DJ Hero 2 - PS3 Review
Growing up I always had a passion for the UK Dance music scene. Bands such as Prodigy, Orbital, Leftfield, Underworld, Chemical Brothers and the like were constants in my CD player. Over the years I have seen many music styled games, most notably the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises which, as their titles suggest, are primarily rock themed. That was fine, I also have an affinity for Guns n' Roses, Metallica, Nirvana and the like, but never fulfilled a passion. Then in 2009 Activision released DJ Hero which not only offered a new kind of gameplay, but was filled with tremendous dance music.
|The RZA mixing some music in DJ Hero 2.|
In terms of game modes DJ Hero 2 includes a Quick Play mode so you can simply select a track and get started instantly. The Empire mode though includes a series of clubs to perform in, DJ's to battle against and set mixes of 3-4 songs. This provides quite a few thrills as well as the large majority of unlockable content and songs in the game. Next up are the MegaMixes which sees you able to play a series of three songs at a selected club, although I'm not sure why you won't just enter the Empire Mode to play this.
Next up we have the Battle mode for two players which sees you playing in several battle mode types including Star Battle, Accumulator, Checkpoint, Streak, DJ Battle or Power Deck battle. We have to say these are pretty intense and entertaining so if you have a few mates around it's a superb way to kill a couple of hours.
So DJ Hero 2 follows a similar format to the previous game in terms of gameplay with the user needing to not only tap the button at the correct moment, but also crossfade from one track to the other using the slider, scratch during the tracks, add effects or rewind the tracks to rack up some massive points. Again the multiplier increases according to you correct note streak while Euphoria returns to give you double the multiplier points.
|Playing a Lady Gaga song with 2 decks and mic.|
So what's new to this game well first of all in certain sections of the track you now have full control of the crossfade from one track to the other allowing you to mix the tracks as you see fit. The developers have also added in some freestyle scratching sections so you can scratch however you see fit to suit the beat. Finally you can now hold down longer notes.
Finally let's talk about the music selection in this game and it's fair to say while the first game was very good this game is nigh on brilliant. Some of the artists in this game (and there is a full list of the mixes at the bottom of this page) include The Prodigy, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, Sean Paul, Eminem, Salt N Pepa, 2Pac, David Guetta, Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden, Kanye West, and TiŽsto among others. It really is a fantastic set list and certainly improves on the occasionally patch first game in the franchise.
One mode we haven't discussed yet is the online gameplay which allows you to battle with friends or anyone, through one, three or five mixes, and in one of the many modes including Star Battle, Accumulator, Checkpoint and so on. The game is pretty much lag-free and is a joy to play online so kudos to FreeStyleGames for nailing this one. If there's an annoyance with this mode it seems that gamers can drop out of mixes without penalty. Perhaps the developers should have built in a loss of points for dropping out of the battles, especially when you're losing. There are too many idiots that drop out when you get a good lead.
|The new freestyle mixing sections.|
Beyond all those game modes DJ Hero 2 includes some Tutorial sessions which are great for newcomers but those that loved the original will be able to see some of the new features in this sequel. A Music Shop is listed in the menus but at the moment we are unable to connect while a Rep menu shows your Trophies, online Leaderboard rankings, a Star Chart to see your progress with each song and a Hero Feed which acts like a news ticker. All-in-all it's a pretty complete package.
Despite all the positivity exuded above there surely must be some negatives to this game and we do have a couple of very minor niggles. Primarily we're still disappointed that you can't select two songs on the disc, and try mixing it for yourself. We can certainly understand not being able to mix and then upload these mixes due to licensing issues, however it would even be good just to play around by yourself. Also disappointing is the inclusion of "edited" tracks without swearing, but somewhat understandable.
|Banking a streak of notes in Accumulator.|
On a technical level FreeStyleGames have virtually eliminated the minor pauses during gameplay - we only encounter one or two instances in our play through - and even then it may have been due to messages being received through the network. Finally Downloadable content will be returning and while we don't know the exact composition or pricing as yet we found the pricing of the original games DLC a little high - so we suspect that may be an issue here too. Still, these are minor issues.
When you think about music rhythm games you rarely come away with a "wow" factor when it comes to visuals, and that could be said with this game too however this really is a fantastic looking title with the note tracks being clean and clear but it's the backgrounds with the DJ's, laser and strobe lights and clubs that look really slick. This is a visually impressive game, no doubt about it.
Of course the music really makes this game something special an on the audio front DJ Hero 2 is a complete winner which will really get you pumping. We've already mentioned many of the artists that appear in this game, and as you can see it's a triple-A lineup. But it's not just the artists and songs that impress, but more so the actual mixes of the songs together which seem a lot more refined in this sequel with some truly impressive mixes.
|The Party mode allows you to drop into tracks!|
DJ Hero 2 isn't just "a sequel" to the original as many music games are, but adds in plenty of new game modes with a better structure, and of course support for vocals. This is the music we grew up with, and still love, and if you're one for dance music then we highly recommend you check this out if you missed the original. If you have the original, this is an upgrade well worth the purchase price (and if you get the second deck rather then the game alone you'll have a blast in multiplayer). Fantastic.
Review By: Dave Warner
Talk about DJ Hero 2 in this forum topic now.
|GRAPHICS||Much like the music, it's flashy, fast, hypnotic and chaotic. Overall a stellar looking game.||90%|
|SOUND||Of course the actual tracks are a personal preference but this certainly sounds exceptional to us.||93%|
|GAMEPLAY||I would still love the developers to allow gamers to have full control on mixing two songs, but this is an addictive, entertaining game that will get any party pumping.||87%|
|VALUE||There are dozens of tracks, vocal support, multiplayer (online and offline) and soon, DLC - which is pricy, but great quality if similar to the original game. This will be brought out at parties for years.||90%|
|OVERALL||If you like dance music, nightclubs and plenty of excitement then we suggest you check out DJ Hero 2 - it's brilliant. We loved the original and this sequel takes things futher across the board.||92%|
2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman - California Love Remix Vs FSG - Remix|
2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman - California Love Remix Vs B.o.B. ft. Bruno Mars - Nothin' On You
A-Trak - Say Whoa Vs FSG - Remix
Adamski - Killer Vs TiŽsto - Remix
Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock Vs The Crystal Method - Busy Child (Still Busy After All These Years Remix)
Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At Vs Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)
Big Boi feat. Cutty - Shutterbugg Vs Mark Morrison - Return Of The Mack
BlakRoc ft. Pharoahe Monch & RZA - Dollaz & Sense Vs FSG - Remix
Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See Vs M|A|R|R|S - Pump Up The Volume
Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone Vs New Order - Blue Monday
Daft Punk - Human After All Vs FSG - Remix
Damian Marley - Welcome To Jamrock Vs Walter Murphy - A Fifth Of Beethoven
Damian Marley - Welcome To Jamrock Vs Dillinja and Skibadee - Twist 'Em Out
David Guetta & Chris Willis - Love Is Gone Vs Sam Sparro - Black & Gold
David Guetta ft. Kid Cudi - Memories Vs Pirate Soundsystem - Bashy Bashy
David Guetta vs. The Egg - Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away) Vs Flo Rida - Low
Deadmau5 & Kaskade - I Remember Vs FSG - Remix
Deadmau5 & Kaskade - Move For Me Vs FSG - Remix
Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart Vs Chic - Le Freak
Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden - Bonkers Vs Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At
Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden - Bonkers Vs The Prodigy - Omen
DJ Qbert - Super Battle Breaks Vs DJ Qbert - Remix
DJ Shadow - Midnight in a Perfect World Vs FSG - Remix
Edwin Starr - War Vs Justice - Waters Of Nazareth
Eminem - Not Afraid Vs Lil' Wayne feat. Static Major - Lollipop
Estelle ft. Kanye West - American Boy Vs FSG - Remix
Estelle ft. Kanye West - American Boy Vs Chic - Good Times
Flo Rida ft. Will.I.Am - In The Ayer Vs Clinton Sparks, DJ Class, & Jermain Dupri - Favorite DJ
Gorillaz ft. Mos Def & Bobby Womack - Stylo Vs FSG - Remix
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message Vs Kool & The Gang - Jungle Boogie
House Of Pain - Jump Around Vs FSG - Remix
House Of Pain - Jump Around Vs Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See
Iyaz - Replay Vs Rihanna - Rude Boy
Janet Jackson - Nasty Vs Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Justice - D.A.N.C.E. Vs DJ A-Trak - Remix
Kanye West - Love Lockdown Vs Metallica - The Day That Never Comes
Kanye West - Heartless Vs DJ Shadow - Midnight in a Perfect World
Kanye West - Love Lockdown Vs Donna Summers - Bad Girls
Kanye West - Heartless Vs Lady Gaga - Lovegame
Kelis - Acapella (David Guetta Extended Mix) Vs FSG - Remix
Lady Gaga - Just Dance Vs Deadmau5 - Ghosts 'n' Stuff
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance Vs TiŽsto - Remix
Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ft. Ying Yang Twins - Get Low Vs 50 Cent - In Da Club
Lil' Wayne - Go DJ Vs 50 Cent - In Da Club
Lil' Wayne feat. Static Major - Lollipop Vs Flo Rida - Low
LL Cool J - I Can't Live Without My Radio Vs Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
LL Cool J - I Can't Live Without My Radio Vs Chic - Good Times
LMFAO - I'm In Miami Vs FSG - Remix
M.I.A. - Galang Vs Wayne Smith - Under Mi Sleng Teng
Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel - Pon De Floor Vs New Order - Blue Monday
Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel - Pon De Floor Vs Harold Faltermeyer - Axel F
Malcolm McLaren - Buffalo Gals Vs M|A|R|R|S - Pump Up The Volume
Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On Vs Dillinja and Skibadee - Twist 'Em Out
Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On Vs Sean Paul - Infiltrate
MSTRKRFT ft. N.O.R.E - Bounce Vs FSG - Remix
MSTRKRFT ft. N.O.R.E - Bounce Vs A-Trak - Say Whoa
Nas feat. Keri Hilson - Hero Vs Talib Kweli - Get By
Naughty By Nature - O.P.P. Vs Jackson 5 - ABC
Nelly - Hot in Herre Vs Warren G & Nate Dogg - Regulate
New Boyz - You're A Jerk Vs FSG - Remix
Newcleus - Jam On It Vs Donna Summers - Bad Girls
Newcleus - Jam On It Vs DJ Qbert - Remix
Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) Vs Nightcrawlers - Push The Feeling On (MK Mix 95)
Pussycat Dolls ft. Busta Rhymes - Don't Cha Vs Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
Rihanna - Umbrella Vs Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
Robin S - Show Me Love (Stonebridge Radio Edit) Vs Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone
Salt N Pepa - Push It Vs Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock
Salt N Pepa - Push It Vs Armand Van Helden - I Want Your Soul
Sam Cooke - Chain Gang Vs FSG - Remix
Sean Paul - Get Busy Vs Rihanna - Pon De Replay
Sean Paul - Get Busy Vs Harold Faltermeyer - Axel F
Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler Vs Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam
Snow - Informer Vs Jackson 5 - ABC
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em - Crank That (Soulja Boy) Vs Chamillionaire - Ridin'
Sparfunk & D-Code - Apocalypse Vs FSG - Remix
Steve Aoki feat. Zuper Blahq - I'm In The House Vs FSG - Remix
Stevie Wonder - Superstition Vs Edwin Starr - War
The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize Vs The Chemical Brothers - Leave Home
The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize Vs The Scratch Perverts - Remix
The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Mase & Diddy - Mo' Money, Mo' Problems Vs FSG - Remix
The Prodigy - Omen Vs Orbital - The Box
The Prodigy - Firestarter Vs FSG - Remix
Timbaland ft. Drake - Say Something Vs Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West - Put On
Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. - The Way I Are Vs Tiga - You Gonna Want Me
TiŽsto & Sneaky Sound System - I Will Be Here Vs TiŽsto - Speed Rail
TiŽsto Vs Diplo - Come On Vs FSG - Remix
Tweet ft. Missy Elliott - Oops (Oh My) Vs Snoop Dogg - Who Am I (What's My Name)
Usher feat. Will.I.Am - OMG Vs FSG - Remix
Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West - Put On Vs DJ Shadow feat. Q-Tip and Lateef - Enuff (DJ Fresh Remix)