The Beatles Rock Band
Maija Gustin | Sunday, September 13, 2009
The highly anticipated “The Beatles: Rock Band” is finally out, and it’s well worth the wait. Like all other “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” games, this particular incarnation features parts for guitar, bass, drums and vocals. But instead of choosing some bizarre avatar that may or may not look like a KISS member that let himself go, players are members of the Fab Four, with Ringo playing drums, George playing guitar and you know the rest. The background videos for each song are based on the era from which it comes, with “A Hard Day’s Night” featuring a young group of mop-top Brits playing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “Don’t Let Me Down” showing Paul, John, George and Ringo with facial hair playing atop a New York City building. This is the case because in story mode, players follow “The Beatles” as they play their first show at the Cavern Club, hit up “Ed Sullivan,” chill in Abbey Road Studios, and play their final rooftop concert. The experience is immersive, as players travel with The Beatles from their meager beginnings to their depressing break-up. Along the way there are some pretty cool graphics, like a flying gazebo in “Sergaent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends” and an underwater adventure in “Octopus’s Garden.” Completing songs and beating levels unlocks rare material for “Beatles” fans, like photos and live videos. A welcome new development in the “Rock Band”/”Guitar Hero” universe, also featured in “The Beatles: Rock Band,” is a new Quickplay mode in which all of the songs are already unlocked. For those who just want to play some music without taking the time to beat all of the levels in Story Mode (or who don’t want to look up cheats to unlock all the songs), this is a great chance for some casual play. With the option of playing 45 of “The Beatles'” most beloved songs, there is plenty to do without beating the game. Songs include “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Come Together,” “Dear Prudence,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Helter Skelter,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “I Am The Walrus,” “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” “Revolution,” “Yellow Submarine” and many more. Soon, for those hooked up to the Internet, even more “Beatles” songs will be available to buy online in the “Rock Band” store. As of now, these include “All You Need Is Love,” “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” “Oh! Darling,” “Because,” “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” “When I’m 64” and others. The first batch of these songs will be available starting Oct. 20, with more coming in November and December. There is no news as of yet whether more songs will be available sometime next year. For “Beatles” fans, “The Beatles: Rock Band” is a whole new way to experience their music. For casual listeners, the game is great fun with an interesting storyline and songs for players of all levels. “The Beatles: Rock Band” was clearly a labor of love for those involved in its production, and the final product is a great new game to add to the lineup of music simulator games that are all the rage right now.