game has a bit of variety offering you 2 scores to select from, there is an easy to recognise classical score as well as a film score which is livelier and has an authentic feel to it, a bit like a backdrop cinematic action piece. Conducting both pieces will keep you challenged simply by closely monitoring your score, modifying the volume for each section accordingly and making sure that each section is properly muted when it's needed. The maestro symphonic tool is not as complicated as Noteissimo, we would say it's more of a lighter-hearted version and a much more basic orchestral experience overall in comparison.

You have the option to refine your tuning skills in practice mode where you can play each section without sticking to an already prescribed intensity. The main advantage here is that you can have a play with all the different volumes as and when you please.

When it comes to the interface, Maestro is fairly straightforward; it's not as imaginative as other games likes Glitchamaphone for instance, although the interface provides a stimulating experience despite of its easiness, and it's got enough expert polish to merit a place on the BBC Maestro website. Plus, the game has a basic scope with just two separate pieces to try and get to grips with. The only issue we have with Maestro is that it's merely a linkup to the TV series - it's not an autonomous project with the intention to flourish on its own virtues. Yet, we believe you'll find it difficult to get your hands on a comparable orchestral experience that gives you the opportunity to play about with different aspects of an orchestra in this kind of manner, which makes it quite a gem when it comes to music games for orchestra.

Wii Music Game Review

Wii Music

You're mistaken if you believe that you've experienced playing music games if you've only dabbled with games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero. We might sound finicky, but we just don't feel you've had enough experience to make such a claim. Let us explain why:

First of all, Rock Band does not require any sort of musical comprehension beyond just listening to songs on a radio whilst playing a guitar along with it on air. The game involves pressing buttons at the right time when a song automatically plays in the background. Our gripe with this is these could just be a very simple set of ticks and a crosses that litter any blank screen. On the other-hand, Wii Music, regardless of getting a few negative reviews for not being challenging, can be called an accurate musical game as it incorporate the overall structure and skills that are needed to play music with a layered composition as well as comprehending how the two work together internally and externally, and not just from the superficial, visually appealing outlook of Guitar Hero, for example.

Understanding Music Deeply

We think the distinction between a musically arranged game compared to one with a basic button-pressing song one is precisely why the game has had a lot of bad reviews on several websites. Most of these reviews have complained that Wii Music is trying to rival with others like the above mentioned, which we don't believe to be real music game. We think Wii Music game provides a much more authentic experience by comparison, enabling you to arrange the layers of an existing song, as well as swapping out layers (melody, chords, rhythm, bass, and two extra layers of percussion) with any musical instrument you want to choose from. This is covered in detail at

Moreover, Wii Music doesn't contain a no compromise points based system where an audience jeers or cheers along according to how you perform and you're penalised for all your wrongdoings, hence, the game has been disregarded by hard core gamers looking for baby rewards for simply pressing a few buttons at the correct time to music that is backed with a dull tune from an average group that happens to be popular in the music world.

Get Improvising

By getting rid of the inflexible format of its competitors it offers gamers the chance to improvise during a song, add notes where needed and encourages creativeness instead of punishing you for not following the computer exactly. It's not just the bigger console games that are guilty of doing this; flash games such SC Guitar Maniac DX 3 with are culprits too.

Even though the collection of songs don't necessarily represent all the best hits from popular bands, the ones available are challenging enough musically and let you discover the connection between all the musical instruments and not just recite precisely what the game commands. Wii Music is transparently more creative, whilst some of the other console games, such as Rock Band are designed for superficial gamers who are looking for a pat on the back for pretending to 'play music'. Wii Music offers the more serious-minded musicians - the musical devices, and the finer details of composing - a great platform to enjoy the intricacies in a visually interactive and stimulating way.