The Beatles: Rock Band Review
- Posted September 8th, 2009 at 10:00 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 18 Comments
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The Beatles: Rock Band is everything a Beatles fan has been waiting for. A compelling and mesmerizing experience.
- The visually stunning dreamscapes
- The tremendous setlist of classic Beatles tracks
- How the game pulled us back to the 1960s so effortlessly
- How story mode loses its appeal towards the end
- The lack of any real new concept
There’s little doubt that the members of The Beatles were idealists. From heartfelt ballads explaining to the world that “all you need is love,” to protest songs calling for a revolution, the band seemed poised and compelled to change the world. When they pressed past the early years of pop, with easy dance numbers like Twist and Shout and I Want to Hold Your Hand, and stumbled into psychedelic mind trips featuring submarines and bulldogs, their progression showed that bands could evolve. In fact, they should evolve. Now, some 45 years since the band formed, with two surviving members, a worldwide allegiance of fans, and a spot in music history as the greatest band of all time, Harmonix has taken the task of immortalizing John, Paul, George and Ringo in videogame history in The Beatles: Rock Band.
Before this review goes any further, it should be clear that if you don’t like The Beatles, you will most likely not care for this game. In that case, we feel bad for you and suggest you take the plunge and give it a shot out regardless – you may be pleasantly surprised. As you’d expect, The Beatles: Rock Band is functionally the same experience as you’ll find in any other Rock Band or Guitar Hero title. You will not find any major changes to the gameplay and there are no new bells or whistles that are interesting enough to make this game stand out above its predecessors. What it does have is an immaculate presentation filled with a repertoire of some of the most sought after tracks in all of music videogames.
The Beatles: Rock Band is an absolute feast for your eyes and ears. We’ll start with what the game does best -- present the Fab Four in brilliantly crafted levels that take you from the band’s first concerts in the Cavern Club to the trippy Abby Road sessions. Playing in front of the small crowds in the Cavern or thousands of screaming fans in Shea Stadium certainly makes you feel the band’s natural yet almost exponential growth and success. As the years pass and the band’s touring days come to a close, the game’s settings turn to recording studios and magical fields and oceans. Yes, the band’s psychedelic years are well represented through what Harmonix describes as ‘dreamscapes,’ essentially visual representations of the songs. Since many of the band’s tunes were never performed live, Harmonix decided to create what feels like mini movies or music videos instead of planting the gracefully aging Beatles into unfaithful venues. It’s that faithfulness to the band’s history and progression that makes the experience addicting.
As you advance through the levels, the recreated Beatles members start to age. Their attire changes as the music advances. We felt completely engrossed in the Sergeant Pepper years, with the band mates sporting their classic kooky uniforms. The hippie side of the band certainly comes out during songs like Here Comes the Sun, and we couldn’t help but feel almost shocked and afraid during I Am the Walrus and Octopus’s Garden.
Not only is The Beatles: Rock Band a joy to play, it's also worth watching, too. Of course, that’s a hard statement for many games to stand up to. After all, not many of us like sitting back and watching someone else play a videogame, but with the visual representations in The Beatles: Rock Band, you can find yourself getting lost just watching the TV as lush colors fill your eyes and leave your brain happily awaiting more.
Of course if you have to sit out a round, you won’t have to just watch. Since the game is all things Beatles, you’ll have an incredible set of songs to fill your ears. Yes, the music sounds good, even if you are not a Beatles fanatic. Casual fans will enjoy the many classics that grace the Blu-ray disc. The true diehard fans will go crazy for the wonderful set list; however, with 45 tracks, we would have liked to see a lot more songs on the disc. We know that means there’s plenty for us to download, and Harmonix was smart to leave out some highly in-demand tracks.
We ... (continued on next page)
AaronSOLDIER | AaronSOLDIER
- 5:05am EDT - September 8th, 2009
Its too bad this will likely sell more on 360 in the UK since MS are making those ads that make it look exclusive
- 5:28am EDT - September 8th, 2009
I love The Beatles, I love Rock Band will be getting this... just don't know when...
- 5:36am EDT - September 8th, 2009
wtf... I was expecting 1/10 - What a shame that Beatles was put into such an abomination of a game.
Man I hate rock band and guitar hero...
- 5:40am EDT - September 8th, 2009
this shouldn't have been a full game IMO. guess they would make more mony this way than if it was DLC ?
- 7:33am EDT - September 8th, 2009
@ #3 I think 1/10 would be more of an abomination than 9/10..
- 8:27am EDT - September 8th, 2009
I'd probably play it at a LAN party for a while but that's about it.
- 9:46am EDT - September 8th, 2009
Hey if you learn how to actual play a fricking guitar you can play some of those Beatles love songs and, actual get some.
- 9:57am EDT - September 8th, 2009
- 2:56pm EDT - September 8th, 2009
I agree with 3
- 3:56pm EDT - September 8th, 2009
Any word on whether the tracks will be able to be imported to work with Rock Band 2 as they allowed with Rock Band 1 content?
- 4:37pm EDT - September 8th, 2009
Anyone whom doesn't like The Beatles right now will do at some stage in their lives , it's as simple as that . Yea thats you young guys into R&B , Rap , Metal , Indie , etc etc .In my early thirties now and I was massive into the clubbing scene and could never one day see myself as a fan of the Beatles (in fact I prefered the Stones) . Been learning guitar last couple of years and have come to really respect the Beatles work (plus I live on Penny Lane in Liverpool so the Beatles are everywhere . I see the Magical Mystery Tour bus every day ! )
- 5:15pm EDT - September 8th, 2009
sorry minerwilly but i think many of us are in a much different time and they will never appeal to us. my own parents even hate the beatles lol
- 6:51pm EDT - September 8th, 2009
aye PSU where's Batman review.
- 8:30pm EDT - September 8th, 2009
How come you did this review before NCAA football 2010, Madden NFL 2010, Batman Arhkam Asylum, and Guitar hero 5.
- 9:59am EDT - September 9th, 2009
I've just recently listened to the Beatles, and I love it. I'm into more Punk and Skapunk, but I give anything a shot. Been listening to them for a few months now, and I just enjoy how the personality of their music has changed. I'm going to buy this game. I am a drummer, and my drumset is for long time achievement. Rockband is for instant gratification. Great thing about the Beatles is that you can trace contemporary songs back to one of theirs and see similar messages.
- 1:56pm EDT - September 9th, 2009
I'm not into The Beatles at all, but I played the demo they had at Best Buy a few days ago and it's by far the best band-specific game out there. So much TLC went into the development, and it seems Beatles fans are in for a real treat. I kinda wish this had come out before GH Metallica so that Neversoft could see how it's done (tho I still love that game). It's kinda too bad that there aren't any real customization options at all, but other than that the game seems great. I'll probably mooch it off of my friends tho, haha.
- 12:01am EDT - September 10th, 2009
A must have video game for any Beatles fan.
- 3:39am EDT - September 19th, 2009
i hate beatles
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