Fun with Beatles Rock Band

Beatles Rock Band is such a cool game. We’ve been having a ton of fun with it. We bought an extra mic (tried our own USB mics, but they didn’t work) so we can do two-part harmonies, and Henry’s got a Rock Band mic at his dad’s house that he’ll bring over so we can do three-part too.

The other day Bob and Chloe came over and we played through the entire story in about 4 hours. Chloe drummed, Dan played guitar, Bob sang lead, and I did bass and vocal harmony. It was hilarious and awesome and amazingly fun! And we got the Day Tripper accomplishment.

The game is really well-designed. It’s very simple to just jump in and start playing, and you have access to all but one song from the very start, so you don’t have to worry about unlocking your favorite songs if you don’t care to play through the story mode. Each player can adjust his own difficulty setting before every song, and the various parts have a difficulty gauge so you can see what you’re getting into. You can choose songs one at a time, or make a set list, or let the game choose a random songs for you. I like that mode. Difficulty levels are very reasonable. I can play any instrument on “easy” fairly well, and I can usually manage “easy” bass plus vocals, or “medium” bass if I’m not singing. The more skillful players in the family can handle “hard”, though I’m not sure anyone is entirely comfortable with “expert” yet. Something to work towards.

I’m extremely impressed by the way the game developers translated the music into button-presses. Even on “easy”, the button-presses relate to the music in a very realistic way. As I’m following the symbols my ear picks out the parts and I notice so much that I never heard before! On “easy” Paul is playing a lot more than I am, but I’m still hitting the main notes. On “medium” I follow along with the real music even more closely.

After we beat the story with Bob and Chloe, we took a look (for the first time) at some of the pictures and videos and other extras that we’d unlocked. Tons of photos I’d never seen before, each with a interesting caption. So now we are inspired to go back through yet again and get more 5-star scores so we can unlock the rest of the photos and goodies.

There are endless combinations of instrumentation and difficulty levels so the game will stay challenging and fun for a long time. And we’re really looking forward to the downloadable content that’s coming up. We can get the entire Abbey Road album on October 20th, according to wikipedia. It’s an excellent marketing strategy. We already own Abbey Road on vinyl and CD but we won’t think twice about coughing up another $16 to buy it for our game.

Thank you, everyone at Harmonix, MTV, EA, and of course Paul, Ringo, Yoko, Olivia, and especially Dhani Harrison, who had the idea in the first place!

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