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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: MTV Games/Electronic Arts
Developed By: Harmonix
Genre: Music
Players: 1-5
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: September 9, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

When MTV Games, Electronic Arts and Harmonix came together to create what is now known as Rock Band, many gamers and critics didnít know what to expect as this greatly differ from established Guitar Hero franchise. Fast forward two years, two game releases and almost 1,000 downloadable songs as itís easy to see that Rock Band has taken over as the best all-around music-based gaming experience. Due to thousands of gamers wanting to experience the music of The Beatles and the developers looking to try something different, the creation of The Beatles: Rock Band was realized for the world to enjoy. For the first time, the Fab Four have their very of videogame and Harmonix aimed to make the experience greater than any title that has been released beforehand.

As soon as you fire up the game, you are immediately thrusted into the world of The Beatles. The intro cutscene alone is masterpiece befitting of the Fab Four and the unique musical ballads that they have released throughout their entire career. From this moment, you can see that Harmonix was trying to create a product thatís representative of The Beatles, while also appealing to their die-hard fans and music-based gamers around the world. Vivid colors, head bobbles, and signature bounces are also included within the presentation, thus confirming this title is indeed a Beatles-flavored experience.

Right off the bat, once you are greeted with the game menu, gamers have the option of jumping right into the Quickplay mode, which makes all 45 tracks within the game available right off the bat to rock out to. The catalogue of songs spans The Beatles career from their performances at The Cavern in 1963, to the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Abbey Road and on the rooftop of the Apple Corp. building. While some of the most popular tunes from The Beatles are included within the game, several of them are omitted simply because there are plans in place for Beatle albums to be released as DLC starting next month (October 2009).

However, for those looking to relive The Beatles rise to fame and global dominance, you can hop into the Story Mode. You will be able to relive performances from The Cavern, Ed Sullivan Show, and even Abbey Road studios. Just looking at each and every venue, you can easily see that Harmonix spent hundreds of hours watching classic Beatles footage in order to recreate each and every venue with great accuracy. As you progress through the story mode, you will unlock new venues to play in, ultimately ending your story mode venture on the roof of the Apple Corp. building. During each venue you can unlock photos and video footage that allows the player to learn new and exciting information about the Fab Four, some of which has never been revealed until now.

Everyone who plays Rock Band has a favorite instrument, whether itís the guitar, the bass, the drums, or simply laying down the vocals. While of course you can play through Quickplay or Story mode with one of these instruments, a combination of them, or all of them at once, a change to the traditional formula has taken place to appease The Beatles. The Beatles: Rock Band includes three part harmonies, which is definitely and interesting play on the vocals. Instead of one person singing the lyrics, several of the songs have the option of 2 or 3 people singing together in harmony. While it will take a bit to get the right pitch down, a nifty feature is that when there are 2 or 3 people singing at once, you can switch pitches at any time without causing any miss-steps. And if you are real adventurous, you can option to play an instrument and sing at the same time, which will require a bit more effort, but is fully rewarding in reliving The Beatles experience.

Rounding out the gameplay experiences within The Beatles: Rock Band includes the Training Mode, which allows you to partake in several tutorials for the in-experienced, practice mode and drum trainer. There is also the inclusion of online Leaderboards, which allows you track your skill against everyone who is rocking out with this game, including your buddies on your friendís list.

Like I stated before, Harmonix has done a fantastic job recreating the various Beatles performances that took place within The Cavern, the Ed Sullivan Show, Abbey Road, etc. If you compare the gameís presentation to actual Beatles footage, you can see that it looks practically the same. The classic Beatles outfits, stashes, and instruments have all been digitized beautifully to help authenticate The Beatles experience and your enjoyment. When it comes to The Beatles performing in the famed Abbey Road studios, Harmonix designed special backdrops and animations that go hand-in-hand with the songs they are singing. A prime example of this would be the song ďOctopusís GardenĒ, which startís the band out within Abbey Road studio, then all of the sudden the backdrop transform into the ocean floor where words from the song are plastered on the screen in big colorful font.

Replay- When it comes to replay value, it doesnít get any higher than with The Beatles: Rock Band. You can replay through career mode to acquire five-stars on each song in order to unlock photos and bonus video footage. The photos included information about the band and/or band members as they traversed the globe. The video footage that you unlock includes performances from the Ed Sullivan Show and Shea Stadium. If this isnít enough reason to pick up the game, there will be downloadable songs/albums being release to add to the already 45 song roster. Of course when there are parties at your house or job, this game will definitely see some playing time as everyone rocks out to some of the greatest tracks ever produced.

Overall-I will admit I am not big on the whole musical instruments gameplay, however The Beatles: rock Band made me fall in love with the music of The Beatles and the construct that is Rock Band. MTV Games, Electronic Arts and definitely Harmonix Music should receive a standing ovation for putting together this epic tribute to one of the best bands ever put together. While the game stands on its own, with the forthcoming DLC, The Beatles: Rock Band is a force to be reckoned with. For those who havenít picked up this game, itís a definite must have. Long live Beatlemania!!!


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