Since I already own Rock Band for my Wii I decided to buy the software version of The Beatles Rock Band. As cool as the Beatles themed instruments are, I already had all of the stuff I needed to play the game (including three mics from various games I’ve bought) and really the singing & drumming aspects are what interest me most (because they are far more realistic than the guitar part.)
First let me say that I am not much of a video game player. I don’t really like playing video games in general as they always feel like a bit of a waste of time to me. So I’m approaching this experience more as a Beatles fanatic than as a gamer.
So how is the game? It’s awesome. I spent hours playing it last night and I probably would have played it for many more hours if I hadn’t started so late in the night. There’s so many cool things about it, it’s hard to know where to start.
I think the thing that really jumps out the most to me (besides the fact that instead of the usually rather lame songs in these types of games, you get to play 45 Beatles songs) is the vocals. Up to three people can sing at once and on songs that have harmony parts you can actually get extra points by singing the harmonies.
I actually think this is really good vocal practice. People who have never sung harmonies before in their lives will be able to learn how by using this game. To really help people through learning how to sing harmonies the game has a really cool tutorial on how to do it. There’s also a tutorial on how to play the drums better.
I haven’t played the guitar or bass parts yet as that doesn’t interest me as much as the vocals and drums, but I’m pretty sure they work like other Rock Band and Guitar Hero games.
The vocals and drums are so cool on these games because I believe they are good practice for really singing and really drumming. Sure the drumming isn’t just like playing on a real set (obviously) but it does help you to learn the rhythm and coordination that are most essential to being a good drummer and I’ve read many stories of people who learn to drum on Rock Band transitioning to real drum sets with relative ease. And as far as the singing goes, put it on “expert” level and you’re ready to go. It’s a really good way to improve your singing because it lets you know when you’re off time and/or out of tune.
There are a lot more great features of The Beatles Rock Band including that you will be able to download entire Beatles albums (beginning with Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper, & Rubber Soul in the coming months) to play along with the 45 songs that it already comes with.
And how about the graphics? They’re fantastic too. I’m quite familiar with The Beatles (to say the least) and I played through the “story mode” last night and it was great how perfectly they reproduced the various venues (Cavern Club, Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium, & The Budokon in Japan.) It’s really like cartoon versions of the real thing.
And then there’s the “dreamscapes” which you have for the second half of the songs (everything from Sgt. Pepper through Abbey Road.) They are really awesome. I haven’t seen them all yet but what I have seen really blew me away. The psychedelic imagery for “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is mind-meltingly delicious.
Another cool feature (particularly for really hardcore Beatles freaks) is that there’s a ton of real studio chatter from Beatles recording sessions that’s never before been released that is included in the game. It’s really quite trippy stuff to hear.
One thing that makes this game particularly well suited for parties/big groups/families is that you can actually have six people playing at once (three on vocals, one drummer, one bassist, and one guitarist.) That’s one of the things I love about Rock Band games in general and this game takes it to the next level with the additional vocalists.
There’s also a whole wi-fi feature that lets you actually play the game with other people over the internet. This feature seems insanely awesome in theory but I can’t give a real review for it because I don’t have my Wii connected to the internet here.
As a Beatles fan I can tell you that I have no doubt that this is the greatest video game ever. Nothing else even comes close for me. If you like The Beatles as much as I do, I’m certain you will agree. Buy it.
I should also mention that while I have a Wii, this game also works with XBox 360 and PS3.
Songs That Come With The Game
“A Hard Day’s Night”
“And Your Bird Can Sing”
“Back in the U.S.S.R.”
“Can’t Buy Me Love”
“Dig a Pony”
“Do You Want to Know a Secret”
“Don’t Let Me Down”
“Drive My Car”
“Eight Days a Week”
“Good Morning Good Morning”
“Here Comes the Sun”
“I Am the Walrus”
“I Feel Fine”
“I Me Mine”
“I Saw Her Standing There”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand”
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”
“I Wanna Be Your Man”
“If I Needed Someone”
“I’m Looking Through You”
“I’ve Got a Feeling”
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” /
“With a Little Help from My Friends”
“Ticket to Ride”
“Twist and Shout”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
“Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows”
That “Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows” is the mash-up from the Love album. “Sgt Pepper’s” / “With a Little Help…” can only be played together as one song (just like how they open up the Sgt. Pepper‘s album.)
CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BEATLES ROCK BAND ONLINE.
Those of you in the UK should go to the Amazon.co.uk Beatles Store.
In Canada: Amazon.ca Beatles Store.