DJ Hero 2 Reviews

  • GatorSixCharlieGatorSixCharlie187,021
    02 Nov 2010 02 Nov 2011
    18 5 4
    Re-re-r-remix . . . DJ Hero2 Mixes It Up for the Better

    Want to be the next big DJ, mixing up funky beats, or making sweet mash ups? Well, DJ Hero 2 is here and it’s time to party. DJ Hero 2 is Activision's latest follow up to the DJ Hero collection. This addition surprised me in many ways—not least because I hadn’t intended to buy or review it in the first place. I spent a few hours playing the first DJ Hero, and the fun-level of that version waned pretty quickly. I felt a disconnect from some of the mixes and, though it seemed like an awesome idea for a music game, it got boring very quickly. I didn't review the first DJ Hero, but if I had, I would have probably gave it a mediocre 2 stars. It fell flat in many areas and I considered it no more than an o.k. game. Not a good one, not a bad one—just . . . o.k.

    DJ Hero 2 is nice improvement from the first installment. There are a few changes that are significant enough to mention, the most important of which is the introduction of new freestyle sections. One of the frustrations of the first game was that you were so locked into the existing mix that you never really felt like a DJ. Granted, a truly realistic game would probably require you to adopt a fake British accent and look down on people who like Nickelback, but the least they could do is give the player the “feel” of DJing. The new freestyle sections in DJ Hero2 are a big step in the right direction. They now allow you to do freestyle crossfades, scratches, and sample taps. If you have never spent an evening laughing at the guy in the mesh shirt dancing alone with lightsticks in front of the mirrored wall, you may not know what these terms mean. Allow me to explain: “crossfading” is when you can go back and forth between two different audio tracks, and basically mix the audio or blend it; “scratches” occur when you grab the turntable and push the disc spinner back and forth to get that “Whomp Whomp Whooomp Whomp” sound; “sample taps” are short pieces of audio heard when you press a single button. (That guy with the deep bass voice who comes in over the dance track to advise everyone to, “Party . . . P-p-p-party,” is the result of a sample tap.)

    Another new feature/improvement from the first DJ Hero is the expanded online play. DJ Hero2 has added mix battles, stat tracking, and unlockables for your online persona. This was a pleasant surprise and adds some unexpected depth to the game. Moreover, battling someone else online is actually lot of fun. I found the match making system easy, and the online special titles for your DJ accomplishes, like winning "x" amount matches etc. in online battles adds a level to the competition.

    The ability to connect a microphone and have a second player rap/sing the lyrics of the mix is another minor bonus to this game. I have tried this and it's a nice addition, as the resident singer in my house (a.k.a. my wife) was able to jump right in and sing to the mixes I was doing. In theory this is a welcome addition to the game, as it’s a good way to add a friend who doesn't want to use the turntable controller, and allows for endless, “two turntables and a microphone,” jokes. However, the game does err in requiring the poor singer to sing the full mix, jumping wildly from sample to sample, much to the amusement of any audience eager to see someone attempt to simultaneously impersonate Flo Rida and Will.I.Am.

    At the time of this review, there was no new downloadable content for the game, but the press releases and the in-game menu appear to promise that there will be plenty of future track/mixes available to download. As fans of Rock Band know, the trick to keeping music games fresh is to offer new songs, so if it can meet the promises of its launch, the future of DJ Hero2 looks bright.

    The tracks themselves are also a vast improvement over the last DJ Hero. Those that dread the possibility of hours of inaccessible house music will be happy to see artists like Kanye West, Eminem, and Lady Gaga. And the mixes themselves are generally very good, sound great, and (most importantly) are lots of fun to play. The pinnacle of the fun is when you are playing a track, get to a freestyle crossfade section, and manage to find the exact spots to crossfade. For one brief moment, as you manage to mash two songs perfectly together, you’ve become a super-cool DJ. (Minus, of course, the years of practice and the unfortunate incident with the she-male in Ibiza). Trust me—that moment alone is worth the purchase price.

    Please see my rating below and look for my video review for a more personal comment on this game. (0 to 4 stars with 4 stars being the best)

    Summary and Rating

    Is this a must buy? No. But it's a great music game, and if like you Rock Band, Guitar Hero etc, you should consider giving this a (literal) whirl. It's fun and if you get two turntables you can have battles in your living room or throw a DJ Hero party. Do you need to have played the first one to play the sequel? No. And I personally think this version is much better than the first, so skip right to DJ Hero 2. If you don't like music games then is just more of the same, but if you ever wanted to be DJ, you will love DJ Hero. Now on to my more detailed grades:

    Production - *****
    This game is very polished and, from the in-game menu to the characters (both real and fictional) in the game, it just looks great. Menus are clean, and options are plentiful. Super solid production.

    Graphics - ****
    Ok the graphics are not groundbreaking but the urban/hip hop aesthetic they go for in DJ Hero 2 is easy on the eyes and gives the game a sense of fun.

    Sound - *****
    Of course the sound is fantastic—it's a music game. This is one area that they had to get right and did.

    Play Control - ****
    You simply can’t avoid the fact that there is a serious learning curve to conquer if you are new to turntable. Though DJ Hero 2 is a pretty easy game to play, it’s also one that is hard to master. The bright side is that this allows for a ton of practice and a real sense of satisfaction when you learn how to do it well. It must be acknowledged, however, that this is not a game for the uncoordinated.

    Replay Value - ****
    I think this games has ton of potential if they release new tracks, but without knowing for sure what they have planned (and on what timetable), the best I can give it for now is 3 stars. However, there’s still plenty of play with career mode and when you add online battles as well, we’re talking hours, yo! (Note the DJ-like ending to that sentence. That’s how cool this game can make you.)

    Overall - ****
    This is a solidly good game. Sure, it’s not going to be a Game of the Year, but if you like music, like the DJ culture, and would love to imagine yourself as the next great DJ, then you are going to have a blast playing it.
    4.0
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    GatorSixCharlieskav00vie Thanks for the correction/heads up
    Posted by GatorSixCharlie on 03 Nov 10 at 00:08
    good review mate i got the first dj hero yesterday for 10 euros NEW ! as the have a big stock they want to get rid off at GAME so i must say its fun and yes it feels like im a dj but most songs kinda suck so reading your review about dj hero 2 made me want to try the second one for the sounds of house and trance music !! as thats more modern style dj ... dj hero 1 has a lot of old stuff mixed with some new stuff so nhaaa but hey 10 euros fuck it i keep it and up to dj hero 2
    Posted on 16 Sep 11 at 23:01
    Chris1984ukGreat review!
    Posted by Chris1984uk on 29 Oct 11 at 11:32
  • DJ KroniikZDJ KroniikZ65,978
    05 Jan 2012 11 Jan 2012
    9 0 2
    If you've ever wanted to get started into becoming a DJ or if you ever admired one and wanted to see what it feels like to be in that club mixing those records, then this is a game you should probably try out.

    DJ Hero 2 is the second installment in the DJ Hero series. Basically you can use different DJ persona's or even your own avatar (which is a great feature!) to mix it up at clubs all over the world and challenge the biggest names out there in the music world such as David Guetta, Tiesto and Deadmau5, battling them in mixes involving their very own songs.

    Of course this game is very similar to Guitar Hero and Rockband, so just like those games there are 5 difficulty levels: Beginner, Easy, Medium, Hard and Expert. DJ Hero also has an unlockable deck that you unlock towards the end of the "story mode" that gives this game an unofficial "Expert+" mode, this deck doubles the speed the notes come at you so if you really want to maximize the challenge and show off your mixing skills you can use this.

    The songs are incredible and they vary across all genres mixing in different elements from popular pop, rock, hip hop and even metal songs. There are a whopping 83 mixes included right out of the box, and also many more that are available as DLC. If you are a completionist, it will definitely take you some time to get through all 83 songs and master them as well. DJ Hero 2 also has the option of performing vocals to the song, which makes it literally the ultimate party music game. You can be mixing it up at a party while your friend drops it on the mic, but believe me it takes a lot of time to master the vocals.

    The online is very good and from what I've played there is some strong competition out there, so if you want to make it to level 50, you have to practice a lot. There are different game modes such as DJ battle, checkpoint, and streak game modes which are all challenging but fun at the same time. Also DJ Hero 2 allows you access to sets of unlockable titles and emblems similar to the Call of Duty franchises, and they are pretty quirky having unlocked a few myself. That way when your mixing it up online, you can brag to other people about how good you are at the game.

    Unfortunately if your like me, you will sooner or later find out that when you play the game too much, the turntable the game comes with does get a little messed up causing you to either have it repaired or get a new one entirely. But this is just a small bump on the road to becoming the ultimate DJ.

    Overall I would give this game a 4.5/5. The endless setlist possibilities you can create with this game will keep you spinning and mixing those tracks for days. Not only that, it is also a great game to play when people are over or at parties so it gets everyone dancing and involved as well. I know after i bought this game i wanted to try to get into being a DJ in my free time, so if your interested in that stuff you should definitely look into. Whether you want to try and be the next big name in music or just want to be the life of the party, if you want to change it up from guitars and rock and roll to a turntable and some bangin' beats, i suggest you look into getting this game.
    5.0
  • Kaiser FlacoKaiser Flaco96,933
    27 Jun 2011
    5 0 0
    From its announcement, the DJ Hero franchise was always in danger of not being taken seriously. Under the shadow of big sister franchise Guitar Hero, whose millions of yearly sales dwarf almost any other game in the rhythm genre, and with an initially rather comical-looking peripheral, the first DJ Hero game was overlooked by many, picked up only by the most hardcore fans of the Hero series and those who found it sitting quaintly at the bottom of bargain bins (Activision’s decision to ship the game free with DJ Hero 2 does little to dispel this notion). The game itself was, of course, a blast, but the setlist and the inclusion of the guitar/DJ co-op mode gave the impression that developer Freestyle Games were in no rush to break new ground, and that the DJ Hero name really was just gimmicky offshoot of the Guitar Hero giant.

    Thankfully, with DJ Hero 2, FSG set out to create a game with real identity. The setlist, deviating from the underground hip-hop/pop/classic soul mash-ups of the first game, now consists mainly of house, electronic and dance songs. It’s risky territory, and there is the impression that if they shoehorned Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’ in with another modern dance track the whole thing would have fallen apart at the seams, but on the whole the mixes are lively, recognisable, and work much, much better than the mixes found in the first game.

    For new players, there’s now a much greater sense of being an actual DJ. Freestyle sections are introduced to accommodate custom scratching on the most expected vocal refrains, crossfades for appropriate bridges, and the sampling system is revamped into something truly special. Instead of choosing from astonishingly bad Flava Flav shoutouts, the sample sections now work independently and synths change over time across a section. It’s intuitive enough that new players will try to match the notes that would normally be heard in the track, while experienced players can drop samples at their will, sometimes with fantastic results. The freestyling system in DJ Hero 2 is a real achievement, letting players find their own styles while playing and awarding their skill appropriately, a great hook to keep players new to the game interested.

    DJ Hero 2 also gains its independence by doing away with the guitar modes. Greater emphasis is placed on two-player DJ battles, with an entire setlist of battle-specific songs available for online and local play. These songs employ a checkpoint system that proves very dynamic; while in DJ battle mode songs turn into a call-and-response beat juggle, while others depend on the percentage of notes hit in a particular checkpoint. Other multiplayer modes include the simple star battle and a frantic streak banking game, which can breathe new life into songs that may already have been played to death. Every mode works brilliantly, although the game’s online seems, rather unfairly, to side with less experienced players. It’s a nasty complaint to make, but winning a battle online while on Expert difficulty is rare due to there being more notes and, therefore, more chances to miss notes. In local co-op this disadvantage seems less prominent, perhaps as the game takes this notion into account, but online, it’s frequent to the point that nobody plays Expert. To make matters worse, the game provides no choice of searching for opponents by difficulty level. Accommodation for new players need to be provided, of course, but it’s discouraging for players of greater experience to take their skills online.

    The battle-specific setlist, however, also features some of the game’s best songs. Sam Cooke’s ‘Chain Gang’ is a standout, while Calvin Harris’ ‘I’m Not Alone’ mixed with ‘Show Me Love’ is radio-worthy itself. Surprisingly, the game’s credits features less collaborations with real-world DJs than the first game, though some of the big names, including Scratch Perverts, DJ Shadow, and Tiesto, are still here to provide a mix or two themselves. Overall, there’s the sense while playing these songs that the production team at FSG are actually accomplished DJs doing this for the love of the art; rarely is a track on the game fun to neither play, nor fun to listen to.

    The social aspect of the game is one of its finer points. The inclusion of a party play mode, which is essentially the entire game’s setlist on shuffle with the ability for one or two players to drop in and out at any time with no interruptions, is a neat touch, if somewhat redundant. You gain no points while playing and the same songs play in the background during the menus, but it remains a nice feature that show the extent to which FSG want to define DJ Hero as a social franchise.

    It’s a shame, then, that Activision have recently announced the cancellation of any and all Hero games in favour of some of their bigger franchises. The latest word is that FSG remain in operation, but with the cancellation of DJ Hero 3DS, it’s unlikely another console instalment will appear any time soon. For all Dj Hero 2 offers, there’s still many places the franchise could go, with, dare I say, an enhanced peripheral, that would take it beyond the stagnation Guitar Hero saw with an updated yearly playlist. And with the stellar quality of DJ Hero 2’s mixes, that’s something I’m sure many fans could get used to regardless.
    4.0