PG 1 | PG 2
Beat building chemists DJ Hero 2 has arrived and it's ready to transform your living room into the hottest clubs from around the world. In the words of 'Mastro Fresh Wes' - “Yo, Are you ready for the Drop? Then drop it! Drop the needle.”
The concept of 'DJ Hero' sounded like an iffy one, that was, until we got our hands on the mix mastering needle sliding DJ simulator. Quickly, we fell in love with its fresh take on rhythm based gaming and for our original review we highlighted its fantastic learning curve, diverse soundtrack, guitar ready co-op mode, and outstanding replay value. Although the experience was overly positive and the new peripheral really worked, DJ Hero needed to give the player more freedom, a little more focus on freestyling and a little more coordination in the button mapping department. Well, 'Freestyle Games' must have been reading www.extremegamer.ca because all our issues with the original have been abolished in this funked up sequel.
How to Build a Better Game
'DJ Hero 2' accomplishes to patch the holes from the original by putting some extra thought behind freeestyling. Featuring new 'Freestyle Controls' the player can put their own creative spin on the each mix. It's still designated to specific spot and not as totally loose, but it's a big step in the right direction. Besides using the cross fader to mix between the two tracks you can now push down on the record (holding notes), freestyle scratch and sample drop through longer sections.
All this will be explained when you fire up the new disc during the opening tutorial. Here newbies can learn how to jam on the tables, or skip forward to the new features in the sequel. Along with the turntable (two if you purchase the party bundle) a microphone has been added to the mix to make the “two turntables and a microphone” slogan a reality... well kinda. You still can't attach the two turntables together and run the game like a real DJ, but you can bust out the mics with a friend on another table. I'm not sure why they didn't include an option to put the two tables together. Nevertheless, if you are intending to play DJ Hero with friends, the bundle is set at a great price.
Mic work is extremely challenging because you need to sing multiple parts at once and when the track mixes in the different parts you have to be ready switch on the fly. Sure, it's funny to watch someone struggle on the Mic, but it doesn`t feel like an overly necessary addition. Possibly in the future they will let you sing one track and not both and samples, or even add in a second mic to get the true experience. If you’re singer the and want a hip-hop flavoured option check out 'DefJam Rapstar' from Konami. Although, you can`t knock them for trying.
Build Your Empire
Keeping things fresh is a new single player campaign styled game called 'Empire Mode.' Empire Mode puts the player in the shoes of several spinners who jumping from club to club dropping the beats to a packed house. You will earn stars as you jam out the tracks to work yourself up to some head-to-head battles against others DJ's as you build your “Empire” (evil laugh not included) and become world famous. The locations you will be spinning in are picked from some of the biggest hotspots in the world starting in Ibiza and working your way to other spots like London, Shanghai, Vegas and more.
The new star display system also gives you excellent feedback as you rock the deck. After each set the player will be shown their skills in percentages, their star rating, freestyle score, and note streak tally. Along with getting schooled on your performance, you can unlock new threads and equipment for your DJ. Hey, you always gotta look your best. Dropping out of this mode you can enjoy the music through the continuous 'Party Play' mode for jump in and out mode, perfect for social gatherings. There are also the standards of 'Quickplay' tracks or hitting up the big mixes under 'Megamixes.'