The Beatles Rock Band: A turning point for video games

I recently played The Beatles Rock Band and it was pretty awesome. And the new remastered albums are incredible. And the Beatles are everywhere right now. Including my iPod (I’ve been listening to all those B-sides that sound absolutely amazing now). And then I figured that it would be funny if this resurgence of Beatlemania spread further into the world of video games, and that is where this week’s Dustinland came from.

It’s funny when something gets as popular as The Beatles. On one hand you have people who love them just because they’re popular, while on the other, you have people clambering to call them overrated just so they can be different. But I think anyone that really listens to them, anyone who knows them beyond hits like “Help” and “Drive My Car” easily recognizes their genius. And then of course if you actually care about the historical aspects of what their innovations did for the music industry, just in terms of the recording process, obviously you’re just blown away when you read about what they accomplished.

But back to this week’s comic. You have to know both the Beatles and the world of video games to get everything. But let me quickly go through it to explain for those of you who don’t get all the jokes:

Panel 1 – Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison = players for the Indianapolis Colts.

Panel 2 – The game is Halo, where you shoot people and aliens and shit. The blue guy is one of the bad guys from the cartoon “The Yellow Submarine.”

Panel 3 – Call of Duty is a historical shoot em up game.

Panel 4 – Lord of the Rings. Ringo Starr. He’s fighting a walrus monster called a “walrog” instead of the monster from Lord of the Rings called a “balrog.” In the background is an octopus ala the song “Octopus’ Garden,” written by Ringo.

Panel 5 – Street Fighter is a fighting game. “Paperback Writer” is a Beatles song. “Rocky Raccoon” is a Beatles song, and here he is replacing the character Blanka from Street Fighter. Yoko Ono is replacing the character Chun-Li from the game. In the game Chun-Li makes annoying yelping sounds, much like the ones Yoko Ono makes on albums. Yoko Ono is also often accused of breaking up the Beatles. The term C-C-C-Combo Breaker is a video game term that originated in the fighting game Killer Instinct, which is from the same era as Street Fighter. Here it has been changed to B-B-B-Band Breaker.

Panel 6 – Gran Turismo is a racing game. The yellow thing racing the cars is the Yellow Submarine.

And there you have it. The Cliffs Notes for this week’s Dustinland.

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8 responses to “The Beatles Rock Band: A turning point for video games

  1. Magical Mystery Tourism really got me.

  2. Grr I meant Turino.

  3. My personal favorite was “You say good-bye, I say Halo” – and this coming from someone who hates Halo.

    Very nice work this week.

  4. hey, great Birdys this week. I never heard of the ‘blue meanie’ before, guess you’re a better Beatles fan than I! That moniker (horrible word, right?) is kind of appropriate for Birdy though. It’d be cool to make Birdy figurines, like Mr. Potato Head type, where he could wear different costumes. He’d look good in a Stevie Nicks-circa 1976 wig, which could be paired with a “glazed over” set of eyes.

    It’s amazing how the Beatles have endured for so long, especially considering how they redefined and revolutionized music.

    I wonder if there will be a forthcoming Einstürzende Neubauten version of Rock Band. They have their loyal following and are equally, um, innovative and original.

  5. The Blue Meanies are from the Yellow Submarine movie.

  6. Uh, sure thing?

  7. Hey guys, come on, all you need is love, remember?

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