The Beatles Rock Band
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Game Reviewed: The Beatles Rock Band
Publisher: MTV Games
Developer: Harmonix (PS3/Xbox 360), Pi Studios (Wii)
Platform: Wii (also on PS3, Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: T
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The Beatles have been reintroduced to the world this year and have once again taken it by storm. Digitally re-mastered versions of their CDs make up only part of this, though. The Beatles Rock Band was released this year. The rhythm game favorite has been given even newer life as the Beatles' digital selves perform at the Ed Sullivan Show and Shea Stadium once again. This time, however, you pluck the guitar riffs, keep the beat on drums, or belt out the vocals. Whatever you choose, you are soon in their shoes. The game offers varying levels of difficulties so nearly anyone can take up the musical legacy and enjoy becoming the newest member of the Beatles.
There are different modes of game play. In one, you play whatever song you like, with however many band members decide to join in. In another, called “Story” mode, you follow the Beatles' career in chronological order. Each year brings a new venue and set of songs. There are also online modes of play that include anything between a single player and a full band. Overall, the game offers a lot of different ways to play, ensuring that your experience will not get old anytime soon.
What Parents Need to Know
It's a rhythm game, so there is no violence.
The included songs are free of foul language.
There are a few cases of innuendo in some of the included songs. The song “Good Morning Good Morning” includes the line: “Watching the skirts you start to flirt now you're in gear.” The whimsical tune “I Am The Walrus” contains the line: “Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess, Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.” “Back In The U.S.S.R.” says “The Ukraine girls really knock me out.” There are a very few other cases of such innuendo.
The song “Tomorrow Never Knows” focuses on meditation. “Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream. It is not dying, it is not dying.” Such lyrics continue through the song.
Some of the lyrics also contain veiled drug references. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” has been debated for some time. Also, in the “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends” medley the chorus includes “I get high with a little help from my friends.”
The Beatles Rock Band possesses a large appeal and, in the process, provides a huge amount of replay value through their downloadable tracks. For two or three dollars, you can have a brand new song to enjoy. However, these songs might contain objectionable lyrical content not covered in this review.
I have always enjoyed the Rock Band series, but not enough to take the plunge. As a whole, it did not hold a lot of appeal for me. But when Beatles Rock Band appeared on the scene, I knew I would soon be the proud owner of my first rhythm game. I had enjoyed their songs for a while, and the chance to “play” them was too great an opportunity to pass up. The great song selection and polished aesthetics are taking the genre to new heights, and these things make the game one of the best. The Beatles Rock Band is also crossing the generational gap that other games have created. It appeals to those lucky enough to remember the Beatles' new productions, as well as securing a new fan base for the “Fab Four” in the current generation. The Beatles Rock Band is a great rhythm game that is relatively safe for all ages. With only a few missteps in a plethora of songs, it works hard to avoid causing the worry of a lyrical blurb that could otherwise mar the experience. Though a bit pricey if you buy the classic Beatles instruments, I highly recommend that you check this game out. Gathering around to sing “Paperback Writer” and “Yellow Submarine” could make for a fun, whimsical family night.