Guitar Hero isn’t nearly as popular as it once was. Gamers have tired a little of the modern equivalent of playing your tennis racquet in front of the mirror. So DJ Hero does a great job of rejuvenating the music rhythm action genre and really makes you feel like a club DJ. The first game wowed us with an intuitive turntable peripheral and an incredibly diverse and completely original tracklist of mixes. Just a year later, the sequel brings more than just a few new tracks. There are several new gameplay elements and almost all of them take the DJ’ing experience to a new level.
The idea is to hit the coloured buttons on your turntable in time with the guide tracks on screen much like Guitar Hero. You’ll also have to scratch in sections, rocking the turntable back and forth, and crossfade between tracks using a sliding button. Although it sounds like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time it actually feels quite natural once you get into the rhythm of the music. In DJ Hero 2 freestyle scratching and crossfading sections have been added so you can really make the mix your own by cutting between the tracks and adding sound effects using your own sense of creativity.
With new avatars to play as and an ‘Empire’ career mode that lets you play sets where the tracks seamlessly blend into each other, the whole experience is far more immersive than in the last game. The one misstep is the inclusion of a vocal option that just doesn’t work with this style of music.
A larger issue is that the mixes and beat juggles aren’t as impressive as last time round. It’s more mainstream and probably more relevant music that’s being mixed, but it feels a lot more like a game soundtrack and less like the music you’d hear in a club. With the actual playing experience greatly improved we hope some of the upcoming downloadable mixes will improve the track roster and potentially transform this into the perfect rhythm game.
Review by Kirsten Kearney from orange.uk