A British invasion for the 21st century

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By Sandra Diaz / Interim Inscape Editor

(Courtesy of Games Press)

By Sandra Diaz / Interim Inscape Editor

Admit it, we’ve all had dreams of rocking out to a packed arena of screaming fans.

At some point in their life, everyone has wanted to be a rock star. Now you can try your hand at selling out Shea Stadium from the comfort of your living room.

“The Beatles Rock Band” is the latest rhythm game release by Harmonix, a video game development company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” franchises have become extremely successful titles, so it was only a matter of time before one of them got involved with the most popular band of all time.

“The Beatles Rock Band” follows the story of the band from its beginnings, playing clubs in Liverpool, to selling out Shea Stadium and their Abbey Road Studios sessions. 

It progresses through the evolution of the band’s legendary career. 

Cut scenes within the game involve a montage of photos, audio and iconic Beatles moments that transport you from historical venues through the rapidly evolving look and sound of The Beatles.

In the game, players score on their ability to hit the notes on the screen with the controller, the player who is singing the song is scored by their ability to match the pitch of the song vocals.

Unique to the game, there is now the challenge to recreate the distinct vocal blend of the group’s most popular songs with three part harmonies. Using the new harmony system, you can plug in up to three microphones. One player sings lead while two others sing harmony. 

This is a completely new feature for the series. 

By mastering the songs, special features can be unlocked such as rare audio and unseen photos from The Beatles archives.

Audio clips featuring conversation from The Beatles recording sessions, some of which have never been heard before, are also in the game.

Along with the game are exclusive controllers modeled after the band’s real life instruments.

Serious fans can play on Paul’s Hoefner bass, John’s Rickenbacker 325 guitar, George’s Gretsch Duo Jet guitar or Ringo’s iconic drum set with The Beatles logo. These controllers are limited and not expected to last. 

Of course, other “Rock Band” instruments as well as controllers from “Guitar Hero” are compatible with the game. The game can be played with up to six players, or band mates.

The game levels are set in famous, renowned places with historic significance to the history of The Beatles.

Venues like The Cavern Club, where the band started out in Liverpool, the set of the Ed Sullivan Show, where they made their US television debut and their monumental sell out of Shea stadium are all included.

There will be 45 songs spanning the fab four’s epic career available within the game. Songs like “A Hard Days Night,” “Octopus’s Garden,” and “Get Back,” among others; not to mention downloadable content for some platforms. Fourty four of the 45 songs have been announced, leaving fans wondering about the mysterious last song.

“All You Need is Love” is set to release exclusively as a downloadable song for the game through Xbox Live. 

In addition, the Abbey Road album will be the first album made available for download purchase.

All proceeds from purchasing online content will benefit Doctors without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), an international medical humanitarian organization.

In an attempt to keep the game accurate to the history of the band,  Giles Martin, son of The Beatles’ music producer George Martin and co-producer of “The Beatles LOVE” album project, is providing his expertise and serving as music producer.

Developers also went directly to the source and received advice and support from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono Lennon. They even helped promote the game’s release at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo by appearing on stage to introduce the trailer.

“The Beatles Rock Band” will be available on Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 simultaneously in many countries around the world on Sept. 9.

Also being released that same day is a remastered version of the entire Beatles catalog.


(Courtesy of Games Press)

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