Grandmaster Flash will have you scratching like a pro before you know it
Grandmaster Flash will have you scratching like a pro before you know it

Grandmaster Flash will have you scratching like a pro before you know it

Just about everyone in the world has at some point attempted to play a guitar, bashed around on some drums, or at the very least sung along to their favourite song. The same cannot be said for vinyl decks; and it was this I was most worried would prove to be DJ Hero's Achilles heel. I was wrong. In true Hero fashion the game shatters the barriers to entry, making it not only surprisingly intuitive to play, but seriously enjoyable from the moment you begin.

There's no denying that the release of so many Guitar Hero games has meant improvements (shy, perhaps, of the microphone and drums) have been relatively minor. Ultimately, you're still playing the same guitar in the same way to what may as well be the same music. DJ Hero, however, blasts fresh, accessible (and metaphorical) air in the face of what is fast becoming a stale genre. The music alone is so rich in variety and so vastly different from the standard band sound that, when coupled with the new turn-table controller, you get consumed by the experience.

Fans of the Hero franchise will be familiar with the set up, but even newcomers will get their heads around DJ Hero with relative ease. Grandmaster Flash (a real life superstar DJ) is your host for the tutorial, and although his patronising voice grates during his 20-odd minutes of instruction, you will come away wondering how you would have ever managed without it. Even cocky musical know-it-alls would do well to pay attention.

Sadly you won't be creating your own DJ, though that didn't stop us having a bit too much fun coming up with such unforgettable titles as DJ Jugs-A-Poppin' and DJ Moose Knuckle just for fun. Instead you slowly unlock a mix of fictional and famous DJs based on your success with the various tracks. You're awarded stars (up to five if you really nail the mix), and it's these that accumulate to unlock all the new items such as outfits, decks, headphones, performance venues, and most importantly DJ sets (groups of tracks).

It can look intimidating, but all you need is two hands and a scrap of rhythm to let your inner DJ blossom.

It can look intimidating, but all you need is two hands and a scrap of rhythm to let your inner DJ blossom.

There are 24 sets in total. Each houses between two and six mixes. Most include a Bonus Beat that can be unlocked if you get over three stars on at least a few of the songs - nothing particularly challenging on all but the hardest setting. Tunes in a set roll in one after the other without any loading, keeping the music playing almost constantly. Changing up the difficulty won't kick you back to the menus, either. Instead the game drops you back at the beginning of the mix. A sizeable chunk of these mixes have been lovingly crafted by the likes of DJ Shadow, DJ Yoda, Daft Punk and DJ Jazzy Jeff, but most have been produced in-house by FreeStyleGames. Fear not though - the quality of their rhythmic creations easily matches anything you would find on a retail album.

Roughly every second set is produced by one of the contributing DJs, and you'll be defaulted to playing as their character in-game. The Bonus Beats at the end of these sets are specially designed to reflect their style. My highlight is the Daft Punk Megamix, which mashes together about eight or nine of their more famous works into some kind of amalgamated chunk of awesome.

DJ Hero boasts an impressive 93 original mixes with over 100 licensed music tracks, but you won't fail to notice a few of these tracks pop up in mixes more often than others. Gorillaz' Feel Good Inc seems blended with just about everything, although I must admit the mix with Marvin Gaye's Through the Grape Vine is one of the best tracks DJ Hero has to offer. I don’t usually get into rhythm games to the point where I feel compelled to do more than tap my feet, but after about an hour of playing DJ Hero I noticed that I was full-on dancing to some of the more techno/electronic mixes. Credit must go to several of the tunes that managed to get the team listening and playing. Some, even, got several repeated requests.

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Highest Rated Comment

SebVG's Avatar

SebVG

Upon hitting publish I suddenly found myself with a full, rugged beard and a satchel bag over my shoulder, also I now have all these opinions about stuff I know nothing about.

I didnt find it too bad actually, as you can tell I really liked the game - which I'm sure made it easier to write about.
Posted 11:37 on 30 October 2009

User Comments

renegade's Avatar

renegade@ Techdex

Ok so we will not spend 50 pounds and buy a deck and thousands of record (really records lame) which will cost a fortune.

If being a DJ is your job or something you want to do then yes. But if not and you just like this kind of music then DJ hero is perfect.
Posted 02:49 on 07 May 2010
Techdex's Avatar

Techdex@ El-Dev

Yeah, i'll get rid of my technics decks and thousands of records to buy a plastic piece of *****e...lol
Posted 18:53 on 08 January 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev@ Techdex

So you'll be waiting until it's reduced to buy it then?
Posted 19:11 on 04 January 2010
Techdex's Avatar

Techdex

WTF......DJ Hero!

Get yourself a set of decks and a cheap mixer and do something worthwhile. What a pile of sh*te!
Posted 19:08 on 04 January 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Sorry for missing your replay Seb hopefully you'll get the green light! £80 Now so hopefully be around £60 soon enough!
Posted 13:49 on 10 November 2009
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

If there's a video review Seb needs to be properly 'gangsta'd' up. I'm talking adidas, baggy clothes, a nine and a massive gold timepiece dangling from his neck.

I've been listening to the soundtrack for this (I just can't justify buying the game and dedicating more space to plastic instruments) and I'm really enjoying it. I'd probably buy the OST if it were available, alas, it is not.
Posted 21:01 on 03 November 2009
pblive's Avatar

pblive

That was a great review Seb.

TU for Karlius's suggestion as well.
Posted 15:54 on 03 November 2009
SebVG's Avatar

SebVG

Ill run it past the big boss man and see what he has to say - I'd be up it for sure!
Posted 15:51 on 03 November 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ SebVG

Seb any chance we can see a video review of this set in a different sort of way. Basically I'd love to see this demoed to us by you and some other members of the team as a live action review. I think then we may grasp how a person who grasps the music deals with the turntable and someone who doesn't like the genre copes.
Posted 14:27 on 03 November 2009
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

Iam thinkin gof getting this,due to being board with the gh and rock bands,thanks for the review as its make me want to get this game much more then i was.
Posted 09:58 on 02 November 2009
Ed2287's Avatar

Ed2287

Ahhh the review cherry is popped, I liked it nice one :D
Posted 00:06 on 02 November 2009
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ CheekyLee

I spose its up to the individual then.

Anyway, that was a great review and i hope to see more of them :D
Posted 11:50 on 31 October 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ thompo555

I find it much easier to allow positive feelings to flow. Reviewing games I enjoyed is in itself an enjoyable process. It also makes sense to put the new guy in on something that is in itself new, so as to alleviate any pressure. Imagine giving him MW2?

A great first effort, Seb, although as far as I'm concerned all you needed to do was put just one sentence :

Is it worth £100? Yes/No.
Posted 11:47 on 31 October 2009
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ SebVG

But i thought it was easier to slagg stuff off like said on the questions answered bit? I always find that slagging stuff off is a whole lot easier though.
Posted 11:48 on 30 October 2009
SebVG's Avatar

SebVG

Upon hitting publish I suddenly found myself with a full, rugged beard and a satchel bag over my shoulder, also I now have all these opinions about stuff I know nothing about.

I didnt find it too bad actually, as you can tell I really liked the game - which I'm sure made it easier to write about.
Posted 11:37 on 30 October 2009

Game Stats

DJ Hero
9
Out of 10
DJ Hero
  • Awesome new turntable peripheral
  • Excellent range of music
  • Perfect for a party environment
  • Multiplayer options are limited
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 30/10/2009
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , Wii , PS2
Developer: FreeStyleGames
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Music
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 5,247 7
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