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Green Day: Rock Band Review

GENRE Rhythm / Music 
T Contains Drug Reference, Lyrics, Mild Blood

What do these ratings mean?

Can I be in the band now guys? Guys?!

One thing is for sure: Rock Band is better than Guitar Hero. Huge amounts of over-saturation, money-grubbing, and Kotick-styled beating of dead horses has certainly proved that point. Rock Band maintains relevance these days simply by putting out consistent batches of DLC and leaving standalone band-centric games to the musical groups that truly deserve them. And Green Day belongs on the fringe of that list.

click to enlargeGreen Day: Rock Band is a lot like The Beatles: Rock Band, if you didn't see that coming. The career mode presents an abridged history of the band, and as you progress through the decades of music (in only hours!), completed challenges will unlock rare historical "gems" ranging from live performance videos, pictures of the band, and more. Certainly, if you're a fan of the band, this could be more than enough motivation to pick up the game and play through some history.

If the complete albums of Dookie, American Idiot, and 21st Century Breakdown sound good to you, then you probably want to pick up Green Day: Rock Band. These three albums are complete on the disc, with select additions of tracks in between the band's major label debut and their more contemporary albums. This can be extremely polarizing for fans of the band who prefer the older work. Let's face it, people, having a music video game dedicated to your band is about as commercial as you're going to get. You should not expect a ton of the game to focus on the "punk" roots of the band, if you can even call them that.

A specific problem I had with Green Day: Rock Band was the sheer consuming fatigue that came with playing some of the songs. Selections from American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown are a lot more melodic and tempered, but Dookie is a furious strumming session. My fingers felt like they were going to fall off. Frankly, the songs are a little easy to play too, what with nearly everything consisting of power chords transferred to the ol' green, red, yellow, blue, and orange. Green Day songs might be easy and fun to learn and play on a real guitar, but they wore a little thin all at once on Rock Band.

The title is also missing the "dreamscapes" that made playing some of The Beatles songs such an exhilarating experience. There are only three venues in the game, and though they capture Green Day's specific performances, none of them are as transporting and captivating as the visual backings found during the Abbey Road recording sessions. It's almost unfair comparing any band to The Beatles, but when that's the obligatory reference point, that's just reality.

click to enlargeCulturally, it's very easy to understand why Green Day deserve their own Rock Band game. They're inherently antithetical to The Beatles - they appeal more to the video gaming demographic, there's a huge catalog, and they have a long history. It doesn't hurt that they have a highly acclaimed Broadway show right now either. Still, the most important question you've got to ask is "Do I like Green Day enough?" Well do ya?

Obviously, if you only have a mild tolerance for Green Day, the title probably isn't worth the $60. A lot of Green Day songs are already available as Rock Band DLC. There are also plenty of people who downright hate Green Day like nearly everyone else in the GR office, but you can't really account for those people. There are a ton of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and younger people in general who will have a ton of fun "rocking out" with Green Day: Rock Band.

Even if you do pick up the game simply hoping to add to your Rock Band selection catalog, Green Day: Rock Band excels in several places where The Beatles: Rock Band fell flat. Every new copy of the game comes with a code that can be entered into your respective console's marketplace. This code then enables the user to pay $10 in funny-money and export all of the Green Day: Rock Band songs onto their hard drive for play in Rock Band and Rock Band 2 (and probably Rock Band 3). Essentially, this makes selling the game back to Gamestop that much easier. If you don't love Green Day, but you do love Rock Band, get what you want out of the history, unlockables, limited venues, and digitization of the band members, save what songs you want, and make some money back for yourself.

Green Day: Rock Band is a respectable game, but you don't need a review to tell you whether you should pick it up or not. If you like Green Day, you don't need to ask any more questions: Go pick up Green Day: Rock Band today.

B Revolution report card
  • Three complete albums
  • Tons of history
  • Faithful to the band's personality
  • Exporting songs
  • Awesome for fans of Green Day
  • So... much... strumming
  • Venues get stale; no Dreamscapes
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

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