360 Beatles Rock Band controllers vs. generic set - difference?
April 6, 2010 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Xbox 360 Rock Band controller question. Price aside, are the Beatles controllers better, worse, or same as the set that comes with the regular bundle?

I'm going to be buying both the Regular RB and the Beatles edition games, game play to be heavier on the Beatles version at least at first.

One of these RB editions will be purchased as a bundle with controllers included, and the other just the game separately.
(The whole thing is a gift for the house hosting a family reunion, with family members playing the Beatles version together. )

But I don't know whether I should get the Beatles bundle and then the standard RB game separately, or vice-versa.
Price doesn't matter, and no one will have played the game before.

So MeFites, is there any difference between the 'Ringo' drum controller vs the generic?
Between the 'Paul's Hofner Bass' controller and any other RB-compatible guitar controller?

Sometimes specialty gear sacrifices build quality, sometimes they are actually better. Experiences? Opinions?
posted by bartleby to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When you say "Regular RB" do you mean Rock Band 1 or Rock Band 2?
posted by churl at 2:45 PM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: Aha. See, I don't even know. Current version, whatever might be on the shelf at the local BuyMore or everyone's favorite online retailer.
Which I assume would be RB2?
posted by bartleby at 2:56 PM on April 6, 2010

This IGN reviewer thinks the Beatles instruments are overpriced because of the license, which pretty much makes perfect sense. The price of the Beatles set has come down since the review, but I don't imagine the build quality of the controllers has gone up any.

Relevant quote:

Had the Limited Edition come with a second guitar or three wireless mics, perhaps the price would be justified. But this is plain and simple a rip off. Ringo's drums don't look that great and the lack of a wireless mic is a real shocker. The only thing commendable about this set is the amazing reproduction of McCartney's bass guitar. The body is absolutely gorgeous. This is, without question, the coolest looking plastic guitar so far released by any music game. It looks great, but unfortunately, it plays poorly.

No advancements have been made from the previous Rock Band 2 guitar. The buttons are loose, the strum bar still feels mushy and it just doesn't feel right in my hands. The only smart thing done with this version is that tapping the Start button won't pause the game. Instead you have to hold the button for a few seconds, preventing accidental pausing during play. There are also a set of buttons at the base of the neck for solos, but they're hardly good enough to merit the cover price.

Normally, Limited Edition packages receive the same score as the normal games. That's because the software is the star and these bonus items don't really change what is on disc. The Beatles Limited Edition breaks that standard. This set is so overpriced and the guitars functionality so mediocre, that I could not possibly leave this at the disc's original 9.0 score. I've dropped the final score on this set a full point, in hopes of warning people off. If you need instruments, consider purchasing some from Activision's Guitar Hero series, which are compatible with The Beatles: Rock Band.
posted by box at 3:30 PM on April 6, 2010

Best answer: > Current version, whatever might be on the shelf at the local BuyMore or everyone's favorite online retailer.
Which I assume would be RB2?

Yeah, if there's only one on the shelf it'll almost certainly be Rock Band 2 -- although when I last checked for myself, they were selling both 1 and 2, and the Rock Band 1 bundles were priced really aggressively.

Don't get the Rock Band 1 bundle or any bundle that comes with the Rock Band 1 instruments. This is only tricky because there's a "Special Value" Beatles Rock Band bundle that comes with the Rock Band 1 instruments. There have been significant improvements to the instruments made since then, especially the unbearably loud/clacky drum heads.

The answer is the Rock Band 2 and the Beatles Rock Band instruments are functionally almost identical. The look and shape is the major difference: Rock Band 2 / Beatles Rock Band. A couple people mention in this thread that the Beatles drumkit is a little tougher, and the pads are a little stiffer, but the difference is not major. I think the guitar/bass controllers use the same internals either way, but someone who has actually disassembled both (I've only disassembled the Rockband one) may want to weigh in on this.

Either should come with one Microphone, Guitar/Bass, and Drum Kit. The Beatles Rock Band bundle comes with a microphone stand, and the Rock Band 2 bundle does not.

Peronally, unless I had a strong sylistic preference of one set of instruments over the other, I'd buy in whichever combination was the cheapest. When Beatles Rock Band was released, it was way cheaper to get the Rock Band 2 bundle and the Beatles Game Only (Licensing issues on the instrument designs?), which most people recommended.

Now, however, Amazon has Beatles Bundle for $125 plus Rock Band 2 Game Only for $25 ($150 total), or they have Beatles Game Only for $30 plus Rock Band 2 Bundle for $140 ($170 total) -- so the Beatles instruments suss out a little cheaper if you got them through Amazon. Your local brick&mortar is probably the same.

(On Preview: above-quoted IGN reviewer seems to hate both the RB2 and Beatles guitar controllers pretty equally. YMMV -- I never had a problem with either -- but he does seem to agree that the instruments are pretty much unchanged except for the design).

posted by churl at 3:48 PM on April 6, 2010

Might look at this from Kotaku today
posted by deezil at 4:33 PM on April 6, 2010

The Beatles one has a cooler looking drum set and guitar.

They aren't different build-wise, in my experience (we own both).

You can find pictures of both sets easily, but that's been the only difference that I've found.
posted by R a c h e l at 7:39 PM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: Sounds like things are pretty much equal, but the Beatles controllers have some extra cosmetic appeal.
Some reviewers also seem to prefer the Guitar Hero guitars to any of the RB models ("mushy strum paddle?"), and I'll need another guitar controller anyway.

So I'll get the Beatles RB bundle, then pick up a compatible GH wireless guitar controller.
(I think we can all crowd around the TV for a session or two, so I'm not going to spring for all wireless kit yet.)
If I end up not putting it all away in the closet after this party, I'll be playing solo.
So I'll use the one wireless GH guitar as I jump around the living room rocking out and scaring the pets.

Thanks All!
posted by bartleby at 11:06 AM on April 7, 2010

Best answer: I think you've hit on the best way to do it. Plus you'll end up with both the GH and RB guitar controllers, so if you personally have a strong preference you can use the one you like. You've probably seen the Rock Band instrument compatibility matrix which will help you get the right GH controller.

Plus the microphone stand that comes with the Beatles kit would actually probably be useful - you can play guitar/bass and sing at the same time.

Re: the "mushy" strum bar -- people who played Guitar Hero a lot before Rock Band came out sometimes have difficulty adjusting to the different strum bar. On the Guitar Hero ones, you get a small auditory/tactile "click" when you strum up or down and it's really obvious you've 'triggered' a strum. The Rock Band instruments' strum bars don't have that "click", so it probably feels "mushy" if you're really anticipating the sound/feeling. I prefer the Rock Band ones because they feel smoother and quieter, but it's totally a matter of personal preference.

posted by churl at 12:56 PM on April 7, 2010

NOTE: Beatles is wireless, Except for the microphone. So if you get the GH wireless, then yes, you will be all-wireless.

Also, consider an extra microphone! Beatles RB supports harmony!
posted by R a c h e l at 12:50 AM on April 9, 2010

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