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They are one of the most popular bands in the world and have been speaking to the youth of a generation for about 20 years now. Their music has even inspired a Broadway play. So it's no wonder that the folks at Harmonix and MTV Games felt that Green Day deserved their own Rock Band video game. Unfortunately, all this latest edition into the Rock Band library shows is how soft Green Day has become over the years.
Starting-off with the hit album Dookie that launched Green Day into the limelight, Green Day Rock Band features 47 songs that touch upon most of the group's best hits as well as the near-entirety of their American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown albums. The problem is that by putting in so many newer, and in my opinion, inferior songs, they left out almost the majority of Insomniac, all of Shenanigans, and nearly all of Warning and Nimrod, all of which were far superior to the red-headed stepchild that was 21st Century Breakdown.
And you can tell the difference in the gameplay. I have the whole set of instruments for Rock Band, and I made sure to try my hand at them all as I moved through the paltry three-venue career mode. I slammed down on drums, ripped away at guitar and bass, and finally screamed till my lungs bled on the microphone. That is until I hit the 21st Century Breakdown section of the game and realized just how much Green Day had sold out when none of the hit singles were in the game off that album (they need to be bought separately on top of $60 you're already dropping), and how slow and monotonous the new music was, compared to the Dookie days.
I will say that the diehard fans of the Green Day will enjoy the unlockable videos and rare still-shot rewards for three and five-starring songs and challenges, as you get to see Billie Joe, Tre, and Mike back in their traveling bookmobile days as they moved from concert to concert. Aside from this though, there really isn't a lot to keep you coming back for more unless you are a Green Day addict. Include the fact that 47 songs are costing you $60, and most of the songs you probably want aren't even included on the disc.
The audio is great, as you would expect since it is a music game, and the songs sound like they're supposed to. Although, it is hard to keep a beat when all of the swearwords have been edited out to keep this a T-rated game. If anyone has even seen Green Day live, they know that Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre aren't exactly angels in terms of their language and on-stage antics. The game may look like Green Day and the game may even sort of sound like them, but this game is everything that Green Day used to sing about rebelling against.
Obviously, there is no plot to shred apart because it's all about playing the music. There is a lackluster career mode that takes you through three venues and three distinctive looks of Green Day over the years as you try to unlock all 47 songs, but aside from this, the game is a glorified track pack. Even with the inclusion of some Tre Cool drum challenges this game is not worth a $60 purchase.
With that said, I would recommend this as a rental if you are a Green Day fan and especially if you have friends who are fans so this way you can rock out together (at least on Dookie). Otherwise, this is just a reminder of how much these once anti-establishment icons have sold out.