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Hands-On: 'Major Minor's Majestic March'

sjohnson
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Posted July 17, 2008 - By Stephen Johnson

You might call me crazy, but I'm ready to call Major Minor's Majestic March the sleeper hit of E3 08. It's not hardcore or anything, but, at least for the 10 minutes I played it, it's very, very fun.

This unassuming Wii title from Majesco (of all people) was made by rhythm game pioneers Masaya Matsuura and Rodney Greenblatt, the team behind Parappa The Rapper, and the game definitely looks like it. It updates the colorful, 2-D cartoonish feel of PaRappa and Um Jammy Lammer and adds a unique, simple use of the Wiimote.

Basically, your controller works as marching band leader's baton, and you march through a colorful cartoon world, keeping time to the marching band beat and adding band members and collecting jellybeans and other prizes. As your ad-hoc musical group grows, the sound gets fuller--a quartet sounds way different than a full orchestra. It plays a little like Space Station 5, and reminds us of the best aspects of that game and PaRappa, but when you add the Wii mote, you get a game that makes you smile and  all but insists you put your whole body into it and march in place.

The difficulty of the game comes in growing your marching band and keeping a pace that accommodates all the different musicians--some march slower, some march faster.

We're not sure how deep the game will be--the mechanic is so simple that it might not be the kind of thing you'd play for many hours--but that's not really the point of a game like this. For an amusing diversion, we predict big things for this title. It's simple, irresistible fun, and sometimes, that's just the right thing--or maybe I just miss band camp.

Check out the Screenshots here!

Hands-On: 'Major Minor's Majestic March'
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