A few months back, various previews
put out the claim that Beatles Rock Band was an emotional experience for its players – even to the point of inducing tears.
“Hmm, that’s interesting,” said I at the time. “We’ll see.”
Last night, the wife and I wrapped up Story Mode, and while I wasn’t brought to tears, it came closer than I’d like to admit. As indicated, the game packs a genuine emotional impact for those who are willing to find it. Even as I played, I tried to pin down the source. After all, this is Rock Band! CG guys dancing around on stage! Falling gem gameplay! What could be sob-inducing there?
You see these four boys, full of the silly eager energy of youth, disappear right before your eyes – replaced with a group of sometimes cynical, sometimes contemplative, but rarely joyous men. Of course it elicits an emotional response – because, well, that’s life, isn’t it?
By the time you get to the rooftop concert, you see them trying to return to their roots. Just the four of them, playing music together for people who enjoy it. But it’s still not the same – the crowd full of girls is now a group of anyone who happened to be walking down the street that day; instead of screaming, a subdued applause finishes each song. You hear John and Paul sing “Get back, get back to where you once belonged”, but it’s obvious there is
no going back. Life has moved on.
Which brings me to Justin McElroy. In his review
, Justin says “…the end of the foursome's career together doesn't make for a very good ending to a game.” While I’m not attacking him or his review, I disagree emphatically with that quote.
The end of a game doesn’t always have to be an epic fight, or an exciting climactic action sequence. It doesn’t even have to be the most challenging, gameplay-wise. As with books, movies, or any other form of art, sometimes ending on a subtle, melancholy note is the only way that makes sense.
LOOK WHO CAME: