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Green Day: Rock Band

Green Day: Rock Band

Green Day: Rock Band

Green Day: Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is the fifth major console release in the Rock Band music video game series and, like other games in the series, it allows players to simulate the playing of rock music by using controllers shaped like musical instruments.

The game's setlist consists of songs by the American punk rock band Green Day. Green Day: Rock Band features virtual depictions of the three band members performing the songs in new venues designed for the game. The game incorporates existing Green Day songs already released for the Rock Band series as downloadable content, and allows players to export its full tracklist to the other Rock Band game titles except The Beatles: Rock Band.

A free playable demo for the game was made available on May 25, 2010 for the Xbox Live Marketplace and on May 27, 2010 for the PlayStation Network. The demo features full, playable versions of two songs from the game, "Welcome to Paradise" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".

Green Day: Rock Band Gameplay

See also: Gameplay in Rock Band series

Green Day: Rock Band allows players to perform simulated rock music by providing up to four players with the ability to play three different controllers modeled after music instruments (a guitar controller for lead guitar and bass guitar gameplay, a drum controller and a microphone for vocals). Players simulate the performance of rock music by using their controllers to play scrolling on-screen notes. For lead and bass guitar, this is accomplished by holding down colored buttons mimicking guitar frets and pushing the controller's strum bar; for drums, this requires striking the matching colored drumhead, or stepping on the pedal to simulate playing bass drum notes. When singing vocals, the player must sing in relative pitch to the original vocals. A pitch indicator displays the singer's accuracy relative to the original pitch. The game will support harmonies as introduced in The Beatles: Rock Band, allowing multiple singers to perform the vocal portion. Harmonies will be added to the six songs already available as downloadable content for the game when played in Green Day: Rock Band.

As in previous Rock Band games, successfully hitting the proper notes in sequence earns points for each player and boosts their "performance meter". If a player fails to match the notes, their performance meter drops. If the meter empties, that player is forced to drop out of play, temporarily silencing that instrument and causing the band's overall performance to drop. Any player to drop out can be "saved" if another player activates "Overdrive", which is collected by successfully completing specially-marked phrases, and for guitar and bass players, using the controller's whammy bar to alter the pitch of marked sustained notes. Overdrive can also be used to temporarily increase the amount of points the band earns. Activating Overdrive is specific to each "instrument". For guitar, the controller must be temporarily shifted to an upright position; for drums, a specific drumhead must be hit at the end of a drum fill when prompted; and for vocals, a noise must be registered by the microphone when prompted. The game does not feature any "Big Rock Endings", which allowed players to improvise at the end of a song for additional scoring as in the other Rock Band games, nor will including any clapping or tambourine sections for the vocalist player, due to lack of places in Green Day's songs to include these features.

Immediately before playing a song, players must choose their difficulty level (ranging from "Easy" to "Expert"). A "No Fail" mode has been carried over from Rock Band 2 and is accessible from the difficulty seleho chooses the "Easy" difficulty. Players are also able to identify their handedness for guitar, bass, or drums before the start of or during a song via the game's "pause" menu. Upon completing a song, the players are given a star rating, from 1 to 5 stars, or 5 gold stars for very high scores if all band members are playing on Expert.

Green Day: Rock Band features a Career mode similar to The Beatles: Rock Band, however, it allows the player to immediately select any of the available songs and records to play from the start instead of stepping through specific sets. The Career mode has a "meta-game" through various challenges that subsequently unlock additional rewards (photographs or videos contained on disc), such as by completing every song in a specific set with a 4-star rating or better. In addition, some challenges require the players' band to earn enough "cred" to unlock them; these additional challenges three or four song challenges built around certain themes. A Quick play mode allows players to select one of more of the songs available to the game to play outside of Career Mode.

A drum trainer mode will be available to help players become accustomed to the instrument controller. The trainer will include a set of stock rhythms that are generic for most songs, and a set of "Tre's Greatest Hits" with drum patterns and solos taken from Tre Cool's performances, including one "ferocious" solo that runs across two different lessons.

Reception
Green Day: Rock Band was generally well received by video game critics. Many critics noted the game follows the previous dedication to presentation, audio, and playability that were seen in The Beatles: Rock Band, though some believed it followed the formula too well to make it indistinguishable from the previous titles. Jack DeVries of IGN could not think of any easy way to identify the game from other Rock Band titles; "People kept asking me how the game was and all I could think to say was 'It's Green Day: Rock Band.'" Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica called the game "paint by numbers rocking", commenting that the feature set is essentially the same as The Beatles. Patrick Klepek of G4TV stated the game was "not as ambitious as The Beatles" but still came to help him appreciate the band more.

While the two games have similar content, some reviews felt that Green Day was a weaker title due to the limited number of venues compared with the Dreamscapes used in The Beatles, among other aspects. Johnny Minkley of EuroGamer felt the additional content unlocked by playing through songs was "supplied in a way that feels separate rather than woven in to enrich understanding and appreciation" of the band, and considered the game a "backward step" from The Beatles. 1UP.com's Justin Haywald considered the title less of a tribute to the band and more of a video game due to the need to repeatedly play content over and over again to unlock all of the included band's photos and videos. Critics felt that Harmonix were successful at capturing the sense of being at a live performance of Green Day through the detailed venues, animations of the band members, and banter and antics with the virtual crowds.

From a musical perspective of reviewers, the limited range of Green Day compared to the Beatles creates a much less diverse experience compared to the previous game, diminishing the interest level for those not familiar with Green Day's music. Many stated that one's personal enjoyment of the game would strictly depend on their preference for Green Day. While the inclusion of full albums was well received, some reviewers wished for more songs to be included in the game, particularly from their mid-career albums. Minkley considered that by skipping over these albums, "the experience is robbed of any real insight into Green Day's evolution" between Dookie and American Idiot. However, despite the song selections, reviewers found Green Day's songs to be better suited to Rock Band than The Beatles', in part to how enjoyable it was to play all the songs regardless of the instrument used, and without having to chart atypical instruments, such as piano or cello, to the instrument parts. Reviewers found the guitar portions to be challenging but not impossible due to the endurance of the chord-heavy part. DeVries found the vocal harmonies mechanics to be better suited to Green Day, as with the lyrical trade-offs in many of the songs, "it's less about trying to sing at a slightly higher pitch and more about just having fun". Critics also commented the use of censored radio edits to maintain the game's Teen rating, and felt this weakened the music included in the game. The ability to export the game's songs to other Rock Band was well received. However, Lou Kesten of the Associated Press noted that the added cost to export the game, as well as the cost of the additional six tracks available as downloadable content, made it feel that "MTV is nickel-and-diming its loyal audience".

Sales of Green Day: Rock Band within the month of June 2010 was considered "paltry" by industry analysis Doug Creutz, with only 82,000 units sold in North America.


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