Let me get this out of the way first: The Beatles: Rock Band gets five out of five stars from me. No amount of nitpicking will detract from the overall joy, wonder and amazement this game has provided already and will continue to provide over the days, weeks and months that I'll be playing it. Nothing is perfect, not even The Beatles. But for what this game sets out to accomplish, it succeeds in every possible way.
I've read glowing review after glowing review for TB:RB, and for the most part I agree with them. But every review has fit that same kind of "review mold", many just saying the same things… echoing the same complaints. Let's address some of those gripes, shall we?
"The game is easier than regular Rock Band." In some ways yes and in some ways no. I started my first run through Story Mode playing hard guitar, thought the first song was too easy, and promptly bumped up to expert for the next song. It promptly handed me my ass. So back down to hard I went and that's how I played through Story Mode. Some songs are harder than others, and the charts get tougher as you go. Just like Rock Band. If you're one of those Dragonforce freaks then yes, you'll probably find the game fairly easy. Some of us just want to play the songs.
"Only 45 songs? There were 100 songs in Rock Band and 85 in Guitar Hero." So? IT'S THE BEATLES, not Nelson. Look if you want quantity over quality then go grab Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for $15 at Best Buy. The work and dedication that went into this project is worth paying a premium for.
"Where's this song? Where's that song?" I too am a little perplexed as to why rockers like Help! didn't make the cut. It never struck me when I was playing through the game last night though. I gained new appreciation for songs like Dear Prudence, one that had never really been on my radar much. The same cannot be said for I Want You (She's So Heavy) though… a song that still grates on my nerves like someone chewing on aluminum foil. (See? Like I said, The Beatles aren't perfect either. But I don't dock them a point and a half for that.)
And yes, while incredibly cool, the final set on the roof of Apple is a bit anti-climactic. The true finale of the game should have been the entire final medley from Abbey Road, but it's coming via DLC, as are many of your other favorites. So no worries there, really.
I'm not even going to get into the whole "But Paul didn't play bass on that song he plays drums because Ringo quit that day and blahbiddy blah blah" nitpicky nonsense that the hardcore types out there are engaging in right now. History isn't being re-written or anything. Calm yourselves.
Please don't misunderstand… I'm not trying to say that the game necessarily needs defending. Clearly it's getting great reviews across the board. But people feel compelled to dock points for little tiny nothings that don't detract from the experience whatsoever. And that's what this game ultimately is. An experience. One that looks amazing, sounds amazing and plays amazing. And one that you should share with as many people as possible.
The Beatles: Rock Band is now the standard that all future music games will have to attempt to match or exceed, just as The Beatles were the standard that all future bands attempted to match or exceed. One could argue that they've never been equaled. You have to wonder if the games industry can now do what the music industry couldn't.
Okay, so you've got 20 tracks to pick for the Rock Band: John, Paul, George and Ringo Track Pack expansion disc featuring the solo work of the Beatles. No, there isn't such a product coming out… but it's a good idea. Try to keep in mind songs that would be fun to play as opposed to their biggest hits. For example, I didn't pick Imagine because it's mostly piano. And I didn't pick How Do You Sleep? because, well, it's just so damn mean spirited. Go.
John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth, Instant Karma, Isolation, Working Class Hero
Paul McCartney – Band on the Run, Jet, Live and Let Die, Maybe I'm Amazed, Old Siam Sir, Sing the Changes, Tug of War, Venus and Mars/Rock Show
George Harrison – All Things Must Pass, All Those Years Ago, Blow Away, Got My Mind Set On You, My Sweet Lord
Ringo Starr – It Don't Come Easy, Photograph, Weight of the World
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