Publisher: EA Partners & MTV Games
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
Release Date: Wednesday September 9th 2009
Age Rating: PEGI 12
No, you are reading this right, this is a preview.
This could have been a review if it had not been for EA not sending us code earlier in the week like promised. Still, it doesn’t make me or us any less anticipated for the game.
Ask anybody what the holy grail of back catalogues of music would be. Say Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, REM, Rolling Stones; any of them four would be it? No, no, no and no, although it would still be a big boost if Led Zeppelin had its own version.
Of course, its four that’s the magic number: The Fab Four.
Dhani Harrison is the one who brought the project to Apple Records two and a half years ago, it’ll be us who ends the long road of development for the game when we finally get our hands on the game on Wednesday on 9.9.09, alongside the release of the band’s 13 remastered albums including Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, both of which will receive a release soon after release.
Rubber Soul will also be forthcoming after release.
Although the game also contains 45 of them remastered songs from the remasters, all done mostly by Giles Martin – the son of famous Beatles producer, Sir George Martin – bringing a brand new sound of The Beatles in videogame form. And digital revolution will happen also on Wednesday when All You Need is Love is released on Xbox Live Marketplace: the first time a Beatles song will be released digitally on any platform, be that on a place like Marketplace, the PS Store, Wii Shop Channel to places like Napster, iTunes and others.
Some of the 45 songs on the game include:
- Day Tripper
- Here Come the Sun
- Come Together
- Helter Skelter
- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
- I Am The Walrus
- Get Back
- Dear Prudence
- Back in the U.S.S.R.
- Within You or Without You
- I Feel Fine
- Eight Days a Week
- Yellow Submarine
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help from My Friends
It’s still the same Rock Band that we were introduced to two years ago, only this time, its Paul, John, Ringo and George only, no other bands seen for miles – unlike Activision and games like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which features the band and guest acts. The title says it all – The Beatles: Rock Band.
The game’s story mode is basically career mode for the game, only it is a story. Starting out in Liverpool in 1961 at The Cavern; all the way through to Shea Stadium, Abbey Road; and finishing at the rooftops of Apple Corp in 1969, where the band had its fond farewell.
Starting out in black and white with cutscenes in the story mode, it progresses into colour as it shows the band go through there ups and downs, showcased by extras like photos straight from the Apple Corp library, videos from archives like the Shea Stadium concert and never before heard soundbites from the band while waiting for a song to load.
Not content with celebrating the release of the remasters and the game, Harmonix will release new specific instruments suited for the game. A similar Ludwig drumkit to what Ringo played, Paul’s left handed Hofner bass (it can be played right handed of course), John’s Rickenbacker and George’s Grestch guitar as well as a mic and stand: the first time a Rock Band game includes a stand, which opens the way of multiple instrument use like mic and bass at the same time.
When playing in places like Shea Stadium, Ed Sullivan Show and Apple Corp, they are the place you play from start to finish, but its Abbey Road where the “Dreamscapes” kick in. You’ll see them in songs like Here Comes the Sun, Dear Prudence, Sgt. Pepper and more, where most, if not all, recordings in Abbey Road take place in the Dreamscape.
But while I am excited for songs in game like Day Tripper, Here Comes the Sun (particularly Here Comes the Sun), Get Together, Get Back and Revolution, there are very big left outs like Penny Lane, Hey Jude, Help and more. Hopefully, this will be rectified with the upcoming DLC from next month.
Speaking of Abbey Road, Rubber Soul and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, if you are thinking of skipping the game and buying the albums for Rock Band or Rock Band 2, dont. The albums will only work with Beatles: Rock Band: same for All You Need is Love, which is a timed 360 exclusive, but will appear on the Wii Shop Channel and PlayStation Store soon.
Overall: The Beatles: Rock Band isn’t just a money tie-in. This is a game crafted by hand with love from Harmonix, with a passion to music and a tribute to not just the band, but also to any Beatles and music fan. Come Wednesday, 9/9/09 will no longer be associated mostly with the US Dreamcast launch mostly, but to the launch of possibly the finest music game ever.
Come Wednesday, I’ll be saluting the greatest band of all time by buying the remastered Abbey Road, one of the finest albums of all time. And when it releases on the Rock Band Store for Beatles: Rock Band on October 20th, you will shit a brick.
This is the real deal.
[Come back next week when we have our full review of the game, be that review code or retail edition. We may do a small review of the remastered Abbey Road too on the Ed Blog]