Top Ten of 2009 - The Beatles: Rock Band

The peripheral-based rhythm action genre burned incredibly brightly for me for a couple of years, and the zenith of it could never be anything less than a title charting the career of one of my favourite bands, featuring songs I'd grown up on and telling an inspiring, irresistable musical story.

Presentation is key here and anything less than total respect for the material simply wouldn't do. Guitar Hero: Metallica showed the world how to churn out a glorified track pack and charge a premium for it, whereas TB:RB feels crafted with care from the outset. It's a bona-fide standalone title that takes the polish of previous Rock Band titles and mixes in a few new elements - most notably a full vocal harmony - resulting in a worthy tribute and a dream come true for fake instrument wielding Beatles fans.

Perhaps the harshest criticism I could level at the game would be the lack of challenge, but even that in a rhythm action title is a moot point. It's all about playing and replaying purely for fun, a couple of hours of euphoric multiplayer here and there. It seemed a sure bet to woo the casual market and storm the charts, but unfortunately EA's woeful marketing put paid to that.

After this it felt like there was nowhere else to go. I'd gotten everything I could out of the genre and it was time to put aside the endless iterations and weekly DLC. Returning to vanilla Rock Band didn't hold the appeal it once did, and I realised the dream was over. But what a beautiful dream it was, and what a note to end on.

1 comment:

JohnnyBeatdown said...

The weirdest thing about Beatles:RB is the way it seems to compel you to finish it in one sitting. As if the whole story has to be told unintterupted, or not at all.