It's impossible to consider the history of rock without discussing The Beatles--and now, upon the release of The Beatles: Rock Band, it'll be hard to recount the history of rhythm video games without acknowledging the group's band-in-a-box debut. Part of that is because…well…they're The Beatles.
Fans have long imagined jamming with John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Grab a plastic axe, a pair of sticks, or a microphone, and strum, drum, and warble along to "Yellow Submarine" or "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" with your pals--what's not to like? All developer Harmonix had to do was duplicate its award-winning Rock Band shtick, and sales would be assured.
What's great about The Beatles: Rock Band is that Harmonix didn't go down that path. This game isn't just another play-along stroll down memory lane with a few phoned-in musical cues. What could have amounted to a simple stack of crowd-pleasers with a dusting of nostalgic glitter turns out to be an unusually stylish, collaboratively artful, endearingly sentimental tour de force. And of course it's a toe-tapping blast, too.
PCW Score: 100%
For more gaming news and opinion, see:
* "Hands-On With DJ Hero"
* "Rock Band vs. Guitar Hero, Round 2"
* "Rock Band: The Game" (video)
* PCW's Game On blog and @game_on Twitter feed.