The Beatles: Rock Band
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2009
Video games, like any other industry out there, is about the money. There's no two ways about it. I say that before anything else because despite that, there are rare moments when the desire for profit crosses paths with the oportunity for a true labor of love. The Beatles: Rock Band is one of those moments and I want to make that clear before I shower the game with praise so no one misunderstands this review as naive because, this game is truly, a touching homage to what has been called the world's greatest band.

Just when game rival Guitar Hero seemed to be pulling away in the race by featuring games with some of the world's most famous bands (Van Halen, Aerosmith, Metallica etc...), developer Harmonix drops the rock equivalent of an atomic bomb by making a game of what is arguably the most famous band of all. The fact that the game has been released at all is a miracle in and onto itself given the people involved, but the fact that such a beautiful game has come out of it is really remarkable. The Beatles: Rock Band features the same basic gameplay of the Rock Band franchise but with some adjustments to ensure a fluid gaming experience.

The object of this game is to follow the band's legendary career from its humble, catchy-pop-rock begginings in Liverpool to their innovative and creative peak of their final years. You play as The Beatles - no character creation here- and begin playing in The Cavern, the little dingy club where they began playing. From there you play the Ed Sullivan Show, followed by their historic concert in Shea Stadium. From there its on to Japan for their controversial performance in Budokan. All these venues are meticously recreated. The Ed Sullivan show set is particularlly impressive. For those of us who have watched this moment in history through the grainy black and white recording that now stands the test of time, it is quite a revelation to see this in full color, even if it is a virtual recreation. After Budokan, the game takes quite a turn. Because the band stopped playing live (and therefore it would not be accurate to show them in a live arena on the game), the game then starts showing the band recording in the studio. (namely, Abbey Road)Every song begins with them playing in the main room then, like in some 60's acid trip, the scene turns into a dreamscape representation of whatever song you are playing. Sgt. Peppers and Iam the Walruss really pop out in my mind while I recall the game for this review. These dreamscapes are not only a homage to the band but to the era they helped define. Quite beautiful. The games final chapter is the band playing on the roof of Apple Records. Throughout the game, the band members are represented according to the particular point in time. From their clean cut, thin tie-wearing days in the early 60's to the colorful Sgt. Pepper's faux-military garb to their long hair and beard period. Each band memeber is represented beautifuly.

Playing the game unlocks rare recordings, pictures and other nuggets of Beatle history. This is awsome in itself for anyone who would like to dive deeper into Beatles lore. But the one feature that sets this game apart from Rock Band is the harmonies. Up to six people can now play the game: Three playing instruments and three singing the harmonies which are an integral part of the band's music. The best way to describe the harmonies feature is: fun. Trying to nail the vocal parts is fun and depending on how well you sing, very funny. I find it extremely fitting that this feature is being released on a Beatles game.

If anything, the game is too short. Compared to Rock Band and RB 2, the number of songs is certainly lacking but that is par for the course on games that feature only one artist. Also, those already used to the sadistic difficulty of the harder songs in Rock Band games, will find this game quite easy. The Beatles music is deceptively simple, especially the earlier cuts, so the translation to the RB format is simple as well. Those looking for a challenge have two options: Trying to nail the harmony parts to perfection (not as easy as it sounds) or in true Beatles fashion, taking the challenge of playing an instrument and singing a vocal part simultaniously. I should also add, that more often than not, the bass parts are more difficult than the guitar ones (go Paul go!) There are some classic songs missing as well, which will be released online later. Hey Jude and Yesterday probably have the biggest following of those not included but I remind you guys,that those are piano pieces for the most part. Rather than making a weird attempt at translating the piano parts into guitar I'd much rather not see them in the game. Fancy me a purist.

All in all, this game is clearly a labor of love. The Harmonix staff(most of them, like me, frustrated musicians and band members themselves) have created a loving virtual image of this band. Yes, this game is part of a larger effort (that includes the re-release of all their albums)to put the band in the spotlight yet again, but this game could have easily fallen into the trappings that this type of release entails. Instead, this game honors tha bands legacy and history without resorting to cheap tricks or anything else that might tarnish the Beatles name. It would be easy for me to say that is for fans only but I would be lying. There is something here for everyone because The Beatle's music is that good. The hard core fan will enjoy the game no doubt but its the people not familiar with the band's music who have much to gain from this title. Just like RB and RB 2 have turned people to music and bands they would not have heard otherwise, The Beatles: Rock Band will give this generation a true glimpse of why The Beatles are called the greatest band ever. For all those reasons, I play this game and smile. Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2009
If you have any love for the Beatles I cannot recommend this game enough! Singing along with George, John, Paul, and yes even Ringo has never been this fun! The game has moments that will absolutely resonate with any music lover: strumming along to Dear Prudence, playing the bass groove on I Want To Hold Your Hand, singing along with Lennon on Ticket To Ride.It just doesn't get any better. Please consider this is my first game of this type. The Beatles experience transforms an amusing video game concept into a entirely riveting experience!

Also don't forget that Rock Band/Harmonix currently has additional tracks for download from the Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road albums ( with additional albums on the way I.E. the sublime Rubber Soul in December). This game really transcends the whole music/rythm game genre. What can I say, I consider it "Fab"!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2009
I was a little worried to buy this. My concern was that it was just another Rock Band game that had the Beatles name slapped on it. It's obvious that for the creators this was a labor of love. The game is great if you're a Beatles fan. If you're not a Beatles fan, than you should probably look elsewhere. The Beatles are all characters in this game, so you can be John, George, Paul, or Ringo. The songs spann The Beatles entire career. You start off in the Cavern Club and work your way to the famous roof top concert. The guitars and drums look cool but I am still using Rock Band generation one equipment which works fine. Whether you're in the studio or playing a concert the graphics are cool with lots of psychedlic effects added in. Many of the songs have their own little shows (non-concert related) that go with them. The truth is that the game really is a Rock Band game. If your a Beatles fan than this will probably really appeal to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2011
I purchased this as a gift for my boyfriend, who is an avid Beatles fan. Started this up on XMas day and was amazed at the production quality of the game! This was done right-I can't imagine the Guitar Hero franchise doing this half as well as it was done. Graphics and sounds are amazing, songs are great, and the additional songs available from the PSN make the collection complete.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
We don't have all the instruments, just a guitar hero guitar and a singstar microphones, but it works fine with the game. In fact, we played for several days just karaoke style. My 9 year old daughter and her friend played this for nearly 3 hours straight a few days after we got it...overall, really good fun; she's singing the songs to herself throughout the day. Even my wife who hates the playstation says this was a great purchase. Referencing some other reviews, I think it has enough songs included. I went onto the store and only found one that I wanted to purchase...I think the 40 or so that come with it are good unless you are a hardcore fan. There was only one song that I wanted that I couldn't find with the disc or online (Blackbird).
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2009
I received this yesterday and played for a solid 5 hours. I currently own GH5 and Rock Band II (with all the songs from the original RB and a ton of dlc), but hadn't played much of either for the last couple of months.

Beatles RB was just what I needed to dust off my plastic instruments.

I was looking forward to the game and made the plunge after the wife asked me to buy it. She's the singer of our group and was looking forward to the new harmonizing mechanic.

For fans of RB, and The Beatles in particular, the purchase is well worth it. I had several friends state that they didn't want to "shell out $60 for basically an add-on". I can understand their concern. The only thing keeping me from giving this a 5 Star review is the relatively short set list. 45 songs to start with compared with some of the other music games out right now isn't a lot. Of course, DLC will up that but now you're looking at additional cost. Also, they left out Hey Jude, which is one of my favorite Beatles songs.

But ultimately, this game is much more than a Rock Band add-on. It really is its own game, and a loving tribute to arguably the most influential band of the last century. The artwork, while not leaps and bounds different than RB II, is tweeked and just specific enough to the material to make the whole game feel brand new. The interstitial cut scenes and audio are a great addition. Speaking of the art, just wait until you get to the in studio levels. The psychodelic back groups are, pardon the pun, a real trip. They can be somewhat distracting, and can make seeing the notes on your scrolling fret board difficult at times. But again, they still really add to the overall ambiance of the game.

Ultimately it's the songs that make this game great. While not as loaded as I would have liked, the collection is thorough and spans their entire career. And if it's ever a band that really lends itself to Rock Band style play, it's the Beatles. We played last night with a group of 5 or so, and the songs are consistantly fun regardless of what instrument you're using. I can't wait until I get two new mics in the mail today to try out the harmonizing.

As for difficulty, I found that the guitar and bass parts are significantly easier than RB and RB II. However, the drums seem to be a fair bit harder, level to level, and on most songs, the vocals are more difficult and less forgiving.

I'm a total sucker and will probably buy every dlc they release for this. Now I've got to sit here at work and force myself to not take a half-day off to get back home and play it some more.
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VINE VOICEon March 30, 2010
First off, if you're a Beatles fan and like Rock Band, this is a great game. The selection of songs is great; though there are a few big ones missing (I'm sure they'll turn up for purchase later), the songs that come with the game are nicely varied, from their popular hits to a few album cuts. The graphics are gorgeous, and the gameplay has been improved (thank goodness they cut out the stupid percussion stuff for the vocalist!). I especially like the harmonies mode; you can try your hand at hitting those high notes, but if you can't make it, you can switch down to a lower harmony or the melody without having to restart the game.

My only complaint is that the great song selection is pretty limited, and the story mode is very short. We finished it off in about four hours, which is SUPER fast compared to the other Rock Band games so far. I was hoping for something a bit longer than that.

Aside from the shortness, it is a very fun game, and did I mention that the graphics are gorgeous? I'm glad I play vocalist so I can watch them while I sing. The animations are especially fun when you get into the later levels, when it melts from the band playing in a studio into trippy, psychedelic daydreams. If you're a Beatles fan, you're going to love this game. If you're not so big on the Beatles, it probably won't impress you as much.
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on January 21, 2010
We have two versions. One for the Xbox 360 (software only, using old Rockband 2 instruments) and one for the PS3 (Limited Edition w/ Hofner bass). We also got an extra PS3 Rickenbacker to accommodate a second guitarist.

We've thrown some parties where kids and adults can play on different consoles in different rooms. Everyone, young and old, have told us these were the best parties they'd ever been to.

It's a beautiful game, with beautiful music that the whole family can enjoy. Our four year-old loves playing drums and singing at the same time. He can score in the 90% on Medium now, and has started playing the guitars as well.

We now have every DLC album that's been released. They are all worth the money to me. As an amateur musician who wants to expose my children to good music and teach them rhythm at an early age, this game is truly a godsend. When they later learn real instruments, I have no doubt that their sense of melody and rhythm will have gotten a head start.

Rockband is fun, but the quality of its songs and graphics, IMO, cannot compare to this game. Some people complain that the Beatles songs cannot be exported into Rockband. Myself I'm glad that they aren't.

A wireless (instead of wired) microphone would have gotten this game a 6-star rating from me.
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on December 7, 2009
I play a lot of RB, mostly expert guitar and drums, and occasionally vocals + guitar. I like most of the Beatles library though they are not my favorite artist, and this selection was about a 95% hit with me (I also added the Sgt Pepper album as soon as it became available for download). I know license negotiation with this music was a special challenge, so I don't mind having a separate disc and no cross-compatibility with other RB game DLC, and the background graphics you get in return are a literal trip, not to mention absolutely gorgeous. Audio quality is really superb, too, and you'll get a few bonus clips of the fab 4 commenting (apparently) on your performance after each song. Other general comments: relative to existing RB content you won't find any ridiculously hard tracks; the bass tracks are a lot more interesting than other games/artists; and the multi-part vocal harmony is sweet if you have the microphones and friends to pull it off.
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on January 31, 2010
I love the Beatles. Having said that, I love this game. The main thing that bothered me about this game is that I finished it in a day. Im not an avid gamer (at all) and this game was too short. Each chapter had about four or five songs and there was 6 or 7 chapters. Not enough songs being the Beatles (who have had over 100 songs ever). Of course there are more tracks online, but if I wanted to purchase the songs I want, I would end up paying for the game all over again. Besides the low amount of songs, the game is Beautiful. They really spent the time on the visuals and it paid off. I sometimes feel like just watching the background instead of playing. This game does a great job in showing the visual artwork of the Beatles but it does not have enough tracks to give the Beatles overall musical career justice.
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