While the most popular games of the music genre pioneered by Konami have made it across the waters, there is one however that still hasn’t found its footing. Pop N Music, part of Konami’s highly popular Bemani range of arcade games is finally being brought over to the Wii after a line of successful PS2 incarnations and with it comes a whole slew of new addtional features. The Pop N Music series have prodominently been kept in the land of the rising sun but recently showed up at E3 prompting it’s eventual release in the US. Fans of the series however, be warned.. it isn’t exactly how you remember it in the Arcade or the previous console versions. Gone is the traditional Pop N Music peripheral and has been replaced with the Wii’s Motion Controls. There is however some new features being incorporated to make use of the Wii’s capabilities such as the ability for DLC of additional songs.
Having just released in Japan, in the time we’ve spent with the game we’ve noticed a number of differences mostly notably it’s visual style which gives off a very casual feel to the game. While one can argue that the original game always had a cartoonish style to it, this time it is even more prevaliant as selection screens and menus have been made more simpler and the gameplay changed from it’s original 9 buttons to 5. The gameplay itself plays out like Pop N Music normally does with coloured markers flying down the screen requiring you to hit them in sequence however one major issue we did notice was the controls which occassionally registers the wrong input. However, this didnt stop us from having fun with the games’ tracklist which consisted of a mix of Jpop/anime music.
Apart from some control difficulties, which will hopefully be fixed in the final release, Pop N Music is still very enjoyable and should introduce the franchise to many new players.
Pop N Music is due out in the US later this year. Look out for a proper review later in the year.