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DJ Hero 2 – Review

FreeStyleGames LTD are back, with their latest offering, (under the publishing arm of Activision) the sequel to one of the most successful games of 2009, DJ hero 2.  The game is bigger, better and a tour de force in rhythm games.

If you have played the first DJ hero, then you will be pleased to know, the game has had a serious tweak and the negatives put aside from DJ hero 1.  Crazily, if you have never played DJ hero 1 then now is your chance, as if you buy the turntable pack, they throw in the first one for free, giving you a combined track list of 176 tracks to play.  The downside is you have to play them as separate games, no import from DJ Hero 1 to DJ Hero 2 I am afraid.

Ok so if you haven’t played the series, then the game really is Guitar hero with a deck.  I’d argue done better though, and reminds me of an old PS2 game called Frequency.  You play as a DJ and have numerous tricks at your disposal, on your mixing deck.  You have your platter (where a record would sit) with 3 buttons, colour coordinated, red, green & blue and the platter freely moves like a record, backwards and forwards.   You have on the other side of the deck, a toggle switch at the bottom called the cross fader, (used to switch tracks) a effects dial and a euphoria dial, which is a bit like the power activator on Guitar Hero.

DJ Hero 2

The game has a basic premise, as it’s a rhythm based game.  You can choose difficulty levels and it will progressively get harder, (if you have played the first DJ hero they have implemented more features on easy so you do more to get used to the game).  You basically put one hand on the platter and as the music starts, different colours will light up. When you press the right colour on the platter, it will start that track/sample going.  You have a line corresponding to that button what stream of music is playing, usually at centre.  At certain points, you use the cross fader to switch tracks when it moves left or right on screen; on harder difficulty levels you will also have a feedback spike so you have to quickly move it in that direction then back to centre.  At its basic level, it is just a toggle, but it works on an ingenious level in a rhythm game; makes you feel you are mixing the track yourself.  Now the platter has another feature, you actually get to scratch with it.  The deck is directional able, so it recognises a forward and backwards scratch (again upping the difficulty it will go from letting you scratch any direction on a track to it requiring you to scratch a certain way).  You get a visual queue, to hold one of the three buttons down and then move the platter in time to the music.  An exquisite feature of the platter system is the rewind.  If you do well, you eventually get given the option to rewind the track.  If you spin the platter backwards, then it rewinds a segment of the track, to redo for extra bonus points.  You have an effects dial that shows up as a loop, that you can use to drop samples with, (more for aesthetics) and finally a euphoria button that will actually flash on the deck at certain points, activating doubles you’re scoring for a set time.

The game sounds more complicated than it is and at first you might be fingers and thumbs, but once you get into the grove, you do feel like your mixing the music yourself.  It isn’t just another plastic peripheral; the deck really does make you connect to the game.

For those joining us from DJ Hero 1, you will be pleased to know all the features have now been tweaked, to make a better experience.  The rewind feature for example now uses bullet points on the side of the screen, so you know when a dot comes up that you can rewind to the previous dot.  It makes it less confusing and stops the horrid rewinding right in the middle of a out of time, badly sounding section like the first one, which made the game at times jarring,  taking you out of the music and feeling like a local town hall disco DJ.

DJ Hero 2

The controls feel tighter, more responsive and you are given more to do on cross fading sections.  The game now has hold the button down presses, freestyle scratching sections, sample sections which you get extra points for them sounding in time to the music; the samples are much better sounding and the game now includes an option to sing or rap to songs.  Single player has the same quick play and extensive career mode as before but again looks and feels tighter.

Multiplayer wise, well the first one was bare and now the cupboard is full.  Drop in and out party play, online battle (which has been vastly improved) and new ones called Streak and Accumulator; versus modes changing to checkpoint style battles instead of the mess of the first one which is much more fun and engaging.

I guess the most important aspect of a game like this is the music and that makes the game a must have.

Produced and Mixed by A-Trak:

  • Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.” Remix
  • Naughty By Nature – “O.P.P.” Mixed With Jackson 5 – “ABC”

Produced and Mixed by Diplo:

  • Kanye West – “Heartless” Mixed With DJ Shadow – “Midnight In A Perfect World”
  • Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel – “Pon De Floor” Mixed With Harold Faltermeyer – “Axel F”

Produced and Mixed by DJ Jazzy Jeff:

  • Busta Rhymes – “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” Mixed With M|A|R|R|S – “Pump Up The Volume”

Produced and Mixed by DJ Qbert:

  • DJ Qbert – “Super Battle Breaks” Remix
  • Newcleus – “Jam On It” (DJ Qbert vocals) Remix

Produced and Mixed by DJ Shadow:

  • Kanye West – “Love Lockdown” Mixed With Metallica – “The Day That Never Comes”
  • Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West – “Put On” Mixed With DJ Shadow feat. Q-Tip and Lateef The Truth Speaker – “Enuff (DJ Fresh Remix)”

Produced and Mixed by Tiësto:

  • Adamski – “Killer” Remix
  • Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance” Remix

Produced and Mixed by Z-Trip:

  • Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force – “Planet Rock” Mixed With The Crystal Method – “Busy Child (Still Busy After All These Years Remix)”
  • Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On” Mixed With Dillinja and Skibadee – “Twist ‘Em Out”

Produced and Mixed by RZA:

  • Damian Marley – “Welcome To Jamrock” Mixed With Walter Murphy – “A Fifth Of Beethoven”
  • LL Cool J – “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” Mixed With Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee – “The Message”

Produced and Mixed by The Scratch Perverts:

  • The Chemical Brothers ft. Q-Tip – “Galvanize” Remix
  • The Prodigy – “Omen” Mixed With Orbital – “The Box”

Produced and Mixed by FSG DJs:

  • 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman – “California Love Remix” (Remix by FSG)
  • 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman – “California Love Remix” Mixed With B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars – “Nothin’ On You”
  • A-Trak – “Say Whoa” (Remix by FSG)
  • Basement Jaxx – “Where’s Your Head At” Mixed With Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix )”
  • BlakRoc ft. Pharoahe Monch & RZA – “Dollaz & Sense” (Remix by FSG)
  • Calvin Harris – “I’m Not Alone” Mixed With New Order – “Blue Monday”
  • Daft Punk – “Human After All” (Remix by FSG)
  • Damian Marley – “Welcome To Jamrock” Mixed With Dillinja and Skibadee – “Twist ‘Em Out”
  • David Guetta & Chris Willis – “Love Is Gone” Mixed With Sam Sparro – “B&G” a/k/a “Black & Gold”
  • David Guetta ft. Kid Cudi – “Memories” Mixed With Pirate Soundsystem – “Bashy Bashy”
  • Deadmau5 & Kaskade – “I Remember” (Remix by FSG)
  • Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart” Mixed With Chic – “Le Freak”
  • Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden – “Bonkers” Mixed With Basement Jaxx – “Where’s Your Head At”
  • Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden – “Bonkers” Mixed With The Prodigy – “Omen”
  • DJ Shadow – “Midnight In A Perfect World” (Remix by FSG)
  • Edwin Starr – “War” Mixed With Justice – “Waters Of Nazareth”
  • Eminem – “Not Afraid” Mixed With Lil’ Wayne feat. Static Major – “Lollipop”
  • Estelle ft. Kanye West – “American Boy” (Remix by FSG)
  • Estelle ft. Kanye West – “American Boy” Mixed With Chic – “Good Times”
  • Flo Rida – “Low” Mixed With David Guetta vs. The Egg – “Love Don’t Let Me Go (Walking Away)”
  • Flo Rida ft. Will.I.Am – “In The Ayer” Mixed With Clinton Sparks, DJ Class, & Jermaine Dupri – “Favorite DJ”
  • Gorillaz ft. Mos Def & Bobby Womack – “Stylo” (Remix by FSG)
  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee – “The Message” Mixed With Kool & The Gang – “Jungle Boogie”
  • House Of Pain – “Jump Around” (Remix by FSG)
  • House Of Pain – “Jump Around” Mixed With Busta Rhymes – “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”
  • Iyaz – “Replay” Mixed With Rihanna – “Rude Boy”
  • Janet Jackson – “Nasty” Mixed With Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.”
  • Kanye West – “Heartless” Mixed With Lady Gaga – “Lovegame”
  • Kanye West – “Heartless” Mixed With DJ Shadow – “Midnight In A Perfect World”
  • Kanye West – “Love Lockdown” Mixed With Donna Summer – “Bad Girls”
  • Kaskade & Deadmau5 – “Move For Me” (Remix by FSG)
  • Kelis – “Acapella (David Guetta Extended Mix)” (Remix by FSG)
  • Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis – “Just Dance” Mixed With Deadmau5 – “Ghosts N Stuff”
  • Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ft. Ying Yang Twins – “Get Low” Mixed With 50 Cent – “In Da Club”
  • Lil’ Wayne – “Go DJ” Mixed With 50 Cent – “In Da Club”
  • Lil’ Wayne feat. Static Major – “Lollipop” Mixed With Flo Rida – “Low”
  • LL Cool J – “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” Mixed With Chic – “Good Times”
  • M.I.A. – “Galang” Mixed With Wayne Smith – “Under Mi Sleng Teng”
  • Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel – “Pon De Floor” Mixed With Harold Faltermeyer – “Axel F”
  • Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel – “Pon De Floor” Mixed With New Order – “Blue Monday”
  • Malcolm McLaren – “Buffalo Gals” Mixed With M|A|R|R|S – “Pump Up The Volume”
  • Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On” Mixed With Sean Paul – “Infiltrate”
  • MSTRKRFT ft. N.O.R.E. – “Bounce” (Remix by FSG)
  • MSTRKRFT ft. N.O.R.E. – “Bounce” Mixed With A-Trak – “Say Whoa”
  • Nas feat. Keri Hilson – “Hero” Mixed With Talib Kweli – “Get By”
  • Nelly – “Hot In Herre” Mixed With Warren G feat. Nate Dogg – “Regulate”
  • New Boyz – “You’re A Jerk” (Remix by FSG)
  • Newcleus – “Jam On It” Mixed With Donna Summer – “Bad Girls”
  • Pitbull – “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” Mixed With Nightcrawlers – “Push The Feeling On (MK Mix 95)”
  • Pussycat Dolls ft. Busta Rhymes – “Don’t Cha” Mixed With Pitbull – “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”
  • Robin S. – “Show Me Love (Stonebridge Radio Edit)” Mixed With Calvin Harris – “I’m Not Alone”
  • Salt N Pepa – “Push It” Mixed With Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force – “Planet Rock”
  • Salt N Pepa – “Push It” Mixed With Armand Van Helden – “I Want Your Soul”
  • Sam Cooke – “Chain Gang” (Remix by FSG)
  • Sean Paul – “Get Busy” Mixed With Harold Faltermeyer – “Axel F”
  • Sean Paul – “Get Busy” Mixed With Rihanna – “Pon De Replay”
  • Snow – “Informer” Mixed With Jackson 5 – “ABC”
  • Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” Mixed With Chamillionaire – “Ridin’”
  • Sparfunk & D-Code – “Apocalypse” (Remix by FSG)
  • Stevie Wonder – “Superstition” Mixed With Edwin Starr – “War”
  • The Chemical Brothers ft. Q-Tip – “Galvanize” Mixed With The Chemical Brothers – “Leave Home”
  • The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Mase & Diddy – “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” (Remix by FSG)
  • The Prodigy – “Firestarter” (Remix by FSG)
  • Tiësto & Sneaky Sound System – “I Will Be Here” Mixed With Tiësto – “Speed Rail”
  • Tiësto vs Diplo – “Come On” (Remix by FSG)
  • Timbaland ft. Drake – “Say Something” Mixed With Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West – “Put On”
  • Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. – “The Way I Are” Mixed With Tiga – “You Gonna Want Me”
  • Tweet ft. Missy Elliott – “Oops (Oh My)” Mixed With Snoop Dogg – “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?”

With the usual added DLC promised, there is more than enough there to keep any DJ going for a long time.

If you have never played DJ Hero or have the first one then this is another must have game.  This should be on everyone’s Christmas list.  Forget your Rock Band and Guitar Hero, if you want the best rhythm experience of being part of something this year this is the one to get.  DJ Hero 2 is tighter and an overall improved experience of the first one and a dream to own for any gamer.

- 5 Stars!

“This should be on everyone’s Christmas list.”

DJ Hero 2

Buy DJ Hero 2 - All Forrmats

Reviewed By:

Dazzyman

Dazzyman

Version tested Xbox 360


Edited On 18 Nov, 2010

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