There is no doubt that the plastic music game genre has seen better days. What was for a few years managed to be one of the pinnacle genres of the industry has now begun to feel a bit saturated. Last year even with this sort of saturation already starting to happen Activision managed to make the genre feel new with there first DJ’ing game, DJ Hero. The game was released with good critical acclaim and is now back for it’s second version. How does Activision manage to improve its DJ’ing experience? Read our full review to find out.
So one of the big concerns a lot of us who played DJ Hero was that it didn’t necessarily have the best list of tracks. To combat the problem the developers had the option to give plenty of downloadable tracks but that just wasn’t the case. So although the setup of the game was enjoyable the music (a huge driver in this type of game) wasn’t all that red hot. That has been improved in a big way in DJ Hero 2 with over 80 unique tracks and DLC available now.
So another big miss for DJ Hero was the lack of a real semblance of a career mode that changes this year with the Empire mode, well sort of. Similar to what we have witnessed in the past few Guitar Hero games, DJ Hero 2’s Empire mode is more a simplistic way of stringing together music rather then adding to the experience. I think even more with DJ Hero the developers have the opportunity to really compile an amazing career mode but this just isn’t even close to that.
What’s really pretty cool about DJ Hero 2 is that it not only allows you play along with the music but it at times even lets you impart your own DJ skills into the experience. You got a little taste of this in the original game but now its far more expansive and enjoyable. Obviously it’s not a free for all but there are areas of songs that allow you to bust out your skills. This really makes the game feel less like trying to hit buttons and more like a DJ game and it’s a big win for the series.
The Gameplay doesn’t revolutionize the DJ Hero experience but moves it forward. The multiplayer is much more enjoyable this time around, and the overall experience is far more polished.
Visually there is no doubt that DJ Hero 2 has received a nice facelift from a year ago. Although if you have played any music game in the last five years there is nothing about DJ Hero 2 that is going to stand out to you. What is nice about DJ Hero 2 in comparison to the original is that it has much more of a consistent style that is far more polished then before.
Not only is DJ Hero 2 a deeper experience its also a lot more fun. Like an music game it all starts with the music/mixes and there is far more variety to be offered in this game which means that more people will have songs that they want to DJ to. Multiplayer is far more approachable and offers up an experience that really is pretty fun.
DJ Hero 2 is a nice step forward for the series, but it’s not a giant leap by any stretch. The first big hurdle has been met with a much deeper music lineup and the likelihood of far more DLC on the horizon is a big win. What I was hoping for in this game and will continue to hope for in future games is that they continue to strive to make you feel like a DJ and not just someone hitting random buttons, they are getting closer to that, but just not there yet.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.