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.