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The Beatles: Rock Band review

AT A GLANCE
  • Beatles love in every little detail
  • A blast to play with friends
  • Amazing set of unlockables
  • Strictly linear campaign
  • Expensive
  • Paying extra for DLC tracks

Let’s face it: one’s enjoyment of a game in a popular franchise is always partly dependent on one’s familiarity with said franchise. So as much as we’d like to make a universal statement regarding the enjoyment you’ll get out of The Beatles: Rock Band, doing so does the game a disservice. Perhaps more so than in any other game, The Beatles: Rock Band is going to mean radically different things to different people. The way we see it, there are four different types of people who will play this; which are you?

The category you fall into will dictate what you love and what you hate about The Beatles: Rock Band. We’ve given each one of these types its own section, so you can pick which review is the most relevant to you. Sound good? First up is…


The Beatlemaniac


Who you are: You grew up in the Octopus’ Garden. You Let it Be. You dreamed of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. For whatever reason, you never got into videogames, but when you saw all those posters for The Beatles: Rock Band, you were intrigued. Maybe you thought they were coming out with a new album or something?

What you should know about The Beatles: Rock Band: We’re going to assume for the sake of this review that you don’t hate videogames – otherwise you wouldn’t be at our fine site. But we will assume you don’t know a whole lot about the Rock Band franchise, which is totally OK. The Beatles: Rock Band is about as user-friendly as one could hope for – you grab an instrument, turn the game on, choose Quickplay (the first option on the menu), and you’re ready to pick any of the game’s 45 songs to play.

If you choose to go through the story, you’ll work your way through the band’s history, starting in Liverpool and ending on the roof of the Apple studios. Beautiful, stylized videos bookmark each chapter, and there’s a huge incentive to keep pushing through, not only because the videos are so cool, but also because, let’s face it, The Beatles’ best stuff came later in their career. The animations of the Beatles playing on the Ed Sullivan show are great and all, but when you hit the studio years and the trippy dreamscapes start opening up, it’s a whole new experience. Aside from the fact that the Beatles’ music is arguably better at this point (compare “Revolution” to “Boys”), the game’s visuals become absolutely astounding as you progress. Prepare to fly on a giant balloon with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, take a trip on the Yellow Submarine or become the Walrus. Each song has its own visually distinct music video, and each one is an absolute treat.


Above: Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows is so visually arresting that you may play it over… and over…

When it comes to gameplay, the Beatlemaniac will typically gravitate towards vocals – if you choose to take up the mic, you’ll have the option to either sing the solo part or the harmonies. We recommend picking harmonies – there’s no penalty for jumping off your part to the main line, and from a strategic standpoint, you triple your chances of nailing a line if there are three harmonies to choose from. If you’re a Beatlemaniac, you’re likely not in it to win it – you just want have fun warbling about, singing everyone’s part and doing your best John Lennon impression. We know. Have a good time.


Above: How a Beatlemaniac will treat TB:RB

The unlockable photos and movies are so filled with Beatles love and obscure trivia that the desire to collect them all may become obsessive, yet the only way to unlock all these treasures is to earn five-star ratings on each song. If you’re a Beatlemaniac, you may just find yourself a Rock Band Guru as well by the time you’ve unlocked them all.


“They even got Ringo’s mole right! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”

Next page: the Rock Band Guru and the Giddy Fanboy

More Info

Release date: Sep 09 2009 - Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 (US)
Sep 09 2009 - Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii, Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: EA GAMES, MTV Games
Developed by: Harmonix
Franchise: Rock Band
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Tobacco Reference, Mild Lyrics
PEGI Rating:
12+: Bad Language, Sex

50 comments

  • D0CCON - July 16, 2010 5:22 a.m.

    I like Beatles and I wouldn't mind a game with less difficulty. It would be better than getting through 83 songs and then realizing you're incapable of playing the last two on expert, making all that work towards beating the game on expert worthless (damn you Visions! You're keeping me away from platinum and sounding like a god-awful song of gurgling and moaning into a mic with no coherency whatsoever!) So yeah, I guess I'm a giddy fanboy.
  • GrandMoffBubbles - September 16, 2009 1:04 p.m.

    Ok, I git the last word for Beatles haters out there. I have a CD in my collection by Laibach that covers the entire "Let It Be" album. Check it out. Its awesome!!!!!!!!!
  • Craza - September 15, 2009 4:43 a.m.

    I'm not a big fan of the Beatles, but I happened to see a gameplay video of TB:RB at Wal-Mart, and the visuals just floored me. I do really like Rock Band, and I have always wanted to get more acquainted with the Beatles music. I'll have to pick this up eventually, but it won't be for a while. AC2 is higher on my list at the moment. XP
  • TestDDs - September 13, 2009 12:05 a.m.

    @doomdoomdoom and @YOURMOMONTOPAllDay nice songs but my rap song is better Yo Yo Yo Rap is crap Rap is crap don't listen to that yo pwned bitches
  • venomman01 - September 12, 2009 6:07 p.m.

    The beetles are so gaaaaaay mettalica is way better.
  • doomdoomdoom - September 12, 2009 3:04 a.m.

    @YOURMOMONTOP Nice Thrice Your head is full of lice go die like mice Your name must be mitch Your just another itch I'll make you my bitch That i can just go and ditch Your just another snitch I'll own you I'll pwn you But i won't give you a loan because you'll just get boned My grammar is a slammer it wiil feel like hammer. can you do any badder
  • doomdoomdoom - September 12, 2009 2:23 a.m.

    @YOURMOMONTOPAllDay I have a poem just you fuck face Your mom is on top Your Dad is below Were is jr. i don't know You wear ladies thongs in the middle of the night You gave your neighbors a good fright You must be a fool that can not fight me I can Bench 230... bitch You must feel all dirty reading this letter go on show me can you do any better
  • Thequestion 121 - September 12, 2009 12:20 a.m.

    I just got The Beatles: Rock Band last night and I absolutely love it! I even got my mom to sing the songs, too!
  • zigs - September 11, 2009 11:54 p.m.

    regarding this: "the start button was extremely squishy and often didn’t register our attempts to press it at all" - it's possible that maybe you just didn't realise this; "It means that you need to hold the start button/navigation button down for a little while to make it function. Why is this good? No more butter fingers accidentally pausing the game or bringing up the console navigation thing and stopping the music with their floundering." http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3017068#post3017068
  • doomdoomdoom - September 11, 2009 9:35 p.m.

    My grammar will never change, meaning it will always be bad. The reason i hate people for there taste in music is because... i blame the socialist.
  • FLEXO94 - September 11, 2009 12:15 p.m.

    Sweet game but costs to much but i still think its pretty cool good review too
  • GrandMoffBubbles - September 11, 2009 9:14 a.m.

    Great Article. Yes, I know its a review but the only review I'm interested in is mine and its an 11! I can't really say any more than the reviewer cause he really nailed every good thing and potential bad thing about the game (well done mate!). The only thing that I can add to the conversation is that I am one of the rare souls that loves The Beatles AND Metallica equally. Madness you say? Its true and I appreciate them both at their appropriate times. Impress girls? The Beatles. Impress my friends? Metallica.
  • skippy101 - September 11, 2009 3:16 a.m.

    HA I HAVE EQUAL AFFINITY FOR METALLICA AND THE BEATLES TAKE THAT GAMESRADAR I LIKE ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL MUSIC ESPECIALLY THE BEATLES AND METALLICA YOUR WRONG YOUR WRONG (Have not played The Beatles)
  • Linken4 - September 11, 2009 12:18 a.m.

    Oh the irony, because the beatles did ridiculous amounts of pot, but hey, whatever.
  • doomdoomdoom - September 11, 2009 12:11 a.m.

    @kenjum wow... can i ever change my ways. Can i get rid of drug or get rid of the Beatles? should i stop hate people because of there taste in music? Short Answer- No. But i can change my grammar. beetles i hate i don't know why there music makes me want to cry To say i love them is a lie i scream this out for you all to hear i going to drink one more beer this song is giving me a tear oh why do the Beatles stay so long Can't they just been and gone They could be smoking from a bong but they had to sing along I don't know why i hate the Beatles Oh F*ck it where are my needles there that should be the next beetle song on rock band ha.
  • doomdoomdoom - September 10, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    @LScollard Sex and drugs rock but Beatles should not even be called a rock there the worst rock i have ever heard. Only old people listen to it, generation youths are realizing how boring there music is. I hope for newer music not old $hit like this.
  • Spybreak8 - September 10, 2009 5:12 a.m.

    I'm a guy who views the water with no glass around it. ^^
  • Useoam - September 10, 2009 1:55 a.m.

    Not a fan of the beatles. Give me back my sex and drugs.
  • Doctalen - September 10, 2009 1:27 a.m.

    My friend made is mom go to Best Buy and buy him a PS3(a late birthday gift) and Rockband: Beatles (he has to pay for that) right after he left for school. As soon as we got out we raced to his house and for the past 4-5 hours played Beatles. It is awesome. Personally my favorite song would be ether "I am the Walrus" or "While my Guitar Gently Weeps". I also managed to go from sucking at drums to playing on hard in that span of time. The opening was trippy as hell and awesome because of that.
  • DrDevious - September 10, 2009 12:53 a.m.

    Love it! so fun!!!

Showing 1-20 of 50 comments

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