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Green Day: Rock Band Preview

Nick_Tan By:
Nick_Tan
04/20/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Music 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER MTV Games 
DEVELOPER Harmonix 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Drug Reference, Lyrics, Mild Blood

What do these ratings mean?

Road to Acceptance.


Green Day: Rock Band needs little explanation: It's Rock Band with a selection of Green Day songs. It’s completely like not far from other band-centric titles like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith or The Beatles: Rock Band, which unsurprisingly serves as the foundation for this homage to the American rock trio. So why Green Day? Because apparently the fans wanted one, MTV Games had plenty of footage, a lot of people like Green Day, Harmonix has some time before Rock Band 3 comes out, and the Menudo reunion tour fell through.

click to enlargeGreen Day: Rock Band was unveiled a while ago, December 12th to be precise, via at a trailer at the Spike TV Video Game Awards. Not sure if the audience for Green Day really watches Spike TV, but that's besides the point, right? And between now and then, the developers decided to feature three albums: 21st Century Breakdown, All American Idiot, and Dookie (the album you probably care about). No master recordings for 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and Kerplunk could be found, and the magical Rock Band transformation system needs them as a holy sacrifice. No live versions of these songs are here either, because those are cop-outs.

Each album has been assigned a specific location, which you can play at any time without having to unlock them progressively in some drawn-out story: National Bowl in Milton Keynes for American Idiot; Fox Theatre in Oakland, California for 21st Century Breakdown; and The Warehouse for Dookie. The original plan was to base the venue for Dookie on 924 Gilman Street, which is about three blocks away from the GR compound, but that joint is where Green Day started as a punk rock band. And once Green Day signed with a major label, as they did with Dookie, they apparently weren't punk anymore, so The Warehouse is just an inspired mix of house parties and squats.

All of the new venues have been produced with precise detail, down to the stage size and the Jumbotrons. They’ve even added stage diving by the crowd (if just to keep them off), and the tattoos for the character models for each band member actually disappear if they weren’t applied before the release of a particular album. How’s that for authenticity?

click to enlargeThe new red, black, white, almost GR-esque motif for the menu screens might indicate otherwise, but Green Day: Rock Band doesn’t toy with how Rock Band works. Notes come down the track, instruments are struck, points are scored, multipliers increase, stars are awarded, overdrive power builds, and you hope you don’t miss too many notes or you’ll fail out. To remain true to the specialized setlist, no tambourine/clapping sections or Big Rock Endings exist, but unlike The Beatles: Rock Band, drum fills and whammy effects return and the song reacts to any mistakes you make. Thankfully, vocal harmonies as well as the handy toggles for No Fail and handedness on the selection screens have been carried over.

Unlocking never-before-seen photos, videos, and snippets of Green Day requires you to earn “cred”, which is far more street-sounding than it actually is. All you have to do is get 3-stars and 5-stars on a song on any difficulty to earn enough cred to unlock Challenges, like completing a thematic setlist in one sitting. As you might expect, getting through these Challenges earns you said prizes. Earning some Achievements/Trophies will be a little harder, like hitting all of the drum kick notes on a difficult Expert track, but most won’t be a problem for the seasoned Rock Band player.

Also unlike The Beatles version, all songs from Green Day: Rock Band can be exported for a small fee to the hard drive for easy access in the core Rock Band titles. That said, no future DLC will be announced for the game (any future Green Day songs will just be track packs), nor will there be any additional peripherals. Surprisingly, this is a software-only title and won’t be bundled with any instruments, though there will be Plus edition that for $10 extra includes a token for free exporting and the six Green Day songs already available as DLC. (If you already have those six songs, you can pre-order the basic $60 version for a free export token at GameStop.)

Green Day: Rock Band
hits the road on June 8th, 2010 for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.
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