Beatles: Rock Band Makes Baby Jesus Poop A Little

Don’t consider this a formal review or anything, but let me warn you away from Beatles: Rock Band, were you thinking of running out and evacuating your wallet of its hard-earned greenbacks.

It’s very pretty.

They’ve put a lot of work into making it authentic.

It sounds great.

Goddamn, I kind of feel like I got ripped off, though.

Okay, I’m a sucker for Rock Band and its ilk. I owned the first, and I now own its sequel, and I invested an unmerciful crap-ton of hours into those games. I drum the shit out of that shit. I buy stupid rock t-shirts for my rock mutants. And yes, I even buy DLC, because I am a whore like that.

I mean, I’m still playing Rock Band 2.

Beatles: Rock Band, we finished it tonight. On our second sit-down with the game. It’s over. It’s just… it’s over. Yeah, we can go back and play it again, but…

Well, okay, let’s take a look at this bit by bit.

First, Rock Band 2 features 80+ songs, and you can use all the first iteration Rock Band tracks with a minimal fee.

Second, Rock Band 2 has the ability to tweak your dude or dudette. Pink hair. Fishnets. 3D glasses. Afro puffs. Day-glo drum kit. Whatever.

Third, Rock Band 2 gives you a bit of versatility in the tracks. Not a lot, but hey — drum fills!

Now, this latest iteration, Beatles: Rock Band has… ummm. None of this?

Okay, it has three-part harmonies. Not that we’ll use it here in Der Wendighaus, great, fine, cool.

But, no drum fills. No design mini-games — I can’t even create my own super-cool Sgt. Pepper-style jacket for one of the pre-existing Beatles. I mean, give me that, at least. Oh, and the game is woefully easy. I played the drums on hard, and I don’t think I got below 90% one time. Most I was in the 97-99% range. Doesn’t have the same challenge put forth by the other Rock Band products.

Most criminal of all, though, is the sheer lack of awesome Beatles songs. They have a bunch of their clunkier tracks. But, missing is a wide range of killer tracks: Yesterday, Hey Jude, Let It Be, Blackbird, Michelle, Eleanor Rigby, Penny Lane, Nowhere Man, Ob-La-Di Ob La-Da, and so on, and so forth. I totally grok that some of this can and should be made available for DLC. I know that in buying this game, I’m not going to get all the Beatles songs ever.

But Jeebus Chrizzist, the Beatles have 290+ songs in their catalogue. You can’t pick 80 out of that batch for me? Really? You’re telling me that 45’s all we get? Worse, these tracks won’t port over to Rock Band? I get why you don’t want the Fab Four performing, say, songs by Bikini Kill, but can’t I have my Rock Band rocktards playing Yellow Submarine? Just for poops and chuckles?

I dropped sixty bucks, and this is what enters my living room, this meager beast? The shame of it is, if I’d have put down forty — hell, maybe even fifty — I might not feel quite so dissatisfied. A full-price game, though…

Look at it this way. At present they’ve announced three albums for this sucker: Abbey Road, Rubber Soul, and Sgt. Pepper. Each track’ll be $1.99, or a full album for around $17.00.

So, if I want a still-incomplete catalog — meaning, I’ll still be missing some very big hits and sleeper classics — I gotta pay another $50-plus.

That’s rough trade. My sphincter puckers just thinking about it. Puckers all the way into a tight little asterisk, winced shut like one of Mister Magoo’s blind eyes.

Ehhh? I guess I’m just sad. Five hours later, the game’s done. We might get another couple hours of it. Might.

Doesn’t really feel worth it. The sucky part is, it’s a quality production. It just doesn’t go the distance.

I’m going to go back to playing Batman. Batman loves me.


  • We had a good time playing it yesterday. Stephen had a bunch of folks over to his house. It might seem a little light on content if you aren’t interested in digging into the harmony stuff, though. I think that’s where most of the replayability is gonna come from.

    • Mind you, I’ve enjoyed it. I quite like the game. I just want more of it. The three-part harmony is cool, but it shouldn’t be the crux of the game’s replayability.

      (Marty had a good point in email, too — Rock Band has another mini-game in how many fans you get, how much money you get, stuff like that. Just another thing that B:RB doesn’t have going for it.)

      — c.

  • Dammit.
    I don’t have the rock band set yet … but I’m thinking of it. And I was going to use The Beatles as the reason.
    Dammit. Dammit.

Speak Your Mind, Word-Nerds