In My Life
Like many others, the Beatles are part of my DNA. Despite having never purchased a single recording from the group, I know most of their songs from commercials, films, and the ubiquity of their music on the radio. Others have inherited an appreciation of the Fab Four from parents; their music has demonstrated the power to transcend the generational gap. The group’s influence on popular culture is immeasurable; countless bands have mentioned the influential role the four lads from Liverpool have had on their own music. Few bands deserve their own Rock Band game more than the Beatles.
All My Loving
Despite what must have been a mountain of complications, developer Harmomix has delivered an amazing product. The Beatles: Rock Band is a lovingly rendering tribute that follows the trajectory of the group from early performances at the Cavern to the band’s last songs from Let It Be. Each chapter of the Beatles career is affectionately preceded by a stylish cinematic blending eye-catching animations, prominent photos and music clips that superbly introduces each period of the group’s reign.
With a Little Help From My Friends
Before players can jump into the game’s Quickplay or Story modes, they are carefully led though a series of menus which creates an optional song cache, and detects any latency between their controllers and televisions. While Rock Band regulars will recognize the structure of the title’s core mechanics, there are a handful of subtle differences with the Beatles. Most notables is the game’s inclusion of vocal harmonies. Now, up to three people can attempt vocal polyphony, netting players a healthy helping of Double and even Triple Fab bonus points on applicable songs. Forgoing the blistering guitar solos common to the Rock Band series, maintaining vocal harmonies is the game’s greatest challenge. The title’s other distinction is the elimination of having to perform song repeatedly to progress; The focus of Beatles: Rock Band is on offering a new way to enjoy the timeless music, rather than mere instrument mastery.
Beatles: Rock Band single limitation is its parsimonious song list; there are only forty-five songs on the disk. Players longing for perform some of group’s greatest songs- Hey Jude, Yesterday, and A Day in the Life will have to wait for the inevitable release of downloadable content that will be trickling out over the next few months. Although prices are affordable at two dollars per track or $17 for an entire album, not having some of the Beatles signature hits is a bit troubling, especially for purchasers of the game’s $249 bundle.
While the tunesmith of the Fab Four is the game’s primary focus, Beatles: Rock Band creates some amazing visuals to complement the music. Each era of the group is devotedly recreated- from the mop-tops and matching suits of the early 60’s to the windswept locks and facial hair on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building. The game’s first stages present the group in iconic settings- the Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium, and at the Budokan, evoking the distinctive Rock Band look. However, once the Beatles hit the Abbey Road studios, the game takes flight- painting television screen with a palette of vibrant psychedelic imagery.
The game’s abridged track selection notwithstanding, The Beatles: Rock Band is a tenderly crafted creation that is a must-have for any Beatlemaniac. The game’s masterful dedication of authenticity, ranging from archival photos, to studio chatter embedded into loading screens, is remarkable. The title is one of those infrequent diversions that is compelling enough to make casual admirers want to delve deeper into the quartet’s rich musical history. I can’t help but think that John and George would cordially approve.
The Beatles: Rock Band was reviewed on retail Xbox 360 code. Online servers were unavailable for testing.