Developed by: Harmonix
Published by: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Players: 1 or 4 players
Rated T for Teenage by the ESRB
The Beatles: Rock band is the brand new, highly anticipated spin off to the Rock band series. Following on from Rock band 2, the game follows the Beatles rise to fame, from The Cavern to their last public performance on the top of Apple Corp. Game play is identical to other games of this type a point, players use various fake plastic ‘instruments’ such as drums, guitars and mics to ‘play’ or sing along with the tracks by pressing the correct coloured notes, or singing in the right key as they scroll past your eyes.
A new addition to certain songs is up to three part vocal harmonies, which allow up to three different players to sing along.
Using original studio recordings, archive footage and photo’s The Beatles game is a one stop shop for the many Beatles fans. Having over 40 tracks which can be added to by a dedicated music store in game [PS3 and Xbox 360 versions only] there are many hours of fun ahead.
Using the standard Rock band / Guitar hero standard of game play – users select which instrument they want to play, or select to sing – after that you choose one of the many songs, and try and nail the performance.
You start the story mode at the world famous Cavern club in liverpool, which has been recreated in perfect detail, complete with hundreds of screaming teenage girls. You can play the story mode alone, or with friends, online or offline and once the Beatles take the stage the game kicks off.
Watching the group in the background , most of the screen is filled with the ‘highway’ of note. Hitting the correct note or notes at the correct time, not only gives you points and works towards a 5 star rating, grants you ‘Beatle Mania’ – the new star power mode where score multipliers are doubled. Hitting the correct notes is not just about pints though, but it also makes sure the music sounds correct – miss a few notes and it can sound like a bull in a guitar shop and you may well fail the song, as the once loyal fans boo you.
You continue to play unlocking songs in the various game modes until you reach the famous final performance on the top of Apple Corp .
That’s the basic story mode gameplay in a nutshell but what a nutshell…
Right from the games Intro, your treated to some amazing animated visuals, using a unique style to bring the Beatles to the screen, in a way that drips of a game made by fans, for fans… Even on the loading screens between each song, they have added in the odd recording from the studio out takes, which add further to feeling of the game, and even provide some funny moments.
The presentation on the game as a whole, is a testament to the loyal fan base that the Beatles had acquired over the decades. Candid film footage and photo’s can be unlocked by playing their hits well, and this does add to the replay value.
There are a few different modes that you may like to check out, from Quick Play – which allows you to choose the songs and the order you play, to a full set of online modes.
Hints and tips.
- Remember if you are playing the Guitar – you can hold down a fret before the note hits the strum line, so it is handy to know.
- If a member of the band fails the song, use ‘Beatle Mania’ to bring them back into the game. Having a full band can help you gain a higher star rating.
- Practice a song, if your just missing a 5 start rating to unlock an item, remember practice makes perfect!
- Want more fun? – try singing and playing an instrument – grab a mic stand and get that real Beatles feeling!
If your a Beatles fan – this is a must buy.
Right from the outset, the game is a fans dream come true, right from the Beatles models, all of which look like the real person to a point, to the sets and the backgrounds, it all just seems to ‘fit’ together into a real world of music.
While the set list may not contain all of your favorites, there are plenty of hits amongst the lesser known songs, but having said that all are great to play along to from ‘Here comes the sun’ to the lesser know ‘While My guitar gently weeps’ which has some great guitar solo parts.
Each song also has it’s own uniquely made background animation, which was developed with the help of the Beatles. From the more closed in setting of The Cavern complete with hundreds of screaming girls to the more ‘trippy’ acid trip visuals which accompany the later studio recordings, all will have you tempted to watch the background performance rather than the highway and notes your supposed to be playing!
If your a fan of the Rock band series, you may find the customisation options open to you in The Beatles game a little sparse. As you play as the Beatles, gone are any creation tools to make a rocker of your liking, as are any free style parts while playing since you play the songs note for note.
It’s also important to point out if you expect to be able to load your existing Rock band DLC into this game, as you can the others in the series, your also out of luck.
While there is a dedicated download section for the game, only Beatles tracks can be used within the game – so no rocking out to Marilyn Manson tunes as John Lennon, but fear not, they have said that content will be added to the store over time. Think of the game as a spin off, rather than a sequel.
At present the complete “Abby Road’ album is currently available for download [PS3&Xbox360] along with ‘All you need is love’ which also has a donation to ‘Doctors without Boarders’ in the purchase price, so as well as getting a cracking song, your helping real people too.
My only reservation with the game, is it’s a little on the easy side.. I am used to playing Hard on Rock band, and I don’t pretend to be a rock star, but I found myself getting 5 stars on most of the early tracks, and never once completely failed a song. While this may be a blessing for people new to the game or playing style, I did think it was a little disappointing not to offer a real challenge later in the game.
If your a fan of music games, this is a cracking title to add to your collection, one complete with an all round good feeling soundtrack and visuals, a great party game, but if your a Beatles fan – this should be top of your list as long as you don’t mind it being a little easy to begin with.
Oh and watch out for the trippy visuals on some of the tracks if you have epilepsy – this is a game where the warning should be took into consideration!