The Beatles: Rock Band

Harmonix | Xbox 360

It’s taken many hard day’s nights to bring the Fab Four to the video-game realm, but Beatlemania has finally arrived. With 45 songs that trace the career of the greatest band of all time, the story mode is brilliant. The staging of the songs starts out rooted in realism, but recreated performances such as The Ed Sullivan Show appearace eventually give way to studio sessions that dissolve into “Yellow Submarine”-inspired trips. The blend of realism and psychedelic elements is refreshing in a genre that’s growing stale with every cookie-cutter installment. However, at the core, this is still the same game we’ve played for years: Grab an instrument, hit the notes. The iconic band is both the appeal and the Yoko Ono of the game. You can’t customize band members to make yourself the fifth Beatle and if you ever get the hankering for some Steve Miller or Ozzy, you’re out of luck. Some wonder why this wasn’t just released as downloadable content for any of the pre-existing Rock Band games, but then you’d have to take the time to download 45 tracks … and yet you know you would download them all: It’s the freakin’ Beatles.