Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Green Day: Rock Band

Review: Green Day: Rock Band

2:00 PM on 06.08.2010 // Nick Chester

After a number of misses from its competition, last year Harmonix and MTV Games proved that it was possible to do a band-specific music game "right." The Beatles: Rock Band was an incredible journey through the band's career, approaching the material with tact, and a reverence for the music and people behind it not seen before in games. It was proof that with a little love, a game that focused on the music and history of a single group of musicians could not only be viable, but beautiful.

Of course, it helped that it was designed around a band that is widely regarded as one of the most influential and beloved rock groups of all time. What other group, if any, could Harmonix and MTV follow it up with? Their answer, as they revealed in December of last year, was Green Day. While the pop punk band -- whose career has spanned over 20 years -- doesn't quite hold the same weight as the Fab Four, a quick walk through any shopping mall is testament to the band's popularity.

The argument as to whether Green Day "deserves" its own game is pointless, because here it is, whether you like or not. But is it any good? Depending on which side of the Green Day "love/hate" fence you fall on, the answer is exactly what you'd expect it to be.

Green Day: Rock Band (PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360)
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Publisher: MTV Games
Released: June 8, 2010
MSRP: $59.99

For the fan of Green Day and Rock Band, Green Day: Rock Band is a bit of a dream come true. After years of the band's music not appearing in any music game, MTV Games and Harmonix seem to have held the magic key the band's hearts, exclusively securing the group's tunes for its titles. That key may have been agreeing to grant the band it's own game; whatever the reason, the disc is a solid package of just about every tune a Green Day fan would want to play in a music game.

Unlike The Beatles: Rock Band, the game doesn't follow the same kind of career path, instead breaking up Green Day's history into three larger chunks represented by three venues. "The Warehouse" starts things off; songs from the band's major label debut, Dookie, are played here. "Milton Keynes" -- the venue made popular in the group's home concert video, Bullet in a Bible -- will have you focusing on the music of American Idiot, Insomnia, Nimrod, and Warning. Finally, the entire thing culminates with the "Fox Theater Venue," where you'll be able to play the band's latest album, 21st Century Breakdown, in its entirety.

In all, the game contains 47 Green Day tracks on the disc, including every track off of Dookie and American Idiot. 21st Century Breakdown can be played beginning to end as well, provided six of the album's tracks are downloaded from the Rock Band Music Store. Whether or not you'll enjoy playing these songs is dependent on a few things, most notably (and most obviously) how much you like Green Day. If you're a fan, rocking through "Welcome to Paradise" or singing along through the more contemplative "Wake Me Up When September Ends" will be a joy. Non-fans or those on the fence about the tracks, however, shouldn't write them off.

It's true that Green Day aren't the most technically proficient or imaginative songwriters of this generation, but there's a lot to be said for simply being able to craft a memorable song, regardless of where it was derived. As a non-fan, I was surprised at how many tracks I was familiar with; it was absolutely shocking (and a bit frightening) that I knew many of the song's lyrics (if not simply the melodies) without even having to look at game's screen.

While the overall difficulty of the game probably won't have any hardcore players lighting up YouTube with impressive "FULL COMBO OMFG" videos, many of the tracks will require competent playing on the harder difficulties. This is particularly notable on the bass and drum tracks. Mike Durnt's poppy bass lines might have you all over the fret board, and drummer Tre Cool has enough fun with his kit to keep your hands busy.

Unfortunately, Green Day's "weaknesses" (if you could call them that) are noticeable in a few areas. It becomes fairly obvious early on that guitarist/vocalist Billy Joe Armstrong has only a small repertoire of six-string tricks in his bag, relying on few chords and repeating strum patterns track after track. While in songwriting this isn't an issue -- an artist doesn't need thousands of colors to paint a beautiful picture -- the guitar gameplay suffers a bit for it as it can become repetitive and predictable.

The game also ports over the vocal harmony features introduced in The Beatles, although they're nowhere near put to as good use here. While The Beatles provided a master class is harmony, what's presented in most of Green Day's catalog is more like a beginners course. It's true that as the band's career progress, they did get a bit more ambitious in the studio, but there's nothing here in the harmonies can compares to even The Beatles' earliest works.

Overall, the band is faithfully re-created with some incredible motion capture that really nails the vibe of the band and its live shows. There's some great nods and small details that fans will notice, like movement and tattoo details that Harmonix obviously took note of when designing the look. The "Milton Keynes" and "Fox Theater" have some great touches going on in terms of lighting, crowd interaction, and set design, as well.

So it's not entirely fair to say that Green Day: Rock Band feels "phoned in," but it really doesn't feel like as much attention and work went into this as The Beatles. For instance, whereas The Beatles featured a handful of venues plus song-specific "Dreamscapes," Green Day only features the three venues and only changes in minor details for many songs (in others there's nothing particularly notable at all). Even each of the character models only wear up to three outfits a piece throughout the entire game; The Beatles: Rock Band had the Fab Four not only changing looks from era to era, but sometimes from song to song.

The game's career progression is also lacking when compared to the previous single-band effort. The title kicks off with an incredible animated introduction video (designed by MK12, responsible for The Beatles cinematics, as well), but that's it. There are no transition videos here between venues, and nothing to really help the player understand or appreciate the arc of the band's career.

There are plenty of unlockables for fans to acquire, from photos to archival video footage, but even that seems a bit lacking. I wouldn't call myself a huge Green Day fan, but I was astounded by how many of the unlockable images I recognized -- some of them are even taken directly from album liner notes or well-known publicity photos. This is the kind of stuff that fans will probably eat up; some of the older photos and vids are a nice, nostalgic trip down memory lane. But it's a shame that the extras don't dig a bit deeper, providing more original material that would make the game package more appealing.

Because all of the tracks can be exported to your hard drive (on Xbox 360 and PS3) for playing in Rock Band 1, 2, and the forthcoming 3, you could look at Green Day: Rock Band as a large track pack in a fancy bundle. It's a decent deal if you're interested in all or most of the songs on the disc -- it'll cost you $60 for the game, plus an addition $10 to export the tracks. But if you're only looking to play a handful of the tracks, you're out of luck, and the game won't quite live up to its value.

Bottom line here is what you'd expect -- Green Day: Rock Band is a must-have for fans of the band and Rock Band. Even if you're not the biggest fan and the very thought of Green Day doesn't make you want to rupture your own ear drums with a screwdriver, there are some great tracks here you'll want to add to your collection. In the end, though, the package doesn't reach the bar raised by Harmonix's first single-band outing.

Score: 7.5 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)

[Note: Add 2 points if you've ripped a picture of Billie Joe out of SPIN magazine to put up in your locker; remove 7.5 points if you absolutely despise Green Day.]



Green Day: Rock Band - Reviewed by Nick Chester
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Green Day: Rock Band

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Time for Thanksgiving dinner, then more Shantae! [img][/img]
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
So Macy's parade had that performance from "The Wiz" which made me realize I'd much rather have seen "The Wizard" where everyone is dancing around wearing power gloves. Come on Nintendo, THE TIME IS NOW!
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Happy #Darksiders2 day-I mean Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Shinta avatarShinta
Transformers Devastation PS4 - $24. The Order 1886 $10. Digital flash sale on PSN. I think I'm going to have to bite on both these. And I hate digital if I can avoid it ...
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Remember folks, don't forget to smoke cigarettes in between courses during thanksgiving to help in digestion.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
For friends in UK that want a 3DS XL - 99.99 pounds [url][/url]
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Playing New Vegas again because reasons, it occurs to me that it'd be nice if Old World Blues gave me the option to move the Brotherhood of Steel to the Big MT instead of wiping them out for Mr. House.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Near heart attack as for a minute it seemed like the A button of my 3DS was busted. It's fine now though, I think we'll live.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
There's now a £4/$5 Raspberry Pi. So cheap it's a cover extra on the latest Mag Pi. Based on the original chipset, it's single core but clocked at 1Ghz so it's quite a bit faster and oh so tiny. I can't wait to see what folks build with it.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
After a lifetime of not spending a single cent on FTP games, I finally broke and dropped €1 in the Nintendo Badge Arcade. I just had to have all the Luigi badges asap. I feel dirty. Plus side, my 3ds will be covered in Luigi.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The postman just brought me gifts i bought for myself ... [img][/img] [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Umm.. no Microsoft. Where is the 'go away' button? [img][/img]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I tried driving as Uber last night to start supplementing my income and everyone so far has been super chill. Also, I started practicing in my sleepy small home city so the training wheels were still on. No big city bar hoppers just yet.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just got my Gwent physical edition. I don't understand special abilities - for example, Arachas have an icon with two knights beneath the close combat icon. Avallac'h has an eye in that same spot. Help? (I'm no longer a squid btw)
KyWii avatarKyWii
Happy Thanksgiving all! Load up on carbs and then get back to playing Fallout 4.
Archelon avatarArchelon
New extended television spot for The Force Awakens! [youtube][/youtube]
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
I dunno if I just had a freak incident but I think Ubisoft may have just changed the Renown gain in Rainbow Six Siege to be less shit as in overnight they've patched it. If true, kinda good on them.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Does it mess with anyone else's head that when beating a SMBW level in Mario Maker the music doesn't do that little 'booowoo oop' at the end. [youtube][/youtube]
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I've developed a new hobby to indulge in while on Skype with friends: creating stupid Sonic OCs. I have so much fun making them for some weird reason, and once I have enough of them I might as well post a c-blog of them, am I right? Look out in the future
El Dango avatarEl Dango
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -