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Music on: Learning Piano Vol. 2 - DSiWare App Review

Game Info
Music on: Learning Piano Vol. 2

DSiWare | Abylight | 1 Player | Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points
Related Games: Music on: Electronic KeyboardMusic on: Learning PianoMusic on: Retro KeyboardMusic on: Acoustic Guitar
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5th September 2011; By KnucklesSonic8

When Pop Island: Paperfield came out, it turned out to be much more than just a new set of levels. It had new characters, bonus features for those that owned the original, and more -- all for a new budget price. So forgive me if the second edition to Music on: Learning Piano isn't that exciting to me. Unlike the example I just mentioned, this is a case where the developers just wanted to add more content instead of using this as an opportunity to tweak things a bit. And because of that, deciding on whether or not Music on: Learning Piano Vol. 2 is worth buying should be easy.

    Just like in the original, your goal is to play piano keys on the Touch Screen in time with the needle passing over the sheet music on the top screen. As the needle travels, notes will be highlighted on the top screen while the key labels are highlighted on the Touch Screen. When this occurs, you must play the corresponding note on time or suffer a penalty. Missed notes will appear in red, deducting points from your overall total and reducing your chances of obtaining a medal. 

    Each song features three difficulty levels, with Silver and Gold forcing you to learn the placement of the keys and rely less on the labels. My thoughts on the execution are exactly the same as they were in the previous release. One of the only discernible differences this time around is the difficulty. While there are beginner-level songs in the early stages, the application quickly makes itself known as being more for intermediate players with the frequency of notes and the tempos. Of course, this is an appropriate decision since the developers expect players are transitioning into this from the original. 

    Another 15 songs have been included in Vol. 2, except this time around, you'll find that even the picks have been geared towards those who have more of a familiarity with classical music. Featured composers include Chopin, Schumann, Vivaldi and Liszt, whose compositions I personally had not heard prior to testing this application out. Tchaikovsky also appears with a couple unlockable songs, with his Nutcracker tune being the most recognizable of them all. So, not everything is on the more obscure side. 

Presentation has stayed exactly the same with the one exception of there being a yellow background colour instead of a dark blue. I wouldn't say it necessarily works better, but that's a minor thing anyway. 

    A more important matter to discuss is whether or not Vol. 2 is worth picking up. To be honest, I'm not completely sure. I mean, if the original gave you the push you needed to get you to improve your piano-playing skills, then I can't see why you would want to spend another $2 on more songs when you could just continue practicing on an actual piano. Unless this was more about portability and enjoyment, in which case you may feel justified in purchasing this. It really depends on the person and what one hopes to gain from this.

    Moreover, if you enjoyed Music on: Learning Piano and are looking for more to do, then picking up Vol. 2 should be obvious. There's nothing different about what it does, save for the fact that it's a bit less geared towards beginners. Spending another $2 on what basically is an expansion pack may seem worthwhile for some, while others may be perfectly content with just sticking with the original. Either way, if you have points to spend, give one of these $2 applications a try.

22/30 - Good

Functionality 8/10 - Still just as functional as before, three difficulty settings that offer different ways of learning
Presentation 7/10 - Aside from a change in colour and the song list everything is identical to the original, more interesting composers this time
Value 4/5 - Features the same amount of songs as before, striving for medals extends the experience, only $2
Lasting Appeal 3/5 - More geared towards intermediate players, pretty much the same if you already own the original

Equivalent to a score of 73% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8

Music on: Learning Piano Vol.2
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