E308: Wii Fanboy leads the band in Major Minor's Majestic March

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Ever since it's been rumored, the whole team has been patiently awaiting PaRappa creator Masaya Matsuura's next project. Once it was revealed, I found myself puzzled as to what to expect. Would it be as good as PaRappa? Has Matsuura lost it? Well, that confusion is gone now that I've had time to play the game at E3.

Is it good? Well, read on and find out!


First of all, know that Major Minor's Majestic March is just as odd and charming as Matsuura's other games. You play the lead in a marching band, spreading music and laughter all throughout the land. While you're marching, you'll also pick up band members along the way.

If you don't pick up enough folks with a medal displayed on them, then the game will rewind and you'll have to play the whole segment again. But, how does one play this game? It's as easy (and hard) as walking.

I say hard because, really, if you walk a lot, you're going to get tired. The same can be said of Major Minor, as a majority of the game has you swinging the Wiimote up and down as if you're power-walking. It represents the baton you're holding in-game. Sure, the game presents you with break opportunities, but the play segments are so brief that initially you won't want them. But, as you skip the first few opportunities, the game really starts to take its toll.

A lot of this toll also comes from controlling the game's tempo. Based on who is in your band, you'll need to move faster or slower, all in an attempt to create balance between your bandmates. Juggling this responsibility, along with picking up new musicians to rock out behind you (more on this in a moment), can get pretty tiring, pretty fast.

So what about gaining new members for your band? Well, as you walk past animals just hanging about, they'll quickly turn and face you. Flicking the Wiimote to whichever side they're on when the prompt tells you to (a small circle below them will turn orange) will then cause them to join your ranks. The problem is that so many opportunities arise that, combined with the Wiimote's inability to always recognize my gestures, I often found myself having to flick at everyone, just so I could get enough bandmates to clear the area. All of this, after a short while, gets incredibly tiring.

Overall, I wanted to like Major Minor's Majestic March. The game looks fun and accessible on the surface and the controls certainly seem inviting, but even after 10 minutes of play, I found myself needing to switch hands.

Maybe it's just that I don't do enough powerwalking ...

This article was originally published on Joystiq.