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Jun 8, 2010

Review: Green Day Rock Band

Green Day: Rock Band
MTV Games, Harmonix
Available for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3

Another day, another band inspired music game. It began with Guitar Hero Aerosmith and ever since band inspired music games keep hitting the market whether we like it or not. Green Day is the newest band to have game dedicated to their long and successful career by the developers at Harmonix. Green Day: Rock Band allows you to rock out to the boys’ career from the Dookie album all the way to the 21th Century Breakdown album.

The game has 47 songs from several Green Day albums, Dookie, Nimrod, Insomiac, American Idiot, Warning and 21th Century Breakdown. You can also purchase a few downloadable songs from 21th Century Breakdown album that weren’t included on the disc. There are no songs from Green Day’s first two albums, Kerplunk and 39/Smooth and I have heard of no plans to make downloadable packs for them either. Overall the selection of songs is excellent and the level of difficulty is perfect for a skilled Rock Band or Guitar Hero player. I was playing the hardest songs right of the bat with only a few missed notes here and there.

The gameplay of Green Day: Rock Band is your standard Rock Band game with a career mode, both offline and online with the option to play with up to 4 players. You also have a quick play mode with 4 players, both online and offline. You can play guitar, bass, drums or sing. There are also 4 part harmonies just like Beatles Rock Band, even though Green Day only has 3 members. There are three venues and three incarnations of the band you can plan during career and quick play mode. These venues and band fashion statements are from various points in Green Day’s career.

As you play through career mode, you gain cred points based on your star performance rating during a song. Those cred points can be used to unlock a song challenge and eventually, bonus materials about the band like interviews, photos and more. If you are a massive fan of the band, this is where the real goodies come in. There are also the standard achievement/trophy challenges in game that have been toned down to a more achievable level this time as opposed to the ones in Beatles Rock Band.

After playing through a hour of the career mode, I was disappointed to see a lack of real creativity in this game. For a band that inspired a rock musical, you think they could have come up with better song background then just the band jumping around on stage. Beatles Rock Band setup each song as almost a mini history music video with cool references to the song’s moment in the band’s career. Octopus’ Garden had the band change from playing in a sound studio to playing underwater in the ocean, while St. Pepper/With a Little Help from My Friends had the band in a garden playing in their St. Pepper costumes like the album cover. Green Day: Rock Band seems to lack any real imagination in this department and it made me wonder why even bother making a game dedicated to this band.

What also surprised me is the fact that this game even got made in the first place. Now don’t get me wrong, Green Day is the perfect band to rock out to but for a band that is so controversial and against censorship how could they ever agree to make a mainstream game that censors their lyrics? Guess even rebels have a price at which they’re willing to sell-out.

As far as Rock Band games go, Green Day: Rock Band isn’t offering up anything more than series of downloadable album packs that got some Green Day band avatars and few extras slapped on for show. When compared to Beatles Rock Band, this game should feel ashamed to even call itself a band inspired music game. But if you really want to purchase this game, do it cause you really love Green Day and not because you feel the need to add another Rock Band game to your collection – how else will these game companies learn when enough is enough?

Rating: 7/10
Rent it!

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