Green Day: Rock Band Review

Green Day: Rock Band is, essentially, a game that tells you everything you need to know in its title. Pairing developer Harominx's established perpheral-based gameplay with a subtly modified gameplay structure introduced by The Beatles: Rock Band, it offers up the chance to sing along with and play guitar, bass, and drums on forty-seven tracks by Green Day, with support for six additional downloadable tunes.

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Fans of Green Day's early work will be happy to see the inclusion of the band's third studio album 'Dookie' in its entirety. Even those less familiar with the band will find just about every Green Day song ever played on the radio. Song-specific band performances add a nice visual touch, with plenty of photos and live video performances to be unlocked.

Songs from albums 'American Idiot' and '21st Century Breakdown' are quite prevalent in the track list, though other albums like 'Insomniac,' 'Nimrod,' and 'Warning' only get cursory representation. Sadly, the band's first two (and edgiest) records, '1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours' and 'Kerplunk,' are completely neglected. In fact, the focus on too few of the band's albums, coupled with only three playable venues, are two of the game's most significant shortcomings.

With few exceptions, Billy Joe Armstrong's lead guitar tracks are quite strummy. I've always been terrible at alt-strumming, but I'm pretty sure my ability to do so improved noticeably while playing expert guitar in Green Day: Rock Band. Drummer Tre' Cool's manic percussion should offer a decent challenge for the drumming folk, and Mike Dirnt's bass grooves and vocal harmonies are a bit more varied and fun than expected.

Green Day: Rock Band mostly achieves its goals as a game, but limited track variety and awkward lyrical censorship keep the game from being a completely definitive piece of fan-service.

Green Day: Rock Band is available for the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360.