Games Review – DJ Hero 2 – Activision (PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360)

DJ Hero 2

If the first DJ Hero wasn’t to everybody’s liking, it’s possible the same could be said for the latest version released a couple of weeks ago. While the format has been expanded substantially, at the end of the day, you’re still “scratching” on a fake plastic Technics turntable.

However, this shouldn’t put you off, because this second bite of the franchise is enormous fun. With 90 mixes to chose from (some of them, like Kanye West’s Heartless mixed with DJ Shadow’s Midnight in a Perfect World, are breathtaking), an expanded career mode, and variety of online battles (including tags and medals like MW2), this is a hugely satisfying game to dip in and out of.

While the marketing is all around this being a party game, I’m still not convinced of that. DJ Hero 2 plays to the music nerd in (not all of) us, and there is a real joy in hitting all the taps and scratches, especially in the new freestyle areas, which give you control of the speed of scratches, the placing of samples, and the cross-fading. The rather lame samples choice from the first game have been removed, so all samples are relevant to the track. So for example in the mix “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” – Snoop Dogg/”Oops (Oh My)” – Tweet featuring Missy Elliott, you have control over a dog bark sample in places, yeah it’s cheesy but it works. The gameplay has some new neat touches, if you hit your taps and scratches perfectly, sparks fly, and the sections are now marked out, making rewinds a lot easier.

Activision have also exchanged the possibility of joining in with a guitar, to joining in with vocals. It’s a canny move, the guitar sections of the original DJ Hero were pretty poor, while the singing is much more fun. Again, I’m not convinced it will get the party started, but it shows they’re at least trying to get the vibe right.

With a startling array of old school and newer tracks including hop-hop, disco, house and drum and bass and with mixes by Tiesto, David Guetta and Dj Shadow, the music choices are eclectic and entertaining. The difficulty raps up at an acceptable pace, although the DJ Battles in career mode veer wildly from super easy to ARGH and back again.

Activision have missed a trick here, a soundtrack album as per the Guitar Hero franchise wouldn’t go amiss. There are some stonking tracks on here that are a real pleasure to listen to as well as some guilty pleasures. DLC will be available in November too (the first pack released today, includes a very slow mix of Rhianna’s Umbrella/ Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On..), much sooner than for the first game.

Downsides? Well if you don’t have the first DJ Hero you’ll still have to shell out for a turntable, and if you want to have DJ battles together you’ll need 2 of ‘em. It’s not cheap kit (but still cheaper than the Rock Band 3 keytar). There also seems to be a bit of glitch with game saves, twice now the other half has completed mixes, saved progress and gone back only to find no record of it. But these are genuinely minor niggles. Overall this has built on the original game and is better for it. Worth trying out, you may just surprise yourself.

This review was first posted at Blogomatic3000 on November 2nd.

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on November 2, 2010.

One Response to “Games Review – DJ Hero 2 – Activision (PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360)”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Top360News, Moviegrrl . Moviegrrl said: Games Review – DJ Hero 2 – Activision (PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360): http://wp.me/pVs0H-h2 […]

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