Genre: Rhythm / Music | Players: 1-4 | Developer: Harmonix / Demiurge Studios
Look, you don’t need me to explain to you how a rhythm game works. So, right off the bat, this game works perfectly fine on that front. The Rock Band formula is down pat, as it should be after a trillion iterations in multiple franchises. I also have to imagine that outside of Green Day fans (from casuals to diehards) the only people’ll who be eyeing this are rhythm game nuts who have to have them all. In short, you don’t need me to sell you on the game itself, you need me to tell you how it fares from a Green Day fanboy’s perspective...if you actually need anything at all......
The unlockables are nothing special, to get that out of the way, too. If you expected them to be, or if you’re thinking of getting the game for them, shame on you.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I initially boycotted the game because it featured little in the way of songs from Insomniac, Nimrod, and Warning:, and no songs whatsoever from Kerplunk!, and 39/Smooth. They also stated early on that they weren’t going to be releasing any further content beyond the song pack that completed 21st Century Breakdown’s tracklist. Their reasoning wasn’t the greatest, but it is true that they specifically scripted 3 concerts worth of animation and it would be a bit odd to see it playing over incongruous songs.
It’s the 3 concert career that ultimately provides this game with a rock solid structure. It feels so much more complete and worthwhile than Beatles Rock Band, right out of the box. Yes, it is built around Dookie and American Idiot (their two most successful albums) and the then-current 21st Century Breakdown. No, these are not my favorite albums of theirs, but this is a major market release and they can’t really be blamed for this. As offered, as shaped and defined by the realities of business, marketing, and game making, this is a magnificent purchase if you are a Green Day fan.
This is the kind of release that cannot be judged apart from my love for the band in question, and because I do not have any professional obligations breathing down my neck to try otherwise, I don’t feel any regret in judging it as a fanboy. This is as close as I’ll ever come to being Mike Dirnt. Thank you, Harmonix. Thank you, sincerely.
Buyer's Guide: Available on PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. I can’t imagine it costing very much, now. If you can find the Plus version, grab it. There is no reason not to complete the final album.
5 Nations Without Bureaucratic Ties out of 5