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Green Day: Rock band
XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Harmonix Music Systems
Publisher: MTV Games
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Music is an emotional medium.  Bands, songs, even entire albums stick with us mostly because of the emotions they elicit. I, along with most other people loved last year’s The Beatles: Rock Band for that very reason, I have an emotional attachment to the content – which can’t be said for Harmonix’s latest single act Rock Band experience starring pop-punk band Green Day.
Sure, I went through my rebellious stage growing up, but while playing through Green Day Rock Band, I couldn’t help but ask for more. The fun, and addicting formula that made Rock Band such a hit in the first place is intact, but the whole package just feels so uninspired.

First things first, let’s get the obvious statement of the year out of the way – if you like Green Day, you’re going to love this game.  Featuring 47 tracks from the band’s 20 plus year career (including two of their biggest albums; Dookie and American Idiot in their entirety), fans of the band are sure to enjoy this trip down memory lane – providing you’re a newer fan of Green Day.  American Idiot? Check. 21st Century breakdown? Represented. Nimrod? Yep. Kerplunk? Now we’ve got a problem. The band’s entire catalogue pre-Dookie, including everything on Lookout! Records is strangely missing. Sure, it’s true that most fans of the band won’t be familiar with their early work, but it’s still a major omission. Imagine if Harmonix left out The Cavern Club years from The Beatles Rock Band, it just feels like a major piece of the puzzle is missing here.

"...surprised to see just how much of this content was instantly accessible online."


The truth though is that Green Day Rock Band uses a different formula altogether than its predecessor. Rather than breaking up the band’s career into multiple segments, you’re presented by three venues which represent different stages in the band’s career. The Warehouse represents the band’s early underground days, Milton Keynes represent the band’s middle point (pretty much up to and including American Idiot) and The Fox Theatre venue which represents the band’s latest album, 21st Century Breakdown. Playing through the game’s career mode, you can once again unlock old photos, videos and sound clips from the band’s history. While some of the earlier stuff is interesting, I was surprised to see just how much of this content was instantly accessible online. Seriously, some of the pictures were even taken directly from album liner notes. I remember when I unlocked the Beatle’s Christmas message to their fans in their Rock Band game, and getting incredibly excited that I was hearing something new. I never got that feeling here.

But, this is still a Rock Band game, meaning it still has the same fun core gameplay formula fans of the series have come to love over the years. Even though I didn’t connect with the songs as much as I have on other titles, I still had a blast playing through many of the stages, and a major part of this was Harmonix’s usual superb attention to detail. Everything from the effects to the motion capture of the band members is recreated in incredibly impressive detail. Yes, I’ve seen Green Day live before, and yes – this is what a show is like for them. The guitar gameplay suffers a bit where you’d expect (insert 3-chords joke here), but there’s enough variety to keep players entertained, including the inclusion of three part harmonies. Something else that stuck out to me was the fact that even on the most difficult settings – none of the tracks of Green Day Rock Band were all that difficult – and I’m not even all that great of a Rock Band player.

"...another $10 if you want the tracks in your Rock Band library."


The game’s entire song library is fully exportable into each of the proper Rock Band games – provided you pay the $10 fee. Seriously, you’re going to pay $60 for the disc, and then another $10 if you want the tracks in your Rock Band library. Now, I’m not one to complain about micro transactions much, but come on! Isn’t this something we could do for free in the other games (besides The Beatles?).  Isn’t this something we’ll be able to do for free in the newly announced Rock Band 3?

Green Day Rock Band isn’t a bad game, it just does what no musician would ever dare to – follow the Beatles.  While fans of the band are sure to enjoy the game’s ode to three cord pop-punk, those who aren’t particularly fond of the band are sure to find the title lacking the inspiration and heart of those that came before it. If you’re in desperate need of a new Rock Band title and can’t wait until this fall to play Rock Band 3– give Green Day a try, just don’t expect anything revolutionary. 



CHEATS USED: Achievements List, Trophies List

Short of the respective achievements, trophies and unlockables listed above, Green Day Rock Band is completely void of cheats. With a game like this, the cheats are pretty easy to ask for – unlock all songs, no fail – but still getting points and maybe the ability to manipulate the band a bit (hey, a little old school big head mode could be fun after all)

Oh, Oh – I know! How about a cheat to not have to pay $10 to play the songs in a game I already own? Yeah, that would be awesome.



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