DJ HERO 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 8.5
Sound 9.5
Value 9.2
Distributor: Activision
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
November 2009
Reviewer:
Andrew Bistak

9.2


DJ HERO

From the company that brought us Guitar Hero comes DJ Hero, the latest rhythm orientated music game that transforms the gamer into DJ rock star as they scratch and tune their way to the top.

Lending "street cred" to the game, DJ Hero features a variety of remixed songs for this game such as Grandmaster Flash, Daft Punk and even Queen but needless to say, there are a plethora of different songs and genres to keep you entertained for a considerable amount of time. Of course, the star of the game is the authentic looking turntable that lets you unleash your hidden DJ muse and with that said, Grandmaster B is in da hiz house for DJ Hero!

After eagerly unpacking the turntable and game, connecting the device to the 360 was child's play and simply by pushing the wireless button on both the console and the turntable, in a matter of seconds the peripheral was detected and we were almost ready to play.

After some initial study of the turntable, you might be thinking, how do I play this game but thankfully the game contains some rather in-depth tutorials to assist in sliding you into DJ shoes. With that said, the turntable features the following dials, buttons and DJ tools;

  • Start Button (Pause/Quickplay)

  • Back Button (Options Menu)

  • Directional Pad (Navigate Menus)

  • XBox Guide Button (Launches XBox Guide)

  • Turntable (Scratch forwards/backwards)

  • Green Stream Button (Confirm/Activate scratch or green stream)

  • Red Stream Button (Back / Activate red stream / freestyle sample)

  • Blue Stream Button (Activate or scratch blue stream)

  • Effects Dial: Changes freestyle sample/manipulate effects zone

  • Crossfader slider (Crossfade blue or green streams)

  • Euphoria Button (Activate euphoria)

Now that you know all the buttons and dials etc on the turntable, the wireless turntable is a very well made piece of hardware and unlike the original guitars that were released with Guitar Hero, the turntable feels quite sturdy and professionally made.

Another interesting aspect of the game is that it accommodates both right and left handers, ensuring that it caters for the entire market. The one thing I did find with the turntable was that early on in the game, I could comfortably rest it on my lap, however as the songs became more difficult, I needed to put this onto our coffee table that allowed for more stability and accuracy.

Once I completed the tutorials in the game, I was ready to scratch and crossfade with the best of them and in reflection, this game reminds me of the PlayStation 2 game Amplitude due to its hypnotic and addictive nature, not to mention the siren sounding music as you attempt to match your rhythm with the music by matching the three corresponding colours with the buttons on the turntable.

The learning curve of the title is around a medium level of difficulty and although you can jump straight in and play the game, you will need a little amount of time to master the controls and go from zero to hero.

Like Guitar Hero, DJ Hero contains a number of different difficulty modes and the various gameplay modes from quickplay to online play. Although all the songs in DJ Hero are pre-recorded by hitting the colours at the same time, scratching the record table or using the crossfader, it gives the impression that the player is behind the music which works quite well.

Of course, like the whammy bar on the Guitar Hero peripheral, the effects dial allows you to add some truly fun and entertaining modifications to these songs which is the key to this game. The most difficult aspect of DJ Hero was mastering the crossfader, which is a slider that allows for left, right and centre controls which increases part of the song that you are playing.

Of course, trying to do this when you need to push one of the coloured buttons is a little tricky but once you have the knack of it, it makes the experience that so much more compelling. With practice, you'll eventually find a happy medium but trying to get the crossfader into the centre when a song is playing fast can become a fiddle some experience, albeit a fun one.

As you tweak and adjust the song, the game even sports a multiplier to boost your scores and in single-player mode, there is even an option to rewind part of the song which is another great feature to get those scores high. Of course, nothing is more fun than freestlying in the song, although this must be earned as is the euphoria button as you reach that mythical level of music control.

As like all other music rhythm games, if you do miss the notes or the cues with the various dials and buttons, you may hear a few strange noises and if you keep it up, eventually the song will end and you'll need to retry. Of course the illusion of you being a DJ and actually controlling how the music is heard is generally more than enough reward to keep on scratching and fading.

The track listing of DJ Hero boasts a variety of new artists and classic remixes such as the Black Eyed Pees and Queen. Some of the songs are also used with other tracks in the game which does make for some interesting remixes and with that said, DJ Hero contains 93 tracks and 102 different mixes. For the purists, the complete track list of DJ Hero is as follows;

• 2Pac – “All Eyez On Me” vs. The Aranbee Pop Orchestra – “Bittersweet Symphony (Instrumental)”
• 50 Cent – “Disco Inferno” vs. David Bowie – “Let’s Dance”
• 50 Cent – “Disco Inferno” vs. InDeep – “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”
• Afrika Bambaataa – “Zulu Nation Throwdown” vs. Freedom Express – “Get Down”
• Beastie Boys – “Here’s A Little Somethin’ For Ya” vs. DJ Shadow – “The Number Song (2009 Version)” (Produced and mixed by DJ Shadow)
• Beastie Boys – “Intergalactic” vs. Blondie – “Rapture”
• Beastie Boys – “Lee Majors Come Again” vs. Daft Punk – “Da Funk” (Produced and mixed by Cut Chemist)
• Beck – “Where It’s At” vs. DJ Shadow – “Six Days (Remix ft. Mos Def)”
• Bell Biv DeVoe – “Poison” Beat Juggle
• Bell Biv DeVoe – “Poison” vs. Beastie Boys – “Intergalactic” (Produced and mixed by DJ AM)
• Bell Biv DeVoe – “Poison” vs. Cameo – “Word Up!”
• Benny Benassi – “Satisfaction” vs. Tiësto – “Elements Of Life”
• Billy Squier – “The Big Beat” vs. N.E.R.D. – “Lapdance” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow” vs. Benny Benassi – “Satisfaction”
• Bobby “Blue” Bland – “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” vs. 2Pac – “How Do You Want It”
• Bobby “Blue” Bland – “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” vs. Connie Price & The Keystones – “Fuzz And Them”
• Boogie Down Productions – “Jack Of Spades” vs. David Bowie – “Let’s Dance” (Produced and mixed by DJ Shadow)
• Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – “Bustin’ Loose” vs. The Zombies – “Time Of The Season” (Produced and mixed by DJ Shadow)
• Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – “Bustin’ Loose” vs. Young MC – “Bust A Move”
• Common – “Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.)” vs. Masta Ace – “Jeep A** Gutter (Aaron LaCrate & Debonair Samir RMX)” (Produced and mixed by The Scratch Perverts)
• Cypress Hill – “Insane In The Brain” vs. Classics IV – “Spooky”
• Cypress Hill – “Insane In The Brain” vs. David Axelrod – “The Edge”
• Daft Punk – “Around The World” vs. Young MC – “Bust A Move”
• Daft Punk – “Da Funk” vs. N.A.S.A. – “Strange Enough ft. Karen O, ODB & Fatlip”
• Daft Punk – “Megamix 1″
• Daft Punk – “Megamix 2″
• Daft Punk – “Robot Rock” vs. Hashim – “Al Naafyish (The Soul)” (Produced and mixed by The Scratch Perverts)
• Daft Punk – “Robot Rock” vs. Queen – “We Will Rock You”
• Daft Punk – “Short Circuit” vs. Boogie Down Productions – “Jack Of Spades”
• Daft Punk – “Technologic” vs. Gary Numan – “Cars”
• Daft Punk – “Television Rules the Nation” vs. No Doubt – “Hella Good”
• David Axelrod – “The Edge” vs. Eric B. & Rakim – “Eric B. Is President”
• Dizzee Rascal – “Fix Up, Look Sharp” vs. DJ Shadow – “Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)”
• Dizzee Rascal – “Fix Up, Look Sharp” vs. Justice – “Genesis”
• DJ Shadow – “Six Days (Remix ft. Mos Def)” vs. D-Code – “Annie’s Horn”
• Eminem – “My Name Is” vs. Beck – “Loser”
• Fedde Le Grand – “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit” vs. Sandy Rivera and David Penn – “I Can’t Stop (David Penn Remix)”
• Foo Fighters – “Monkey Wrench” vs. Beastie Boys – “Sabotage” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• Foreigner – “Juke Box Hero” vs. DJ Z-Trip ft. Murs – “DJ Hero” (Produced and mixed by DJ Z-Trip)
• Foreigner – “Juke Box Hero” vs. DJ Z-Trip ft. Murs – “DJ Hero” (DJ-Guitar mix, produced and mixed by DJ Z-Trip)
• Gang Starr – “Just To Get A Rep” vs. Mobb Deep – “Shook Ones, Pt 2″ (Produced and mixed by J. Period)
• Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.” vs. Blondie – “Atomic”
• Grandmaster Flash’s – “Boom” vs. “Tap” (Produced and mixed by Grandmaster Flash)
• Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool, DJ Demo – “Here Comes My DJ” vs. Gary Numan – “Cars” (Produced and mixed by Grandmaster Flash)
• Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl” vs. Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.”
• Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl” vs. InDeep “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” (Produced and mixed by DJ AM)
• Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl” vs. Rick James – “Give It To Me”
• Herbie Hancock – “Rockit” Beat Juggle
• Herbie Hancock – “Rockit” vs. N.E.R.D. – “Lapdance” (Produced and mixed by Grandmaster Flash)
• InDeep – “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” vs. Cameo – “Word Up!”
• Jackson 5 – “I Want You Back” vs. Gang Starr – “Just To Get A Rep” (Produced and mixed by DJ Yoda)
• Jackson 5 – “I Want You Back” vs. Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• Jackson 5 – “I Want You Back” vs. Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life”
• Jay-Z feat. Pharrell – “Change Clothes” vs. 2Pac – “All Eyez on Me”
• Jay-Z – “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” vs. Eminem – “My Name Is”
• Jay-Z – “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” vs. Jackson 5 – “I Want You Back”
• Jay-Z – “Excuse Me Miss” vs. Rick James – “Give It To Me”
• Jean Knight – “Mr. Big Stuff” vs. Masta Ace – “Born To Roll”
• Jurassic 5 – “Jayou” vs. Billy Squier – “The Big Beat”
• Jurassic 5 – “Jayou” vs. Herbie Hancock – “Rockit”
• Kid Cudi – “Day ‘N’ Nite” vs. Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow”
• Kool Moe Dee – “How Ya Like Me Now” vs. Reel 2 Real featuring The Mad Stuntman – “I Like To Move It”
• Little Richard – “Tutti Frutti” vs. Shlomo – “Beats” (Produced and mixed by DJ Yoda)
• M.I.A. – “Paper Planes” vs. Eric B. & Rakim – “Eric B. Is President” (Produced and mixed by The Scratch Perverts)
• M.I.A. – “Paper Planes” vs. Wale – “Lookin’ At Me”
• Marvin Gaye – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” vs. David Bowie – “Let’s Dance”
• Marvin Gaye – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” vs. Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.”
• Motörhead – “Ace Of Spades” vs. Noisia – “Groundhog” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• N.A.S.A. – “Strange Enough ft. Karen O, ODB & Fatlip” vs. Isaac Hayes – “Theme From Shaft”
• Noisia – “Groundhog” Beat Juggle (Produced and mixed by The Scratch Perverts)
• Paul van Dyk – “Nothing But You” vs. Sandy Rivera and David Penn – “I Can’t Stop (David Penn Remix)”
• Public Enemy – “Shut ‘Em Down” vs. Beck – “Where It’s At”
• Public Enemy ft. Zakk Wylde – “Bring The Noise 20XX” vs. Justice – “Genesis” (Produced and mixed by DJ Z-Trip)
• Public Enemy featuring Zakk Wylde – “Bring The Noise 20XX” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• Q-Tip – “Good Thang” vs. Billy Squier – “The Big Beat” (Produced and mixed by J. Period)
• Queen – “Another One Bites The Dust” vs. Beastie Boys – “Brass Monkey” (Produced and mixed by DJ Z-Trip)
• Queen – “Another One Bites The Dust” vs. Daft Punk – “Da Funk”
• Rihanna – “Disturbia” vs. Kid Sister – “Control”
• Rihanna – “Disturbia” vs. The Killers – “Somebody Told Me” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• Rihanna – “Disturbia” vs. The Trammps – “Disco Inferno”
• Shlomo – “Beats” vs. Billy Squier – “The Big Beat”
• Street Sweeper Social Club – “Fight! Smash! Win!” vs. Beastie Boys – “Intergalactic” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• Tears For Fears – “Shout” vs. DJ Shadow – “Six Days (Remix ft. Mos Def)”
• Tears For Fears – “Shout” vs. Eric B. & Rakim – “Eric B. Is President” (Produced and mixed by DJ Jazzy Jeff)
• Tears For Fears – “Shout” vs. Eric Prydz – “Pjanoo”
• The Aranbee Pop Orchestra – “Bittersweet Symphony (Instrumental)” vs. LL Cool J – “Rock The Bells” (Produced and mixed by DJ Jazzy Jeff)
• The Scratch Perverts Beats and Pieces (Produced and mixed by The Scratch Perverts)
• The Killers – “Somebody Told Me” vs. Eric Prydz – “Pjanoo”
• Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby” vs. MC Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This”
• Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby” vs. Paula Abdul – “Straight Up”
• Wale – “Lookin’ At Me” vs. Black Eyed Peas ft. Tippa Irie – “Hey Mama”
• Weezer – “Beverly Hills” vs. Evidence, The Alchemist, Aceyalone, Rakaa & 88 Keys – “Fresh Rhymes And Videotape” (DJ-Guitar mix)
• Wild Cherry – “Play That Funky Music” vs. Gang Starr – “Just To Get A Rep” (DJ-Guitar mix)

The single-player game of DJ Hero does offer the player a variety of awards such as new sets, venues and items. For lovers of multiplayer and via XBox Live, DJ Hero allows you to play against a friend or foe which generally had me being whipped, although when I did find someone a little weaker than me, it was a blissful victory. The game even supports microphones that allow you to communicate or DJ with your friends over the XBox Live which does make for some more interactive play.

Final Words?

DJ Hero is a fun rhythm music game that actually works quite well out of the box and although it won't have the mass appeal of Guitar Hero or Rock Band, it's still an addictively entertaining game  that contains quite a decent track listing. Best of all, downloadable content has been planned for the game and I'm sure that Activision will be releasing additional games in the near future so the initial outlay for the game is well worth it. The star of the game is of course the turntable that manages to successfully capture that authentic DJ feel, so put your baseball cap on backwards, wear those loose clothes and start mixing some hits because there's a new hero in town.






 
 



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