Ah, the "Hero" games. I really liked some of the "Guitar Hero" games and I'm looking forward to "Lego Rock Band" (not part of the same series, but at least the same idea). Mind you, I pretty much suck at these games, but still I find them to be enjoyable.
Now comes "DJ Hero" the latest incarnation of the "Hero" series. I spent some time last night playing with a demo version of it, and I found it... decent. Not great, but decent.
The basic idea is the same as the other games. You hear music, you see the screen telling you what buttons to press and you do as you're told. Easy to learn, difficult to master, as some might say.
I actually found the learning curve on this to be steeper than I liked. The easy setting isn't as easy as I might prefer and the medium setting (where you have to use the cross-fader), is entirely too difficult. I had a friend over and he aced the easy section, but once the cross-fader was introduced, he was totally doomed.
One nice feature of the game is that you can have someone use a guitar controller and play in a vs mode against each other. My friend and I did that, and it worked out fairly well, though you're each playing a different track and that might take a little getting used to.
I also found the positioning of the blue button on the turntable to be a little awkward. Scratch moves are a big part of the game, and they're easy to do with the green button, but very hard with the blue button. On the other hand, the turntable controller includes lefty support, and as a southpaw, I'm pleased with that.
The game's equivalent of the "star power" feature from the guitar games is called "Euphoria" and it works out ok, as does the "rewind" feature that allows you to back up a few seconds and reply a few notes.
I was also reasonably pleased with the selection of songs. I had only a demo version of the game, so the selection was limited to only a few songs, but they were well done and easy to listen to. As for the graphics, they were supremely good and looked great on my new 42" LCD TV, though my DJ looked hideous.
Overall I enjoyed the time I had with the game. I don't know that I'd buy a copy any time soon, but maybe once it's a Greatest Hits kind of thing. I just don't enjoy the whole dj experience or dj culture enough to want it at full price. Those who do enjoy such things will likely really get a kick out of this game!
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About the reviewer
C R Swanson (CRSwanson)
I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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DJ Hero is a music video game developed by FreeStyleGames and published by Activision as a rhythm game similar to Guitar Hero. It was released on October 27, 2009 in North America and on October 30, 2009 in Europe. The game is based on turntablism and features more than 80 remixes of two different songs from a selection of over 100 different songs across numerous genres. To score points, the player must press buttons to activate accented beats, adjust their crossfade between the two songs, and "scratch" the turntable on the game's custom controller in time to marks that scroll on the screen to score points and perform well for the virtual crowd. The game features both a single player Career mode and cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. The game also features a mode for selected songs for a DJ player to play alongside another player using a Guitar Hero guitar controller.
Many DJ and mix artists have contributed to the game both in the game's development, the creation of mixes, and in lending their images for playable avatars in the game; these including Eminem, Jay-Z, DJ Shadow, Z-Trip, DJ AM, Cut Chemist, J.Period, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Daft Punk.