DJ Hero 2


Written by Chris Price
01 Monday 01st November 2010
There’s a very small percentage of people in the world who are conditioned to instinctively dislike DJ Hero on principle. I am a real-world DJ who lives in fear of criticism, so on paper, DJ Hero 2 is an experience akin to an extended evening’s water-boarding. So it’s probably astounding to hear that I actually rather like DJ Hero 2. Even though it’s got Zane-fucking-Lowe in it.
You see, I’m a beat-matching, CD mixing faux-jockey. I am no more than a squishy organic jukebox. Someone who selects tracks based on a complex algorithm involving an inebriation-to-closing-time ratio – influenced by number-of-girls in attendance. When it comes to ‘proper’ DJing, I will freely admit I have an ounce of the skill of a vinyl turntablist, and unworthy to stand within 100 yards of a mixologist.
Contrary to what the TV advert might promise, DJ Hero 2 will not turn your flat into an East Village terrace party. I was hoping to be reclining on a throne of comatose sorority cheerleaders with Crazy Legs pop-locking on my living room floor – while these grand marketing allusions have all the integrity of a pensioners scrotum, it does show the goals which Activision have set themselves with the sequel – the casual gaming audience. And the considerable income that comes with its dominance.
The first DJ Hero was originally conceived for not-totally unsubstantial market appreciative of Guitar Hero’s ideas, but not the rock genre. For the sequel, it’s business as usual - easy to pickup (after a short tutorial) yet tough to master. Using the patented, sturdy and rather sweet DJ Hero Deck controller to manipulate 3 music tracks, triggered by three buttons – press the respective colours come down a moving record on screen. In between, scratching the deck, fiddle with the EQs and cross fade as prompted on screen in time – do it in tempo to score big, unlock new tracks and other goodies. Tracklisting, both beats and acapellas are commercial radio fare unit-shifters (Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Iyaz, Snow, Jackson 5) from then until now, but there’s a fair few electro bangers enclosed (check this video out)
Where DJ Hero 2 really exercises its designs on your social standing is with the Freestyle sections – protracted bits where you can scratch, trigger samples and cross-fade ad hoc. Tricky to get to grips with, the plate lets you replicate classic chirp, transformer and scribble scratches in a surprisingly authentic manner. Even nailing a basic cut in tempo is especially rewarding. The resistance of the plate is a little light for me, but I am a neckless muscle bound freak of nature.
DJ Hero 2 wisely doesn’t try to replicate the intricate technicalities of the art. Guitar Hero’s incredible ability to incept guitar lessons has not translated to the field of DJing, have created a product that conveys the intangibles of scratching - the exhilaration, the panache, the showmanship. It’s a reduction of its subject matter, but in no way belittles it. Taken within the context of a video game - a casual video game – it’s a celebration of the roots of both game and music. Additionally, the DJ deck controller provides no barrier for entry for even the most hardened videogame-dodger.
With glass ceiling that is Rock Band 3’s 102-button pro controller, the rhythm action game has evolved from a peripheral video game into a tutelage unit. DJ Hero 2 is old school - stripping the pomp and circumstance, getting back to the gritty, emotive aspects of the genre. Strangely, paralleling the emergence of rap culture over rock in the music industry of the late 80s.
DJ Hero 2 lets you showcase your personality, and its about looking good and getting involved. It won’t turn you into Mix Master Mike and you’ll have to supply the Terry Richardson teens, and Adidas shell toes - but DJ Hero 2 is heading in the right direction to become a party principle.
DJ Hero 2 is out right now, for the Xbox 360 and PS3 – available with and without the turntable controller.

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  • Guest: silly_512
    Mon 08 - Nov - 2010, 00:36
    ooooooooooooooohhhhhhh zzuper cool :) luv it