Game Review: DJ Hero 2
Release: October 19th 2010
Genre: Music Rhythm
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Players: 1-3 Players
MSRP: $59.99 Game Disk, $99.99 Game Disk with Turntable, $149.99 Game Disk with 2 Turntables and a Mic
ESRB Rating: “T” Teen
Last year gamers got their first chance to jump into the crowd pleasing lifestyle of the virtual DJ with the first DJ Hero, and while it had its share of flaws, gamers were in the majority in agreeing that this series had nowhere to go but up. With a strong foundation to build upon (See linked DJ Hero Review for some extra context), my family and I dove into FreeStyleGames second try on the virtual ones-and-twos with DJ Hero 2 to see if one year, and a solid first entry had changed anything.
As with last years DJ Hero, once again you take control of the plastic turntable to turn the party out by playing mixes and mash-ups of some of today’s hottest pop, electronic, and hip hop hits. Played in a similar fashion to other music games like Guitar Hero, the player must match beats with the three buttons located on the wheel of the turntable, while moving the wheel up and down to simulate the scratching motions when indicated on the screen. Mix that together with a cross-fader that adjusts the volume of the songs being mixed together and you have a pretty good idea of how DJ Hero works.
One of my biggest gripes with last years DJ Hero was the lack of ANY graphical interface that helped move the player along, and I am happy to say that the latest DJ Hero seems to have made navigating menus throughout the game more gamer friendly. As with last years DJ Hero my family instantly fell in love with the soundtrack, many recognizable songs from both older and newer artists kept things fresh in fun from the creative remixes that DJ Hero provides. The single player experience is the traditional for a music game, but this time around it is presented through Empire Mode where you pick your DJ avatar, and Club logo, before you go into the single player world. Battle mode is also present as before but has been tweaked to be less tedious and refined, but this really is a mode for the serious competitors. Where DJ Hero 2 really shines and has really impressed me this time around is the amazing Party Play. In party play you can select up to two turntables and a Mic for an all out party. Players select a number of songs in a set they want to play and then the party begins. My family had hours of fun, as we were able to drop in and out, change difficulty setting all on the fly without interrupting the fun of our DJ set. If you want to experience the DJ lifestyle this is the mode that comes closest to bringing it to life.
A new feature that is introduced into DJ Hero 2 is a freestyle-scratching mode that happens in the songs you play at certain times. While a great idea it often felt clumsy and awkward, best described as when you start star mode on the drums in Rock Band. The other issue I had with DJ Hero 2 is that with DJ Hero you never felt like a DJ experience unless you were on Hard or Expert difficulty. My kids and wife had no problem on medium, but no one wanted to touch easy as it felt cumbersome.
All in all, my family an I had an amazing experience with DJ Hero 2, and if you invested in purchasing DJ Hero you owe it to yourself to get this polished sequel. Guaranteed to provide an interesting and fun twist to any family gathering DJ Hero bring the club to your house.