Originally Published Through Yahoo Voices
Brand New Rock Band Release Heralds a New Direction for Californian Punk Rockers
First we had Rock Band – a major interactive game from Harmonix that let everyday players become Rock gods and play out to their favorite rock tracks with guitar, drums and vocals on either their Playstation, Xbox, or Wii. Harmonix was also behind the hugely successful Guitar Hero series before they went on to create Rock Band. The Rock Band franchise has generated more than $1 billion in sales since November, 2007. Then came Rock Band 2, which continued to build upon the hugely successful Armchair Rock god playerbase.
Last Christmas, we got The Beatles: Rock Band – which blew the doors off the franchise as it allowed for the Beatles library to become available for Rock Band players worldwide. Lego Rock band clicked into place and gave us the ability to move songs from one to the other, so Rock Band songs could be played on the kid-friendly Lego platform.
Now, the Oakland-based Punk Rock band Green Day has allowed for their album library to be recoded and released as a rock Band title. Was this a good idea?
I don’t know if it was or not. Based on the early reviews for Green Day: Rock Band, the gameplay is not the greatest, certainly not up to the bar set by the Beatles Rock Band. Also, with the limits placed ingame as to the content, it may well fall flat when it comes time to upgrade or add to the content.
47 Tracks come with the game, with extras if you buy the ‘plus’ edition. The ‘plus’ edition also gives you a module that allows you to port or transfer the music tracks to your console hard drive to play with other Rock Band titles. The tracks span the entirety of the albums ‘Dookie’, ‘American Idiot’ and 12 out of the 18 tracks for ’21st Century Breakdown’ If you want the remaining tracks for ‘Breakdown’ you have to buy them online or get the ‘Plus’ Edition of the game.
I am not a big fan of Green Day, so to hear that they were the next pick for a Rock Band release shocked me as I am a big fan of the game but felt that Green Day wasn’t big enough or had enough albums or music tracks to really pull it off. This is not to say they won’t make it work – Rock Band is a phenomenal success, mostly because of the playability and the entertainment value. I’d be surprised if the Green Day release flopped, however I don’t expect it to outsell the Beatles.
Gameplay-wise, Green Day is just like any other Rock Band release; you grab your axe, your sticks, or the mike and pick your track – then rock out as hard as you can to the music. Sadly, there’s only 3 venues to use as playable backgrounds which is going to get stale rather quickly. With only one other band focused release to compare Green Day to, I have to say it falls far short of the Beatles image and effect.
Green Day: Rock Band almost feels rushed as it has a lot less content than I’d expect for a full priced game that is band focused. Needless to say, if you’re a Green Day fan and play Rock Band, this game will satisfy you very nicely. For those of us who like only one or two tracks, the $60 price tag isn’t really worth it as the game content and playability doesn’t justify the cost. Especially not with Rock Band 3 coming before the end of this year.
All in all, good effort from Harmonix on this release, but it feels empty; there’s something missing. My only hope is that Harmonix will release a more publicly known group for it’s next Band focused release as although they said Green Day was the fans’ choice ….I don’t know many casual fans who will choose to buy it.
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