DJ Hero 2 (Wii Review) by Carl B.
DJ Hero 2
System: Wii, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: October 19, 2010
October 25, 2010, by Carl B. - When Guitar Hero hit the video game market in 2005, it took the music genre by storm. The original Guitar Hero on PS2 made rhythm games main stream, and since then we've seen numerous entries into the Guitar Hero series and several spin-offs and knock-offs. EA's Rockband series became popular due to its focus on the entire band instead of the guitarist -- which Activision then incorporated into future Guitar Hero installments. On October 27th, 2009, Activision released their next rhythm game series: DJ Hero. Instead of guitars and drums, players used a turn table in DJ Hero as they matched colored buttons and mixed popular hip hop tunes. Following the mold they set with Guitar Hero, Activision developed a sequel to DJ Hero with added music and refined game modes. Is DJ Hero 2 more of the same or does it progress the rhythm genre?
DJ Hero 2 plays mostly identical to the first game. Green, red and blue tap icons must be pressed as their on screen icons pass by. Players have to scratch the turn table back and forth when scratch icons pass by, and the colored lines on the screen have turns that players have to use the crossfader to follow along. Depending on the difficulty level set, the different types of rhythms will be thrown in together. Compared to the Guitar Hero series, DJ Hero 2 is far more beginner friendly since there are only three different tap icons and the crossfader isn't overused.
Some gameplay mechanics from the Guitar Hero series are included in DJ Hero 2, including held notes and vocals. With the microphone, players can sing the lyrics to the mix similar to how vocals work in Guitar Hero and Rockband. Other new additions to the game include freestyle scratching and crossfading, which allow players to make their own sounds during a mix to increase their score.
DJ Hero 2 sports several different game modes: Empire mode, Megamixes, Vocals, Party Play, Calibration, Battle, and Online. Empire mode is the basic single player "story" mode of DJ Hero 2, where players create their own disc jockey, venue, and brand, as they work their way from the bottom all the way to the top becoming the most popular DJ in the world. Megamixes allow players to combine their mixes from Empire mode and play them at any time. Vocals let players sing the lyrics to mixes that include vocals. Party Play lets players create a set of songs to play through non-stop, and during the play time additional players can jump in and out of the game at any time without disrupting the flow or pausing the game. Calibration is the creative mode of the game, allowing players to create their own video and audio calibrations with the turn table.
Battle mode allows to players to face off as they play through a mix, and the player with the high score wins the match. Online battle mode is quite robust; Star Battle, Accumulator, Checkpoint, Streak, DJ Battle, and Power Deck Battle are all available for players in the online multiplayer mode. A win-loss record for players is tracked, along with an experience system that increases depending on how many points were scored during the previous online match.
15/15 - DJ Hero 2 features 83 original mixes from the likes of Kanye West, Gorillaz, Dr. Dre, and 2Pac.
14/20 - DJ Hero 2 does nothing spectacular visually, but gets the job done with in-game light shows.
22/25 - Featuring 83 original mixes and more coming via DLC, DJ Hero 2 provides great replay-ability to fans of the hip hop genre.
30/40 - DJ Hero 2 is much more beginner friendly than Guitar Hero is, but overall there isn't enough variation in the gameplay to make it as addictive as Guitar Hero or Rockband.
81/100 - DJ Hero 2 will offer hours of fun for players and will be an excellent game to bring out during parties, but the game isn't as fun as other rhythm games such as Guitar Hero and Rockband.