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The Beatles: Rock Band review

The Beatles: Rock Band

Beatlemania!

Not a Beatles fan


I have a confession to make. I am not really a Beatles fan. I fully understand and appreciate the contributions that the group has provided to the music industry and I fully understand and appreciate that their influence seeps into every aspect of music today. Artists ranging from metal superstars like Metallica to today's pop stars like Taylor Swift have all been influenced in some way or another by the legendary British rock band. However I am just not a Beatles fan. Something about them just never really clicked with me. Maybe it was a parental influence thing, my mother was (still is) a Rolling Stones fan, or maybe it was something else entirely but regardless I am not big on the Beatles.

Needless to say I was less than enthused by the announcement that Harmonix would be bringing The Beatles to the Rock Band platform. Some of my apathy towards the project stemmed from the lackluster music games based on individual bands that had already been released at the time. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith was a disappointment and Rock Band: AC/DC was an overpriced track pack, to say the least. But then earlier this year Neversoft delivered the labor of love that is Guitar Hero: Metallica and I started to get excited about the prospects of a Harmonix developed Rock Band game based on The Beatles. After all if Harmonix loved The Beatles as much as Neversoft loved Metallica the prospects of this being a fruitful combination were strong indeed. Of course, while my view of the game had changed somewhat, I was still somewhat skeptical. After all, I am not a Beatles fan.

Gameplay


The Beatles: Rock Band is exactly what the title says it is, Rock Band with the Beatles in it. Guitar Hero and Rock Band veterans will immediately feel right at home as the core gameplay is primarily the same. Colored notes still stream down the screen and players, wielding plastic instruments, do their best to play along to the music, matching colored note for colored note. At the same time the game is so much more than that.

In the original Rock Band and its sequel Rock Band 2 players would create a band and take them on a virtual World Tour. The Beatles: Rock Band does away with that, instead opting to take players on a virtual tour of The Beatles career starting out playing in The Cavern Club in Liverpool and eventually progressing through highlight moments of the band's career, including The Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium and their final live public performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corps building.

The story mode of the game is comprised of 45 songs, re-mastered specifically for the game, ranging from all points of their career. From their first album, “Please Please Me” to their final studio release “Let It Be”, the songs included are a nice selection of well known hits to less known fare. Of course many fans will point out that their favorite song did not get included in the game but all in all it is a nice cross section that the biggest of fans, casual fans and newcomers to the band will be able to appreciate and have fun with and the addition of three part vocal harmonies to the game is something that vocal fans will surely get a kick out of.
Fun score 9.2

Pros

Interactive tour of the iconic band's career, that offers great music and insight into the band's success.

Cons

Short playlist and some slight repetitiveness.

Game Screenshots