Disclaimer: I’d just like to put it out there that I am a huge Beatles fan, so this review may be a “little” biased.
As a huge fan of The Beatles, I was eagerly awaiting the release of this game. I picked up the last copy in store on release day and went straight home and played it (using my *shudder* Guitar Hero: World Tour Controllers). I was really pleased when I started it up, and it was one of the few games in which I didn’t skip the opening credits, as I just wanted to see that amazing opening sequence one more time. When I finally got into the real meat of the game, I was excited to see the way the story mode was set out. Rather than go from easy to hard, the song list followed the career path of The Beatles, starting off in the humble roots of The Cavern and progressing to notable venues such as The Ed Sullivan show, Budokan and Shea Stadium. Keeping true to its source material, after the point where the band became studio based, all subsequent levels take place in the iconic Apple Studios. These songs – or rather the music “videos” that accompany them – are definitely the standout of the game, featuring vivid “dream-scapes” that embody the spirit and emotion of the music. For example, in the song “Octopus’s Garden”, the band is featured under water, with bright coloured lyrics floating past them.
I finished the story mode in little under 8 hours of game play, (it’s not a very hard game) but the addictiveness of the songs keeps drawing me back in every few weeks.
I did get to try the instruments that come with the game and I am a fan of the Hofner bass guitar, but not of the Rickenbacker Guitar and the Ludwig Drum set. I felt the Rickenbacker provided too much resistance when strummed upon, and the buttons provided an annoying “click” whenever pushed, providing an annoying backing soundtrack to many songs. I did enjoy the Ludwig Drum set, but the lack of compatibility with other games *cough* Guitar Hero 5 *cough* was a firm point in the minus column. If Guitar Hero 5 HAD provided compatibility (Much like World Tour did), the Ludwig would be the favorable approach in this case, UNLESS you have no desire to purchase Guitar Hero 5 or any of it’s successors.
I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and is a great edition to the gaming library of any Beatles fan or music game enthusiast.