Weezer is very important to me. From the ’90s to today, the Rivers Cuomo-fronted rock band known for hits like “Undone (The Sweater Song)” and “Hash Pipe” have formed the nerdy, crunchy, catchy tunes of my life. And yes, some purists may say that The Blue Album and Pinkerton are the only ones worth listening to. But I find enjoyable stuff on nearly every album they’ve released since then (and, don’t tell anyone, but Maladroit is secretly my favorite). I’ve been stoked about their upcoming record Van Weezer since it was first announced alongside the best single they’ve put out in years, “The End of the Game.” And now, “The End of the Game” has a bonafide video game to go along with it.
“The End of the Game Game” has deliciously retro 16-bit styles, and lets you play as a member of the band — lead guitarist/singer Cuomo, rhythm guitarist Brian Bell, bassist Scott Shriner, or my personal pick, drummer Patrick Wilson. Ostensibly, it’s a run-and-gun Contra-styled side-scroller — except the very first steps you take take you to, well, the end of the game. A final boss level, against the very cute alien at the center of the “End of the Game” music video. I felt a little bad about blasting this guy away, but dear reader: I did. And I enjoyed every piece of Weezer nostalgia along the way, from the screenshots of the “Keep Fishin'” Muppets music video to the can of pork and beans I grabbed for an extra life. Just one issue I had — at the very end, after I beat the boss, it offered me a treasure to nab. But when I tried to walk over to it, jump to it, or even shoot it — the game killed the heck out of me. Is this intentional? Or is there some secret way to win I’m missing? Only one way to find out, gamers.
Van Weezer, the 14th record from Weezer, comes out May 15 — and barring any coronavirus related delays, they’re scheduled to go on the Hella Mega Tour alongside Green Day and Fall Out Boy starting in June. Check out Weezer’s new video game here. For more in the world of “me overanalyzing music,” check out my take on Michael Giacchino‘s new tease of The Batman score (and check out our new interview with him, while you’re at it!).