Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Inexplicable Video Game Review: Rock Band The Beatles

So, yesterday afternoon GameFly sent me the next game on my queue finally, The Beatles edition of Rock Band. I must say that it was a weird experience, and because the game isn't really new anymore, I didn't really think it was appropriate for me to review it for Blast or to try to sell a review to my current journalism employers.

Anyway. The presentation of the game is amazing, by far the best of the music games I've played - Guitar Hero 3, World Tour, Metallica and 5, and Rock Band 2. Unlike past games in both series, the continuity of The Beatles - you can't switch out members of your band - allows for much more vibrant characters and backgrounds.

This is especially true for the psychdelic phases of The Beatles' music, such as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." All of the songs for these phases feature brightly-colored, unique backgrounds, and provide a lot of variety from the stale club backgrounds of the other games. The Beatles edition of Rock Band definitely ups the ante in terms of presentation, and the songs are just as pristine as in other music games.

Unfortunately, all this excellence in presentation probably comes at the cost of depth. Whereas the newest Guitar Hero, the fifth installment, features 85 songs, Rock Band: The Beatles only has 45 songs. If you're going to make a game solely based on one band, I'd like to see the song content maximized. As is, since The Beatles released over 200 songs, we could see a milking of their name in the form of four games. Ugh. Although I realize that the format isn't perfect for every song, some big tracks are left out completely - "Let It Be" and "Eleanor Rigby" were the two biggest omissions to me.

Also, unlike Guitar Hero: Metallica, The Beatles features nothing but The Beatles. Hitting on the previous paragraph, if it's JUST The Beatles, try to include more than 25 percent of their total catalog. I even thought of a great natural "epilogue" chapter that they could have done - The singles of their respect After-Beatles projects. I would have killed for another three songs - "Imagine" by John Lennon, "Baby I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney and Wings, and "I've Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison. And, I suppose something from Ringo, if we must, and maybe some Beatles-inspired music or covers, like "Across The Universe" by Fiona Apple or anything by Oasis.

As is, I still give a high recommendation to the game, provided you're a fan of The Beatles. If you actively dislike them or think they're overrated, then avoid Rock Band: The Beatles at all costs. Otherwise, it's worth renting, since you can easily beat the story mode in about three to four hours. If you are a Beatles fanatic though, you will want to buy it.

The picture of The Beatles is from this blog. Thanks!

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