Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Beatles Rock Band (Wii)

One of the reasons I love films like Pink Floyd's The Wall and Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same is that they allow me to experience the music of bands I love in a different way. By which I mean, instead of it being a pure audio experience, now there's a strong visual component to go with it. The next logical step, then, is also adding something interactive to the music of bands you love...thus, Rock Band.

I played through the story mode on Medium doing the bass parts, and in spite of my almost-total lack of rhythm, I did just fine. Anyway, it turns out that Paul McCartney is more of a melodic bassist than a rhythmic one. Indeed, playing through all these songs as the Macca gave me a new appreciation for his style. Few bands, even those who make music that sounds like the Beatles, use the bass in quite the same way Paul did.

The progression of the story mode, going through various eras of the band's career, is a brilliant and simple way to structure what would otherwise be a boring endless jukebox of scattered songs that get more difficult as you go. Speaking of difficulty, I did find this chronological approach to make my bass campaign wildly uneven in terms of how hard songs were, though how much of that is due to the bass parts being weird (see above) or my own inept-ness, I suppose I can't say.

What also makes the story mode so unique are the introductory videos to the various eras, as well as the generally colorful, interesting, and psychedelic visuals during songs. Some of these are a bit boring and simple, but inspired sequences like the one for 'I Am The Walrus' make up for it. For what it's worth, I loved the ending animation with the elephant and the sprouting flowers; the way it's followed by credits and a post-credits encore song is the perfect capper.

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