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Old 09-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #6
Yoshi Girl
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles
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Beatles Rockband

Unless you live in a complete media blackhole (which you don't, since I see you're on the internet right now), then you're probably aware The Beatles Rockband recently hit the market, and baby boomers everywhere are stealing their children's consoles. There's been a lot of hype surrounding this edition of Rockband and not everyone is happy with commemorating such a prolific band through a video game. Musicians everywhere are groaning about how plastic guitars and wannabe singers are ruining the aura of The Beatles. Others are more than excited to be able to play, share and experience The Beatles through a new medium.

If you're familiar with the Rockband or Guitar Hero franchises, then the general gameplay is nothing new. What is new is vocal harmonizations, which is awesome. On my first play through I played guitar or bass, but constantly found myself singing along. Songs range from one to three part harmony and although you're not required to have two or three singers, you do get extra bonuses if you provide the harmony. Star power is now called "Beatlemania" and results in high-pitch, screaming girls. The first few venues are live concerts, similar to the previous editions' scenarios. In the form of true Beatles history, later in their career the touring stopped and they only recorded in the studio. During these sequences, the background results in several LSD induced clips, which became more of a distraction than anything. The Rockband version of "I am the Walrus" includes all of The Beatles wearing walrus suits and making you wonder if the producers had thing for furries. WTF were they thinking with that one? It was borderline creepy. I also didn't get the challenges, which esentially are just a setlist of each chapter, and you need to five-star every song to get the maximum achievement. But wait -- I just played the entire series and five-starred all the songs when I went though story mode. I don't get it.

When I first heard about The Beatles Rockband I was worried they guitar riffs would be too easy. They were. Albeit I still am not playing on Expert, I did five star several songs on Hard, and that doesn't happen for me usually. I also played bass on Expert, which was a first for me. Drums are a whole other story: I still can't play them. Granted the guitar progressions rise in difficulty as the game (and The Beatles) grows, the real challenge and experience is in the vocals. The dissonant harmonies can be hard to find on your first attempt and unless you've had experience in choral or other vocal work, having others singing harmony can throw off the lead singer as well.

As for song selection, I was pretty underwhelmed. I'm no crazed Beatle fan, but I know my fair share and although I'm leaps and bounds ahead of my roommate (who didn't even know a) who John Lennon was and b) that he was assassinated) I found myself wondering where some of the greatist hits were. Among many of my favorites, "Hey Jude" and "If I Fell" were both left out. "If I Fell" isn't exactly one of The Beatles most popular songs, however; the vocals are amazing and it would have been an excellent selection for a vocal feature. I am hoping it will come out on DLC soon. Speaking of DLC, right now the only song that is available is "All You Need Is Love," with a portion of the sales going to charity. Not hip to Beatles history either? Don't worry, each time you unlock a photo (by earning 3 and 5 stars on songs), you get a bit of history.

Overall, I am pleased with The Beatles Rockband. With it's familiar tunes and popular fanbase, it's a guarenteed hit at parties and can cater to a wide range of ages, likely never seen before as far as rhythm games go. Will The Beatles Rockband bring back some of the hysteria that surrounded them in the 60's? Probably not to that extent, but it's certainly fun to pretend.
Originally Posted by Drunken Savior
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