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Green Day: Rock Band Review

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On 08/04/2010 at 10:13 PM by Nick DiMola

The Beatles were the first to receive their own game, now Green Day gets their time in the sun.

For fans of the band only.

Now that music games have reached mass market appeal, both Harmonix and Activision have shifted focus to producing band-specific titles that encompass that artist's full career. The Beatles Rock Band was the first to truly nail the essence of a band and Green Day Rock Band is Harmonix's second attempt at doing just that. At a glance, the title does a pretty good job capturing their career in terms of song selections, but it does leave something to be desired in its presentation.

Green Day Rock Band features a selection of tracks spanning the entire career of the band. Most strongly represented are both Dookie and American Idiot, the band's two most popular albums. Nimrod and Insomniac are somewhat under-represented seemingly in lieu of the band's latest, 21st Century Breakdown, which has 12 of its 18 tracks available on the disc, with the other six available via DLC. Warning and Minority are the only two found from the album Warning, but this is not such a bad thing considering the quality of the tracks on that album. In terms of the songs chosen, I personally would've preferred to see more tracks from Nimrod and Insomniac and less from 21st Century Breakdown, but as it stands, the most popular tracks from both of those albums have been represented in the game.

Though the track selection for the game is mostly solid, the tracks themselves don't often provide for compelling or fun Rock Band gameplay. The guitar is extremely basic up until the Expert setting, where players will be required to rapidly strum the same note quite often. This is both tiring and frustrating to play, but completely understandable given the construction of most Green Day tracks. This problem starts to fade with newer Green Day tracks, but the older ones can be quite annoying to play, which is somewhat opposite of the songs' challenge on the real guitar.

The drums in Green Day Rock Band are surprisingly varied and interesting, as well as extremely challenging on higher difficulty settings. As a fan of the band, I've always felt Billy Joe's singing and guitar has always dominated each and every track, leaving me to often tune out the drums. In reality, the drum track is really quite advanced and interesting to play. The game's vocals aren't quite as interesting as the drums and they aren't much of a challenge if you know the words to the song - though it can be fun to play guitar and sing, emulating Billy Joe. The three part harmonies featured in the game are also quite well-done and fun to perform while playing with friends.

Unlike The Beatles Rock Band, Green Day Rock Band doesn't quite deliver an amazing presentation. This is due almost entirely to the fact that Green Day just isn't as storied a band as The Beatles. There is a lot less to draw from, making the venues, though authentic, much less interesting. Had Green Day Rock Band been introduced ahead of The Beatles Rock Band, it's unlikely I'd complain, but unfortunately for Harmonix, they set their own bar quite high with their first band-specific title.

When it comes down to it, my biggest issues with the game are the guitar parts which feel overly challenging, the lack of songs from both Insomniac and Nimrod (with an over-representation of their latest, 21st Century Breakdown), and the use of radio edit tracks to keep a Teen rating for the game. Not so much of a complaint, but more of an observation, Green Day Rock Band suffers from the same fate as The Beatles Rock Band, as a standalone title the game becomes very boring. Players are definitely going to want to export the tracks to Rock Band 2 once they've seen everything the title has to offer.

Though the game has some minor issues, fans of the band will undoubtedly want to pick this one up. Though it's missing material from pre-Dookie albums, and is slim on both Nimrod and Insomniac, the band's career is well-represented. While the presentation doesn't live up to The Beatles Rock Band, players will enjoy seeing the band at various points in their career at venues that are significant to them and their career. Overall Green Day Rock Band is a well-done game that lives up to its title.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Lukasz Balicki Staff Alumnus

08/07/2010 at 04:01 PM

I'll always wonder why they chose this band. Green Day isn't the worst band in the world but there are much much better choices to pick from.

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