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DJ Hero 2 PS3 Review

Last year’s DJ Hero product was something special. It may not have been a “perfect” game but it introduced a fun new spin on the music/rhythm game genre. Not only did it have a fantastic soundtrack but the actual idea of spinning a turn table from your home was what most intrigued everyone. The fact that it worked excellently was only icing on the cake. The sales of DJ Hero were very poor, but Activision still allowed FreeStyleGames (the developer) to make a sequel. In the sequel, they don’t improve much, but what is there is remains a blast to play.

DJ Hero’s career mode is simply entitled “Empire” mode. In Empire mode, you go through multiple cities across the world (None looking too much different than the other) touring with your own club that you are the head DJ of. Empire mode does nothing different than the standard career mode in other music games apart from being able to choose your club name and a special logo (one of which looks incredibly similar to the beautiful Player Affinity logo). This is probably a good thing as we all know what happened when Guitar Hero tried to reinvent the career mode.

The main reason to play the Empire mode is to go through all the mixes given to you. Most of which are fairly good. At times, you’ll find yourself having to battle through mixes, repeating “It’ll be over soon” (I’m looking at you Crank Dat by Soulja Boy mixes). But most of the time, you’ll be performing the notes given to you while tapping your foot and smiling like a baby at how well the music blends together and how you feel like a real DJ when in actuality you’re just a person playing one of the best music games out there.

A few new things have been introduced in DJ Hero 2; one being the freestyle sections. There are a few ways to “freestyle” but the most fun is by far the freestyle crossfading. Once you get to a certain section in the song, it’ll open up two large spaces on-screen. You can then move your crossfader back and forth, switching between the two songs currently being played. This is the time when you most feel like a DJ. If you know both songs, you can create some really impressive freestyle sections. The biggest problem with the freestyle crossfading happens when one of the songs you’re playing has very quiet instruments and no lyrics at the time (which happens more than you’d think), this results in you resting on the one song that is actually singing instead of switching back and forth.

The other freestyle option comes in the form of freestyle scratching. In DJ Hero 1, you’d only be able to scratch the record back and forth. In DJ Hero 2’s freestyle sections, you can scratch any way you want. This section is much less fun than the freestyle crossfading, mainly because the only way you ever want to scratch is back and forth. Also, there never seemed to be much of a difference in the sound I was making, no matter which way I was scratching.

Another addition to this year’s version of DJ Hero is the ability to sing the mixes. This plays about as well as it sounds. There’s almost nothing fun about singing the songs in DJ Hero. Even if you know the two songs being played in the mix by heart, you’ll still miss quite a few notes and be frustrated. If I wanted to sing these songs, I would put Lips or Singstar into my console. There really isn’t a way to make singing in a DJ game good. FreeStyleGames did what they could with the idea but the fact of the matter is, it’s not fun.

DJ Hero 2 makes a few new additions but none of them are as good as the core game. While freestyling is interesting, nothing is more important than having a solid soundtrack and DJ Hero has just that and more. While it’s still pricey (100 bucks for both a turntable and the game), DJ Hero 2 is well worth your money.



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