(EA for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
Lucky is the band that gets the deluxe gaming treatment from Harmonix, a developer that honors its subjects and polishes its games so that they feel like more than just a brand name cash-in. Green Day may not get quite the royal treatment that The Beatles did last year, but their Rock Band edition is still bursting with fan service, from a carefully chosen set list to Tré Cool goofing around onstage when there are no drum parts to a practice mode full of the drummer’s signature beats. The set list leans to the band’s newer material, which is absolutely as it should be: The fantastic variety and craftsmanship of American Idiot and (to a lesser extent) 21st Century Breakdown make songs from those albums much more fun to play than the earlier stuff, save for a few highlights. Taken as a whole, though, the quick bashers from Green Day’s ’90s output balances perfectly with the sometimes overblown nature of their current stuff, and the set list is just long enough to be satisfying, without feeling like an artless dump of too many songs. It’s an expectedly excellent package, but it also feels like an appropriate bookend to the current mold of these types of music games, meaning that we need the next evolution of this genre, and fast.