The Beatles: Rock Band Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
The Beatles: Rock Band box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Harmonix 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: MTV Games / EA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 9, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-6 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In terms of novelty, The Beatles: Rock Band does give players fresh guitar peripherals to pick up as well as a new way to sing. For starters, the wireless Gretsch Duo-Jet and Rickenbacker 325 controllers are great guitars - they should be at $99.99 each. The quality of construction and overall appearance are perfectly suited to the game and feel substantial in the hand. While we're not sure whether the ability to play the game is improved by these new peripherals, they certainly look a lot cooler.

The Beatles: Rock Band screenshot

What does greatly affect gameplay is the inclusion of three-part harmonies - a vocal technique that is a signature of The Beatles. This allows up to six players total to join in the band. While singers can simply take on the main melody, two other chanteuses can take up a supporting role to create the three-part harmonies on specific sections of each song. While getting three different people to hit three different notes to create a harmony is often nearly impossible, doing so will rack up major points for your band and is quite satisfying to pull off. Three-part harmonies has really helped to give this game a unique feature.

As always, controls are tight and can be calibrated to function ideally with any television. As is the case with all Rock Band titles, the game is not nearly as technically demanding as the competitions' offerings. This is even more evident in the case of The Beatles: Rock Band. While The Beatles are notorious for their excellent music, they were never known for being virtuosos - their brilliance was in their simplicity, adaptability, and innovation. Still, three-part harmonies are challenging enough, and it's refreshing to just sit back and calmly jam to The Beatles.

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The Beatles: Rock Band is an excellent game that any fan of The Beatles should consider buying. The stunning visual presentation, the well organized and thoughtfully guided tour of The Beatlles' career, the great music, and all the extra content make this a nice choice for anyone even remotely interested. Disappointingly, perhaps a bit too much was left for future DLC, though; making the 45 song set list seem underwhelming despite its innate class.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
5.0
Graphics
These are the best visuals to ever grace a music game. The venues, band members, montages, Dreamscapes, and video clips are all spectacular.
4.2
Control
They're exactly what you'd expect from the Rock Band brand, made perhaps even a bit more approachable for less-skilled players by the nature of The Beatles' musical stylings.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The fidelity is crystal clear, and there are a lot of great tunes to jam to. I especially liked the pre-song banter, introductions, and practice noodling that sets the mood.
3.5
Play Value
Despite the superior presentation and excellence of the subject matter, there aren't a lot of game modes to play and the music selection leaves a lot to be desired. I wish DLC wasn't such an important factor.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Advanced Harmonix game technology brings The Beatles experience to life.
  • Sing three-part vocal harmonies with support for up to three mics.
  • Experience historic Beatles performance venues from the Cavern Club to the roof at Savile Row.
  • Developed and co-created with The Beatles™, providing a true-to-life gaming experience.
  • Hear never released conversations among the band during Abbey Road recording sessions.


  • Screenshots / Images
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