Customer Review

103 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Amazing game - or should I say Fabulous!, September 9, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 The Beatles: Rock Band - Software Only (Video Game)
I just finished playing through the entire Beatles: Rock Band game on medium level. I was blown away in so many ways. We have all the various music games, many for several platforms, and this by far is our new favorite.

First, of course, the music. We have always loved the Beatles and playing through this game just reminds us how amazing these guys were as musicians. There's the "outliers" theory that they had amassed 10,000 hours of playing time with their high intensity early years, which speaks to their superb ability to just pick up and run on any stage. Whatever it was, their harmonies are superb, their rhythms are great fun. Bob (my musician boyfriend) commented that playing along with the songs was great. Often we have to force ourselves to play through a song on other games (even songs we like) because the coded buttons just aren't enjoyable, the coders get the rhythm a bit off. Here I was dancing along while I played guitar or sang.

There are 8 chapters / venues, from the Cavern up through the Apple roof-top. There are three Abbey Road studio chapters. You might think that's boring. However, it was *superb*. They might start a song in the studio, but then the visuals go off to a CUSTOM TAILORED TO THAT SONG video! The Yellow Submarine song is underwater. The Sgt Pepper's song is in the gazebo complete with 1800s cut-out people! The flower sequences are amazing. Usually in music games I ignore the backgrounds. Here I would miss notes because I was swept away by the background graphics! Whoever did these art collaborations needs to be given a bottle of Champagne. Maybe two. They were incredibly beautiful and a sheer perfect tie-in with the songs many times. I would gladly watch someone else play so I could watch the visuals.

Yes the "gig" shows you get early are fun - period appropriate screaming fans at Shea Stadium. I have to comment that the audience at the Budokan looked completely caucasian, surely some non-causasians should have been there? Still, a minor complaint.

Gameplay is as mentioned superbly fun, and not just because of the stellar music. You get real harmonies, which is a breakthrough for these main pair of products (GH and RB). Sing along in harmony with a friend, sometimes even three part harmony. If you have a mic stand you can even hook up your mic and play drums while you sing, play guitar while you sing, since there's no "hand clapping" or other stuff you have to do.

There are a few minor complaints. I nailed 100% several times and got nothing at all. No gold stars, no visual indication. Since I like to go through and get 100% on all songs, there's no easy way to see which to replay. The between-gig navigation is a bit rough, you have to literally page through them so you can't just scan the list. Even when you're looking at a given gig you have to go "in" to the gig to see which specific songs to work on. I really like having a scan option so I can look through for what I want to play with.

You earn photos with your stars (i.e. actual photos of the Beatles to look at) but I'd have liked something a little more fun. More instruments? I realize they want their gigs to all be period-specific with the right instruments and clothes but it still would have been cool to give the option.

Also, you are forced down their path in its completeness. You can't get past the Cavern until you play EVERY gig in it. Then you move on to the Ed Sullivan show and so on. In every case you have to play every single song. I'd really like to have the normal "earn X stars and progress" in case there's a song you're really eager to get to.

You do get to download additional songs if you want - so if the killer set list built into this game isn't enough, you can always get more!

I want to comment in general that the equipment you have for playing any of these music games matters a LOT. We have the Ion drum kit and the wireless guitars. I highly, highly recommend getting both of these. Playing any of these music games (and especially the Beatles!) on cheap gear can really frustrate you quickly. Spend the money to get better equipment. You'll find you play the games for months and months because they are so much fun. You'll also find that your real life dexterity and drumming skills will improve *amazingly*.

Finally be sure to sit through the 10 minute long (I'm not kidding) credits. You get to unlock an encore :)

Feel free to contact me with any questions at all! I have the full set list posted on my site.

UPDATE: Several people have emailed me asking if this can be played single player. YES. You play single player through the entire game if you wish. Also, if you're alone in your house, you can still play multi-player with people on Live, so you can have fun four player music by going online and finding other players through the Live network.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 9, 2009 7:38:01 PM PDT
Codebeng says:
This was helpful, thanks! I have one important question for you: Is the Paul McCartney guitar fun and easy to play on, and is there any problems associated with the guitar or drums in terms of functionality? I understand the want to get the additional wireless guitars, but this Limited Edition will cost my entire paycheck as a college sophomore :D Let me know please what your thoughts are, thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2009 7:44:28 PM PDT
Lisa Shea says:
I think Amazon shows a single rating across all systems. I.e. I reviewed the "xbox software only" version but I think the review might also show up on the "xbox with instruments" version of the game too. So I want to make it clear that I **ONLY** bought the XBox software without any of their instruments. I want to completely recommend wireless controllers and the Ion drum kit. I wouldn't recommend any other "generic drums" - in our experience they are not great to play with.

If you have an Ion drum kit you're not only having a great drumming "fun game" but you also are learning real drum skills about how to hold your sticks and cross-drum and everything else. You could literally become an awesome drummer because of this game. So to answer your question I would NOT get the cheap drums that come with the Rock Band set. I would definitely spring for the Ion drums because they are incredible "real drums" that you can use no matter what you're doing.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2009 7:55:30 PM PDT
Codebeng says:
Are the Ion drums the Ringo Starr drums included in the bundle? I'm ultimately trying to decide whether to spring for the PS3 Limited Edition package with the Beatles drums and guitar? I already have the Rock Band original drums (no longer in great shape) and the guitar for that doesn't appear to work... What would you advise on the guitar and drums of the Limited Edition?

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 7:57:51 PM PDT
Cinnamon says:
Thanks for the great review, Lisa! I also checked your site and found it to be a great resource...

Thanks again,
Glen

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 8:25:23 PM PDT
I agree, Lisa, another fabulous review. (We've got to get you on The Lipstick Chronicles!) Graphically, I was blown away. Audibly, forget it. The sound is fantastic. BRB proves that video games can be ultimately as creative as any other medium - really caught the essence of the Beatles, which is what I think the designers were trying to achieve. New generations will be turned on to their music like never before. Now...about this Ion drum set.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2009 9:35:43 PM PDT
Lisa Shea says:
NO NO Codebeng - the included drums are NOT Ion drums. Let's see if I can figure out how to insert a product link. Xbox 360 Drum Rocker OK try that link. Ion drums are MUCH much better than the standard drums that come with any Rock Band "set of instruments" kit. I would definitely look into the Ion drums. The layout of them is like a real drum kit, meaning the skills you are learning while drumming are real drumming skills. You are really learning to be a good drummer. Then get your hands on a wireless guitar or two. The wires drive me insane :)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2009 9:39:31 PM PDT
Lisa Shea says:
Sarah - what's the question on the Ion drums? We *adore* them. My boyfriend owns a Roland TD-9 electronic drum set that's upstairs, and really this is quite similar. The rack is very sturdy and holds up to months and months of heavy use. You can situate each pad exactly where you want it. The techniques you are using, of having cross-arm hits for example, are exactly the drum skills you use on any drum set. The pad surfaces are wonderful, not noisy, very responsive. We're extremely pleased with the kit and it literally ads months to the playability of these games, because you really enjoy playing them and in improving your skills.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2009 9:49:59 PM PDT
Codebeng says:
Ok, well I don't know if I can get those. Do you know if the Ringo drums included are good? They look awesome!!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2009 9:58:24 PM PDT
Lisa Shea says:
In looking at the photos I've seen of the Ringo drums they appear to be the standard Rock Band drums with a plastic white piece in front of them :) They are simply a semi-circle of four drum pads and don't even have the cymbals that other kits have. So no I definitely wouldn't pay extra to get these, myself. We find those four-drum-semi-circle sets to be very unresponsive, the pad position to be set up very poorly, and noisy. If you really want to go for cheap drums I'd get standard cheap drums and not pay extra for the white "Beatles" front on it. But if you can at all save up the money I'd get the Ions. Again, they aren't really "toys". They are drum trainers that will last you years and that you can play as real drums.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2009 11:20:05 PM PDT
A. Jones says:
I got the full set today and had no problems whatsoever with either the Höfner bass or the drum kit. I actually find the bass more comfortable to play than the usual Rock Band 2 guitar because the neck is a good three inches longer, which means no more arm cramping from playing with a guitar sized for Oompa Loompas. The drums work just as advertised; I think the kick pedal is a bit sturdier than the ones I've seen from the other Rock Band games, but I can't swear to that, as I've only used those briefly (usually in stores or at friends' houses). Friends and I played this game pretty much all day today and had no problems at all.
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