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A fan's take on 'Green Day: Rock Band'

"Green Day: Rock Band" gives fans of the band an authentic concert experience and fans of the game a hearty workout.
"Green Day: Rock Band" gives fans of the band an authentic concert experience and fans of the game a hearty workout.
  • The video game's career mode offers rare video footage of the band playing
  • Want to drum like Tre Cool? You might need the "Green Day: Rock Band"-specific drum lessons
  • Details make this game exciting for fans -- even wardrobe is varied and historically correct
  • Green Day
  • Video Games

(CNN) -- Ah, fandom, it's a curious and wonderful thing. When it was announced last year that we would be getting a Green Day version of "Rock Band," fans of the band (myself included) were pretty excited.

The band that helped turn the '90s punk-rock revival into a more mainstream, pop-radio movement would be getting some major attention in the digital world.

When the game was released on Tuesday, I couldn't wait to get home and see if I could play like Tre Cool or sing like Billie Joe Armstrong.

But with so many other versions of "Rock Band" out there, why would you want to spend money on this game?

Well, for starters, any fanboy or fangirl will love the loading screens with Green Day specific graphics and sounds. You also get to view cool memorabilia, like still photos and rare video footage of the band, for completing songs in career mode.

Playing songs like "When I Come Around" and "Pulling Teeth" brings back memories of college days, and yes, I will admit I wish they had put "All By Myself" in the game, because it's the only hidden track that Green Day has ever included on an album. Maybe an Easter egg is hiding in the shadows for us to discover?

There are also unique drum lessons written specifically for this version of the game. From what I've seen, even veteran Rock Band players will need them.

Most of the songs included in the game are ones that fans of Green Day can listen to again and again. Now we can also tell our friends, "yeah, I five-starred 'Brain Stew/Jaded!' "

Hardcore "Rock Band" fans have posted videos on YouTube of themselves playing in expert mode and achieving five gold stars, which is something that not even the members of Green Day were able to do, according to a recent interview with MTV.

The graphics are really well done in this game and the motion-capture technique used to animate the Green Day doppelganger is pretty impressive. When the piano opening to "Viva La Gloria (Little Girl)" starts playing, Billie Joe encourages the audience to clap and fakes surprise when the piano stops before the song kicks into high gear. It's almost like being at a concert -- I nearly forgot I was supposed to start singing.

Also notable is that the band's clothing choices match the theme and era of each album. "21st Century Breakdown" has an almost steampunk feel to it. In the Oakland venue the band is decked out in waistcoats, trousers and pin-striped shirts to match the vibe of the album.

As with most of the "Rock Band" games, when you earn four stars or more on a song, you get a reward. In this case, you get "cred" instead of "fans" and with that the ability to open up more sets with tougher songs like "Peacemaker" from "21st Century Breakdown" -- a fun, fast-paced song about death and destruction.

All the members of Green Day play an instrument and sing at the same time, which is no small feat given the technical difficulty of the bass lines and Tre Cool's blazing fast drumming speed. My other "band mate" was busy clacking away on his guitar and wouldn't have been able to sing if he tried, nor would I when behind my electronic drum kit.

Sore arms and scratchy voice aside, "Green Day: Rock Band" is a lot of fun. Fans both new and old will enjoy playing along with their favorite songs. We may not all be able to unlock achievements like "It's All Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt" or "Louder Than Bombs or Eternity," but we'll have fun trying.


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