(http://www.djhero.com/)  DJ Hero is the latest installment of the rhythm game series from Activision. In DJ Hero, you get to experience what it’s like to get the party jumping. It’s not common knowledge for people to understand what exactly a DJ does in the booth, and though I’m not an expert either, the game certainly makes me feel like a DJ mixing music together to pump the crowd up.

(http://www.djhero.com/)  DJ Hero is the latest installment of the rhythm game series from Activision. In DJ Hero, you get to experience what it’s like to get the party jumping. It’s not common knowledge for people to understand what exactly a DJ does in the booth, and though I’m not an expert either, the game certainly makes me feel like a DJ mixing music together to pump the crowd up.

 

Activision’s bold move with creating a new piece of hardware for gamers to use pays off. The DJ Hero controller is offered in standard and Renegade editions, both wireless. In the Renegade edition, the game comes with a metal travel case that converts into a stand to play the game on and the controller itself features a gloss black finish and metal-finished parts and a two-disc cd featuring Jay Z and Eminem music. The standard controller, which I played on, is still a work of art. At first glance it looks like a real turntable. On closer inspection, the controller features a spinning turn table with 3 “fret” button on it, a cross fader slider, a knob to twist, and additional control pad buttons. The controller feels well constructed and is of good weight; it has rubber feet to prevent any sliding. To enjoy the game fully I would recommend setting it on an elevated platform for optimal play feel.

 

The game at first glance looks like a typical Guitar Hero game: a scrolling highway with notes; but the big twist here is how the cross fader use is integrated. The cross fader adds an additional element to the game by requiring you to “shift” the two music tracks you are mixing together. The fret actions require a combination of tapping and holding the fret and “scratching.” There’s also an effects dial and a “Euphoria” button which aid in game play and give a personalization to the music you’re playing. Doing well in the game earns you the ability to “rewind” where you get to spin the platter backwards to replay a section of a song for more points.

         

The player gets to create and customize their character with clothing outfits, turntables, turntable “vinyls”, and personal sound actions to use during the game.  Game play is arranged as DJ “sets” where you play a series of tracks with a common thread, such as rap mixes, or guitar-mash ups. The tracks that feature a guitar mix allow the player to connect a guitar and play together with a friend. However this felt a little tacked-on and the game could have done without it.  The rest of the tracks are fun to listen to and even more fun to play. The song list makes or breaks any music game and DJ Hero does a great job of representing a variety of genres that have never before been exposed to the gaming audience. 102 licensed tracks are mixed to create 93 original songs; there are bound to be some favorites for any gamer. I wouldn’t be surprised if people would buy the soundtrack just to listen to on its own.  The game also features various multiplayer modes, either split screen local play or head to head online.

 

The fun-factor of the game is incredible for any music fan. Playing the game makes you feel like a real DJ with the taps, scratches and cross fader action. The graphics are fun and whimsical with the game never taking itself too seriously. There seems to be some room left for improvement for a sequel; I’ll be excited to see a possibility to play with two turn tables with a single mixer. Let’s hope Activision has the same idea.

       

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