DJ Hero: Yet Another Plastic Peripheral Draws the Attention of Music Lovers! (4 out of 5)
After the immense success of the Guitar Hero series, Activision’s Hero franchise unveils a new game based on a DJ’s turntable. This new music game called DJ Hero tests a player’s reflexes by putting him or her on the control of a turntable peripheral. There’s neither a guitar nor a four player band experience featured in Guitar Hero World Tour, just a simple turntable controller that lets you do all those antics a DJ does. But, is this music game truly as entertaining and immersive as Guitar Hero or World Tour? Well, let’s find out in this DJ Hero review:
DJ Hero Gameplay (4 out of 5)
With no story or plot, DJ Hero takes you to the virtual DJ world, where you will have to complete certain tasks in the Career Mode to unlock new DJs, venues, remixed songs and of course, score points. The game borrows Guitar Hero’s score attack game mechanics. With a “plastic” record and few buttons attached, the controller allows players to engage in multiple motions, be it scratching the record at a particular direction, hitting the right button to initiate accented beats on the screen or crossfade between two tracks. Remember, this isn’t a virtual DJ, just a plain rhythm game that lets you score points by doing various motions with your DJ Hero controller.
One of the most interesting aspects DJ Hero is the function of the DJ Hero controller, which is quite different from a conventional DJ turntable. The turntable peripheral is attached with a plastic record and three different colored buttons viz. red, blue and green. The red button at the center works just like an effects and sampler button, the green one represents the first musical track and the second musical track is represented by the blue button. There’s also a basic mixer which lets you crossfade between two musical tracks though its crossfade button. The mixer also contains effects dial and a “Euphoria” button. During gameplay, players can collect a series of glowing song phrases. After collecting all the notes, players enter the Euphoria mode where they release the specific song phrases by hitting the Euphoria button, which doubles the score.
One of the most important aspect of this DJ Hero review is the gameplay. Players will find quite a nice similarity between Guitar Hero and DJ Hero. It involves different motions to perform in order to complete different onscreen symbols and actions. These symbols and actions include simple tasks such as tapping the colored buttons quickly to difficult tasks like scratching the turntable at the right direction while holding a colored button. While playing DJ Hero, you will have to hit the right tones, get your effects right and follow onscreen prompts to hold down the buttons and scratch the record at the same time. After completing each setlist successfully, you can unlock new accessories, guest DJs and venues.
DJ Hero’s competitive multiplayer called DJ vs. DJ is the most exciting way to compete with your friend online. There’s also a special multiplayer mode which allows a player to wield the Guitar Hero controller and the other uses the turntable peripheral to compete with each other. This special mode called DJ vs. Guitar has an additional song list featuring 10 unique songs. The multiplayer mode can be more engaging than the single player career mode, so better find a friend to enjoy the DJ vs. Guitar
DJ Hero avatars represent several popular DJs like Daft Punk, Grandmaster Flash, Z-Trip, the late DJ AM, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. The visual style is well worth a look, though the DJ avatars look like cartoon representations of real-life DJs.
The on-screen three stream note highway cleverly resembles the turntable record and features three colors representing three key buttons on the DJ Hero controller. This avoids any confusion and makes it easier for the player to hit the right note. The scratch animations and controls performed by the virtual DJs sync perfectly with the mash-ups. Equally interesting are animated dancers, whose trip-hops and freestyles blend excellently with various remixes and genres of music.
There are a total of 100 songs composed into mash-ups or remixes by world class DJs and Activision’s remix team. Remember that all songs are pre-mixed; hence you cannot mix your own stuff when playing DJ Hero. The DJ Hero song list features classics like Give It to Me and Ice Ice Baby to Eminem’s hits and some superb mash-ups between different genres of music (just listen to the Daft Punk vs. Queen Remix). All licensed songs are remixed so elegantly that you might just sit and listen before doing anything else.
Activision’s Guitar Hero 5 may provide a great 4-person band experience, but DJ Hero will surely uplift your moods with its addictive gameplay and superb track list. The DJ Hero controller is certainly the USP of this unique rhythm game. But there’s some serious hard work involved while playing the turntable, especially when you have to go through those tiring button-presses and scratches for hours.
DJ Hero guarantees a superb party atmosphere, enabling gamers to play its fantastic track list during house parties. The awesome DJ Hero song list played in stereo mode can certainly make you and your pals groove to the beats and rhythms.
Screenshots © DJ Hero