If you are a fan of the once punk-trio Green Day, then welcome to a paradise. Transitioning from a bunch of young punk rockers, Green Day now command crowds of thousands, a Broadway musical show, and the reason you are reading this article, their very own edition of Rock Band! Not bad for a bunch of kids from California.
I won’t bore you with the ups and downs of Green Day’s career, their record sales, or how many number one hits they have had. I'm not their A&R rep, just a fan who likes their music and loves 'Rock Band.' So incase you're in the 1% of readers on this page who don't know much about the band 'Green Day,' here is a quick history lesson. 'Green Day' consists of 'Billie Joe Armstrong' on vocals and guitar, 'Tre Cool' on the drums, and 'Mike Dirnt' on the mean bass. They like to play rock music, and they play it loud. Their songs are catchy, fun, and sometimes (often not) serious. 'Green Day' has been rocking the stage since the late 80's, releasing their first album, '39/Smooth' in 1990. Since then 'Green Day' hasn't stopped rocking with their own unique vision and sound. Often duplicated, 'Green Day' is an original and one of modern music's most truthful bands.
Where the Magic Happens
Now that we are caught up with the tributed subject matter, we can talk about the game. Like any good 'Rock Band' outing all the familiar modes are present with full online support. Although, I know you are not here for a replay of the 'Quickplay' mode, or any of the other options off the main menu. So we will get right into it, and that "it" is all about becoming a member of 'Green Day,' the magic of the 'Career mode.'
In the career mode you will probably want to head right for the stage, since the other features (collectibles and awards) require a little bit of work to unlock, and truthfully they can wait. The music is the main thing here, and you will immediately be able to hop on stage at any of the three supported venues. 1994 - Warehouse featuring tacks from the 'Dookie' album. 2005 - Milton Keynes featuring tracks from 'American Idiot,' 'Warning,' and 'Insomniac.' Lastly, 2009 - The Fox Theatre (Oakland) featuring tracks from their latest release '21st Century Breakdown.'
The venues are not overly interesting with the Warehouse being the only fictional setting. The Warehouse is basically a dingy club that features a young 'Green Day' complete with a trademarked blue haired, beat-up strat wearing Billie Joe. Besides the Warehouse version of 'Green Day,' you will see a more modern dressed band, more like you would see them today. It would have been nice to see a little more variety here, who knows how many shows 'Green Day' has played in their career, but for the three stages they have set up, it works. Now just because there is only three venus, don't worry about not haven't enough music. 'Harmonix' has squeezed enough goodness into each chapter with lots of songs to choose from. They are not all unlocked at first, so you'll have go set-by-set to unlock all the tracks. In total expect to rock out with 40+ songs.
My "Windows 7" Moment
In a total "Windows 7" moment I was playing through the game wishing they included the ability to play through a set, or a group of songs naturally like a real band. I'm talking no exiting to menus, just a count, or no count, and we are into the next song. Well, lone and behold, after I finished the Warehouse I also unlock a challenge to play the full album of 'Dookie' back-to-back... yes, like a real band! Like the "Window 7 commercials," it is like 'Harmonix' heard my complaint and fixed it. True set lists would have been exemplary, nevertheless having this transferred into challenges works. I love playing through the songs in a row, and now I can. Expect over 10 unique challenges in 'Green Day: Rock Band,' and the joy of feeling like you're performing a show live.
Green Day is like The Beatles, Wha?
Like all other 'Rock Band' offerings the audio is excellent, crystal clear, featuring all the master tracks. Generally the songs are short and filled with lots of chords, clever bass lines and pounding drums. Anyone expecting to shred metal off your guitar, you will need to look somewhere else-- 'Joe Satriani' isn't hiding behind the curtain. There are plenty of Rock Band/ Guitar Hero options out there for those wanting that, so I hope we don't see too much complaining about the lack of solos. 'Green Day' is like 'The Beatles,' is more a band experience, and more fun to play in groups.
'Green Day: Rock Band' also features harmony vocals. Yes, for those who didn’t know ‘Green Day’ has a fair amount of harmony lines. Although more covert and usually used to double up phrases, they are there. Obviously their harmony work isn't as in-depth as 'The Beatles,' but if you already have the equipment set up, its fun to try and hit some of their dual vocal lines. Additionally, fans of other instruments aside from the guitar will have a lot of fun with 'Green Day: Rock Band' sporting some highlight performances from Tre and Mike.
No Canadian Idoit?
For songs, 'Green Day: Rock Band' includes three full albums – 'Dookie' (1994), 'American Idiot' (2004) and their latest release, '21st Century Breakdown' (2009). Full albums are perfectly fitted for tribute editions of 'Rock Band,' and is something I hope we see more of in the future. Forget the DLC, all the bands available music should be added free of charge. I am exceptionally glad ‘Dookie’ made it into the mix because it is my favourite Green Day album and the one that propelled the band into an international spotlight. That's not all, music from their other albums including 'Insomniac (1995),' 'Nimrod (1997),' and 'Warning (2000)' is also present. Green Day’s first two cd’s prior to their fame is not part of the 'Rock Band' game which is disappointing, but acceptable given the audio quality and the rarity of the tracks.
All the Green Memories
Conclusively, we have a few additional sections to pass the time when you are not rocking away on your plastic instruments. These include 'collectibles' with over 100 pics of the lovely boys in Green Day. 'The Award' section is interviews and such with over 10 special moments from Green Day's history, and lastly, 'Achievements.' Achievements and trophies are perfectly laid out and fun to chase after for every experience level. Additionally it has a similar look as 'The Beatles: Rock Band,' which makes it easy to track your progress. The extra content in 'Green Day: Rock Band' is enough to keep you busy for a while, especially if you are entertaining a full band. Of course any 'Green Day' die-hard would want more, however, I guess it has to stop somewhere.
The decision to purchase 'Green Day: Rock Band' comes down how much you enjoy the music of ‘Green Day.’ If you are a devoted fan and have actually purchased at least one of their CD's, then you qualify. Been to live concert, bingo-- qualify. Love the band on the radio and want to hear more, sure! Join the party. That's audience needs to pick up this special band edition of 'Rock Band.' If you don’t fall into any of these categories, well, 'Rock Band 3' isn’t too far off.
'Green Day: Rock Band' is a success, although I wouldn’t put it on the same level as 'The Beatles' edition. 'The Beatles' special edition was simply too polished and imaginative, with a complete retrospective look at the band from beginning to end. What 'Green Day: Rock Band' shows off is how this little band from California has made an impact in modern music.
Gameplay:8.4, Graphics:8.5, Sound:9.0, Innovation:7.0, Mojo:9.0 Final: 8.4 / 10
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 06.08.10