Green Day Rock Band

If you like Green Day AND the Rock Band franchise, feel free to skip the bulk of the review and simply see the Summary at the bottom of the page… are those people gone? Excellent. Let’s begin for everyone else: We all know the music rhythm game genre well enough by now. You place a selection of plastic instruments into a room, place the disc in the tray, and get a group of friends together and squabble over which band should be put on the playlist next. At least that was the formula until certain bands began to have entire games dedicated to them. This is the point where I must praise Harmonix and MTV Games though because at least when they make a rhythm game dedicated to a single entity they do it with finesse and a real sense of dedication.

Too many band specific rhythm games throw in a paltry ten to fifteen songs (at best) of the band written on the cover and then thrown in a selection of seemingly unrelated bands to go alongside the ‘main’ act of the game, and usually these sidekicks take up more real estate than the band I bought the game for. Not Green Day Rock Band though! You get 47 tracks of juicy Green Day goodness to strum, drum, or lung your way through spanning Green Day’s career to date. I love this model, because it shows true love for the band the game is dedicated to, and that’s the reason I’d buy the game in the first place – a love of the band.

You start off in a dank little basement-style venue back when the band’s hairstyles were best compared to a pack of Skittles and ‘Dookie’ was considered cutting edge in the music business. You then play your way through Dookie’s tracklist – in it’s entirety. Your rock anonymity doesn’t last however, swiftly you’re whisked away onto the high life and are greeted with a sold out Milton Keynes Bowl and the American Idiot album (again in full). You don’t even have a chance to get wasted at the after-show party because you’ve still got to rock the roof off the famous Fox Theatre in California with 21st Century Breakdown – though tragically only with DLC can you get the whole album to play through. Did I mention that sprinkled throughout this venue adventure there’s also a generous sprinkling of the heavy hitters from Kerplunk, Insomniac, Warning, and Nimrod? Well, there are, and they’re all fantastic Green Day classics.

Right now would usually be the point in the review where I would explain the negative parts of the game, but I honestly don’t have all that much bile to spew. Harmonix do a damn fine job of making sure that when they get a music licence of this magnitude (see The Beatles Rock Band) that they take care of it. The background graphics going on while you’re playing are polished and quite entertaining if you can take your eyes off the notes for a sneak peek, and the difficulty curve within the tracks is perfect. At no point did I find myself contemplating strangling a small animal because I failed a song, but instead felt challenged that I was close enough to try again until I nailed the song just right.

However, I can’t let Green Day Rock Band totally off the hook scot free, there were one or two niggling little petty annoyances that I had throughout my experience. The first, which bothered me from about the third song onwards, was the total lack of guitar straps (I warned you they were petty). Both Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt’s guitars float infront of them as if a small jetpack was taped onto the back, slightly out of camera shot. This was especially irritating when the song’s guitar or bass part didn’t exist and they let go with both hands to leave their instruments to hover infront of them as if possessed by a divine entity. That was my one petty annoyance, but this next gripe is a mildly more serious one: the achievements (yes, I’m going there, but it needs to be said). You get several achievements for getting 5 stars on ever track in the game, which total approximately 100 or so gamerscore. I completed the career (which consists of every song in the game) and 5 starred every song… but no achievements. I was bewildered so I went through all the songs to make sure I hadn’t missed one, and as it turned out I had – a song which had no bass, guitar, or drum parts! The only way to do it was with a microphone which I do not own because if I wanted to sing like an idiot I’d buy LIPS!

These two pathetic excuses for negatives aside though, Green Day Rock Band is a superb addition to the Rock Band franchise and really takes brilliant care of the licence and band for the fans. Even with a vague interest in either the game genre or Green Day, I’d recommend it, you’ll more than likely be strumming that little plastic guitar with all your heart within minutes.







2 responses to “Green Day Rock Band”

  1. Michael avatar

    Excellent summary there!

  2. Duncan avatar

    Haha! Thanks Michael. 😀

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