But the Beatles, that's another matter. Everyone has heard the Beatles' music. It's a rare individual who doesn't know the words to Yellow Submarine, or recognize the intro to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. And unlike Guitar Hero: Aerosmith/Metallica/Van Halen, which have a large chunk of music from other, lesser known bands, Beatles Rock Band is pure, 100% Beatles. And best of all, every song in the game is unlocked right from the start (with the single exception of The End, which is unlocked when you finish story mode). If you want to jump right in with Back In The U.S.S.R., go right ahead.
In story mode, you play at the various venues the Beatles played at, ranging from the Cavern in 1963 to the rooftop of Apple Corps in 1970. The later Beatles songs are accompanied by colorful and sometimes bizarre psychedelic dreamscape images. You have to choose whether to watch the imagery or watch the notes going by.
The only downside to the game is the obscene price tag. The game is about $250 for the software, two replica instruments (McCartney's Höfner bass and Ringo's Ludwig drums) and one mic. Other replica instruments, such as Harrison's Gretsch Duo-Jet or Lennon's Rickenbacker 325 guitars cost $100 a piece (you need one more guitar controller to do a full band). Extra mics (you'll need 2 more if you want to do complete harmonies) are $20 each. And even when you've finished buying the software and the equipment, there's still downloadable content, currently just the Abbey Road album and All You Need Is Love single, which runs 1950 Wii Points, or $19.50. That comes to $410 for the complete Beatles Rock Band experience. Plus tax. Ouch. Of course, you could buy the set with the generic instruments for considerably less, $160 for the software, guitar, drums and mic, plus $60 for a second guitar and $40 for two extra mics, $260 without the DLC. Still ouch.
The software alone is $60, and since I already had the generic instruments from Rock Band and a bunch of gift certificates for Best Buy, it was an easier purchase to justify.
The game is an absolute blast. It's the Beatles! You can't help but have fun singing along with Maxwell's Silver Hammer. In the past 2 days, I think I've played it for about 4 hours (and I'm supposed to be working on my computer). My arm is tired. I think this will make an excellent party game; even if you can't figure out the guitar or drums, you can always sing lead or one of the two harmonies.
My Beatles Rock Band Wii friend code: 2874-6667-2868
Goo goo ga joob.