XBOX Reviews

Green Day: Rock Band Review

To state the obvious, Green Day: Rock Band is a fantastic title for fans of the band Green Day that enjoy the Rock Band game franchise. Those that have never really appreciated the punk rock trio from America are unlikely to be converted, but even they couldn’t fault the game that certainly introduces more than an expansion in the form of a few new songs. Although there are no particularly novel innovations to revolutionise Rock Band as we know it, Green Day have certainly injected their unique personality into every ounce of the game, in a similar fashion to much loved The Beatles: Rock Band.

Green Day may not seem to be the most obvious choice for the latest entry to the Rock Band saga, with many other bands having seen more success in record sales over the years. However, as you will see once you pick up your plastic guitar to strum away to one of the 47 songs on offer, the sort-of-punk and fairly melodic style, and the range of different rhythms and genres that enter into the unique songs make for a great experience. Even if you have never owned a Green Day album, you might be pleasantly surprised at the quantity of songs that you actually already know, and at how quickly and successfully they will stick in your mind.

Instead of drawing songs from every successful album, the band has decided to stick to the most significant releases from the past few years. Unusually, the complete albums of Dookie from 1994 and American Idiot from 2004 are to be found, with not a track missing. Completing the mix is the majority of songs from Green Day’s most recent album, 21st Century Breakdown. Diehard fans may be disappointed that some of the additional albums aren’t represented, but the songs on offer certainly capture the essence of the many styles encompassed by the band throughout the years.

The Beatles: Rock Band might have offered songs from one of the biggest bands of our time, but Green Day’s tunes actually seem better suited to the Rock Band game. Every song is wonderfully playable, and the variety on offer provides a suitable difference in tempo and the level of skill required to successfully complete each tune.

If you have played The Beatles: Rock Band, then the structure to be found within Green Day’s variant will certainly seem familiar. You will spend the majority of your time within the Career mode as you follow the success of the band through the release of their most successful three albums. From small venue, to massive stadium, there is some variety to be found throughout the career mode. Unexpected locations also help to heighten the experience, with, for example, Milton Keynes’ stadium making its first appearance in a rock band game. Some additional backdrops, or video extracts of the band playing in concert, could have helped to mix things up even more, but the similarities in stages shouldn’t irritate too much.

As you successfully strum, drum or sing, you will earn stars for your efforts. The more stars that you earn the more extras you will unlock, including photos and videos of the band, as well as additional content for the game. You will also earn ‘Cred’ points, allowing you to unlock more challenges.

Although all songs can be played at the outset in the Quickplay mode, other extras for fans to enjoy can only be accessed through some time consuming challenges. For some video performances or interviews, you might need to play anything from three songs to an entire album without a break. This forced repetition could grow somewhat irritating, but it does at least lengthen the time that you may spend within the game. Considering you must completely finish the Career mode before even being granted the opportunity to try to unlock this additional content though, only true fans of both Green Day and Rock Band will ever actually discover it.

Graphically, the band members are particularly well recreated, and while the different stadiums on offer look attractive enough, there seems to be something of the atmosphere of a Green Day gig missing. When you yourself are struggling to keep up with the tempo of some of the tracks, you may not notice the lack of personality coming from the stage, but those watching your efforts will undoubtedly soon wish there was more to involve them, or simply more to look at.

Green Day: Rock Band is a must have for fans of Green Day, and even those that may never have considered the trio within their music genre of choice will certainly find enjoyment in this title. With a plethora of exclusive videos, interviews and photos to unlock, and a wonderful variety of tracks spanning a reasonable amount of the life of the band, you are sure to spend many an hour jumping around your living room with guitar in hand.

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