AS A BEATLES FAN and a recent convert to the Guitar Hero/Rock Band phenomenon, I was pretty stoked when EA invited me around to jam on a few tracks from The Beatles: Rock Band. As with Rock Band it’s your choice to play lead guitar, bass, drums or vocals, following the coloured cues on the screen or singing the lyrics karaoke style. The Beatles: Rock Band ups the ante by supporting six players; an extra two microphones can be hooked up to perform three-part vocal harmonies, just like the Beatles.
The Fab Four’s live performances are captured with digital perfection, right down to the venues and styles of the time. Their later songs, when they were studio-based at Abbey Road, start as a recording session and flow into a surreal dreamscape environment, like lost animated music videos.
There has been chatter from the Rock Band community that Beatles songs will be too easy. It’s worth remembering that these guys were master musicians. The variety of the Beatles’ music catalogue, from the early rock ‘n’ roll to the experimental songs of their later years, makes The Beatles: Rock Band easily the most accessible rhythm music game to date.
For Rock Band fans, getting this game should be a no-brainer, especially as the limited edition bundle is the only way to officially get the more superior Rock Band 2 instruments in New Zealand. They include a Beatles- branded drum kit, a microphone with stand, and an awesome-looking replica of Paul McCartney’s Höfner bass guitar. For the non-console owning Beatles fan, if you’ve been mulling over buying a Blu-ray player, now is the time to pick up a Playstation 3 with a copy of The Beatles: Rock Band. MTV Games and Harmonix have achieved
something very special. In getting Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr together with the families of the late John Lennon and George Harrison, they have rekindled the Beatles’ magic for a new millennium and a new generation.