The Fate of The Beatles: Rock Band in a post-Guitar Hero 5 world


When THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND was announced, I was excited.  I like the Beatles.  My wife and I sing almost nothing but Beatles tunes to our 8-month-old son.

Then it slowly sank in.

“Wait a second.  The Beatles were a pop band.”

The more and more I thought about it, I realized that this game wasn’t going to be very challenging in terms of its song selection.  I mean, let’s face it, the Fab Four hasn’t been melting any faces.

Think of all the songs you’ve loved to play on all of the GUITAR HERO and ROCK BAND games.  They are almost always songs that are on the harder side.  Songs that challenge you and push you to play it one more time and then one more time because you finally nailed that one lick during the 17th solo in “Through the Fire and Flames” or “Peace Sells.”  Where are those types songs on THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND?  How often are you actually going to play a game that doesn’t push you?  The addition of harmonious backgound vocals isn’t enough for me to go back for more.

Another thing that I immediately thought was, “Who are they making this for?”  I remember way back, reading and posting on message boards, about the songs we would like to see in the new GUITAR HERO or ROCK BAND.  The Beatles were seldomly mentioned.  It was almost always hard rock and metal acts.

I will admit that I am much more partial to the ROCK BAND franchise.  For me, it is a better “simulator” than the GUITAR HERO franchise.  More often than not, it seems that GH songs are made tough for the sake of being tough,  while RB songs seem to be a more accurate depiction of actual guitar playing.

The release of THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND seems to be leveling the playing field for me.  GUITAR HERO 5 seems to be moving in the direction that the ROCK BAND franchise should have moved in with two new modes, RockFest and PartyPlay.  These will give freshness to the multiplayer that we all had a blast with on ROCK BAND.

Which makes me think that we should be getting ready for the release of ROCK BAND 3 with a new set of songs and new features, not THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND.  Neversoft/Activision never released an artist-specific title agains a new installment of another rhythm game.  A wise choice, in my opinion.  Those games were there to hold us over until a new game and get us to keep buying the games.

I can appreciate the fact that I am still getting quality games and DLC from both franchises, but I have to say that Neversoft is doing more to get my attention with their next game. Will BEATLES still sell a ton and does it look pretty?  Absolutely.  Will GUITAR HERO have enough to unseat ROCK BAND as the party favorite?  I think so.

5 responses to “The Fate of The Beatles: Rock Band in a post-Guitar Hero 5 world

  1. well, i think you’re wrong. yes, a good chunk of Rock Band/Guitar Hero players like the fast, hard songs. they like the challenge of beating near impossible songs (DragonForce, Iron Maiden, The Who…) but most like songs they know, and songs they can master after a couple plays.

    we’ve had tons of game nights at my house with a wide variety of people playing Rock Band and they mostly wanted to play songs they were familiar with. they wanted to play to have fun, not challenge themselves.

    BUT, i agree with Guitar Hero going in a different direction. they are getting more bands that i want to play. and their new modes sound cool. Rock Band seems to be going more general and Guitar Hero is aiming for the FPS/Hard Rock 18-35 male genre.

    personally, i will stick with Rock Band because their notes are laid out much better then Guitar Hero’s.

    • but you and i are still buying the games and having people over to play OUR copies, right? the people that come over for our ROCK BAND parties are generally not the people that are not buying the games. don’t get me wrong, i’m still going to play the crap out of ROCK BAND, but i think the parties are going to be dominated more by GH5.

  2. no no no… they own Rock Band to. our game nights are full or gamers (some bring their own guitars). the majority of gameplay is fun and casual. yes, at the end of the night, some people will sit there and play on hardest settings and play the hardest songs, but that’s a fraction of the people playing for maybe an hour.

    i bet under 25% of all Rock Band 2 players haven’t beat the game on HARD of EXPERT.

  3. Pingback: Music Game Sales are hitting a saturation point « Pixels and Grids

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