While “The Beatles: Rock Band,” which I’ll be reviewing later in the week, packs plenty of multigenerational appeal, I largely played the game alone or with my thirtysomething friends. The first time I strummed along with the Fab Four, however, was with my 8-year-old nephew Keondre, an aspiring rocker who mostly sings or plays guitar on easy difficulty. As we tore through the game’s first two sets, re-creations of Liverpool’s Cavern Club and the stage on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” things were progressing nicely when Keondre announced I would have to sing “I Wanna Be Your Man” on national television.
“What’s wrong, buddy,” I asked. “Don’t you like this one?”
“I can’t sing it,” said Keondre, who’d never heard of the Beatles before I broke out the game. “It’s got the F-word in it.”
After assuring Keondre I was pretty sure there were no F-words in any of the Beatles’ songs, I took the mic, gave Keondre the guitar and soon discovered “The Beatles: Rock Band’s” most kid-friendly feature. When you play in story mode on the easy difficulty, it’s impossible to flunk out of a song.
“The Beatles: Rock Band” (rated T) is due out Wednesday for Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The standalone game costs $60, while a bundle including controller replicas of Paul McCartney’s bass and Ringo’s drum kit, plus a microphone and stand, sells for $250. Replica controllers modeled after George Harrison and John Lennon’s guitars are available separately for $100 each.