In a world where most manufacturers seem to go out of their way to make sure there products are not compatible with their competitors, it was refreshing to find with my first taste of Rock Band that on the XBox 360, all things musical seem to be compatible. Let me explain. EA loaned me a Rock band kit so I could review the Green Day Rock Band game. The kit came a couple of weeks before the game was released, so being like a child on Christmas morning, I just HAD to play with my new toy, so I decided to see if it wold work with Guitar Hero 5. Of course because I already had a Guitar Hero guitar and a LIPS mic, I only unpacked the Rock Band drum kit. All three components worked seamlessly together with Guitar Hero 5. Brilliant. When Green Day arrived, I unpacked the rest of the Rock Band kit, which handily came with a mic and stand – ideal for geniuses that can sing and play at the same time, guitar and drums. With this set up, along with an extra guitar, four of us were able to see just how good we were at being a band. 

It works out that guitars and vocals were easy – that’s the stuff we’re used to. The drums on the other hand will get a bit of getting used to. Having said that, it was refreshing to be able to have so many people enjoying the game at the same time rather than taking turns. And quite a laugh as you can rotate instruments and laugh at those who laughed at your drumming ability. As for the game, it’s pretty standard set up – the notes come towards you and you have to hit the notes. It’s a winning formula that isn’t likely to change. Hoping straight into career mode – so I can unlock as many songs as possible – we were given the choice of three concerts, from different time periods. Once selected we were given a four song set to play. Once completed, an extra set was added, and then another. Playing a specific band’s playlist has it’s ups and downs. For one, it feels more authentic – you’re playing a certain role in a real band rather than feeling like part of a covers band playing everyone else’s songs. The counter to this of course is that you don’t get a lot of variety. Although having said that, Green Day don’t sing the same song over and over again. Of course, you’ll recognise most of their hits right away, but you’ll have to play your fair share of songs you might not know to make it through the game, which can either be a real pain, or the chance to discover a whole lot more of Green Day. Personally as much as I liked the songs that I knew, it seemed to be a more rounded experience having to play stuff I was unfamiliar with. The real noticeable difference though was the sensible fact that you don’t get to choose a custom character to play – who you are depends on what instrument you choose – this is Green Day after all! The character models all look like the band members, whilst retaining that Rock Band feel, and the stages are (I assume) based on the real stages Green Day played on rather than some of the over the top stages seen on various Guitar Hero games. I must say, as difficult as the drums are to come to terms with, and the amount of room they take up, I am a fan of the Rock Band experience – especially as you can still play solo, on what ever instrument you like, making it one of the most rounded musical games around.
Reviewed on: XBox 360 Available on: XBox 360, PS3. Wii Reviewed by: Put your gamertag here too.

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