PS3 Reviews: DJ Hero Review

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DJ Hero Review

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Graphics:

 

7.5

Gameplay:

 

9.3

Sound:

 

9.8

Control:

 

9.0

Replay Value:

 

9.5

Online Gameplay:

 

8.5

Overall Rating:       9.3

When I first laid my eyes on DJ Hero in person, it was just a few months ago at an Activision get-together in New York City. Immediately I noticed just how much fun the game looked to play, and perhaps a large part of that was due to the superb soundtrack. Marking the first major release for a DJ game, Activision knew that they had to get it right. So instead of just throwing in an assortment of hip-hop and techno/trance tracks, they decided to create a soundtrack featuring some of the most epic mash-ups and remixes you've ever heard.

The game starts you off with a simple two-stage tutorial - the beginner notes, and the advanced stuff. The advanced tutorial is optional to perform, but I highly recommend it since it'll do a fantastic job of familiarizing you with the game. From there on, once you've got the tutorials done, the game will unlock one venue with three songs for you to play. Upon completing that venue, you will unlock yourself an assortment of other venues, and at this point, that's when the game really begins to pick up, as you start venturing into the more advanced and faster tracks. Once you complete your new row of available venues, even more will begin to unlock and so on. Each venue has a certain theme and number of tracks you have to complete. But if you wish to practice those songs before properly performing them, you can enter the playlist editor and select the tracks you wish to practice. Moreover, as some of you may know, DJ Hero boasts 10 unique mixes that feature both turntable and guitar controller support.

Multipliers and power-ups are still featured. You've got the Euphoria button located right on your turntable controller, which doubles the multiplier effect - essentially Star Power in the GH games. In addition you have a Rewind Meter, which is a sort-of power-up you can enable once you've completed certain segments perfectly. When available, Rewind can be activated simply by spinning the turntable clockwise, which will trigger the game to rewind to the beginning of the last segment you entered. Rewind is essential to building up a larger multiplier and increasing the amount of Stars you earn for completing the song.

An amazing track collection of mash-ups totally over 100 songs can be found here, with artists/songs such as 2Pac's "All Eyez On Me" getting mashed together with The Aranbee Pop Symphony Orchestra's "Bittersweet Symphony" instrumental. Or how about Rihanna's "Disturbia" with The Killers "Somebody Told Me"? These mixes are simply epic, and when you're actually sitting there and playing them, they become that much more fun. And that leads me to mention just how well these highways are built, as the scratching parts are easily the best element of each track.

As far as the anatomy of the turntable controller, it's a relatively simple layout. You have three buttons on the record, following three streams. But, the Green and Blue button can be used to play an additional stream, and this is where the Crossfader comes into play. The Green button stream will often go left, which will require you to time and push the crossfade slider left, as well. Likewise, when the Blue stream goes right, you do the same with the crossfade in order keep everything sailing along smoothly. You'll need to get comfortable with the crossfade slider, as it is used extensively, especially in the later and harder tracks of the game.

But, before I continue, I must express a few disappointments with the controller. First of all, the slider is the weak-spot of the device. As I explained, it can be moved left and right, but it also has a center lock that clicks into place. Unfortunately, the center lock is very weak, and during fast and difficult sections of a song, you will often find yourself missing the center and going off track - this will diminish your multiplier considerably, and instantly. This problem almost feels like an intentional fault that Activision will have corrected for a follow-up release next year, and that really puts a damper on things. The best way I've managed to get around missing center is by applying some downward pressure on the slider and instead of flicking it with my fingers, I use my wrist to quickly snap it back into place. Also, the second complaint, and not a very big one, is that some may find it difficult to scratch the blue stream, because the blue button is all the way on the inside of the disc, and so you can't apply as much torque as you would with the green button, which is on the very outside. What I do to alleviate this issue is place my thumb on the side of the faux-record, and use it to scratch the record up and down. It may sound confusing to understand right now, but once you have the game in your hand, you will understand what I mean.

Lastly, I already mentioned the Euphoria button, which will flash red when it can be activated. But it also has a second feature; in freeplay single-player, if you hold it down, it will activate a party-play mode that'll just play the song in its entirety, not requiring any inputs from the controller anymore. Then we have the effects dial, which you'll be able to use when you see a specific prompt on screen. On top of that, when not activated, you can use the effects dial to select certain background freestyle noise, including Flavor Flav's "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah Boiiiiiiiii!", among a few others. When you've selected the bit you like, you'll be able to trigger it during certain freestyle sections of the Red stream - so when you see those freestyle sections, spam that red button for a few extra points. Lastly, concealed underneath a cover are your standard PS3 buttons and D-pad to sort through the game and PS3 menus with. 

Multiplayer is good for only two-people, as you'd imagine, in a DJ vs. DJ mode. Additionally, the collaborative DJ vs. Guitar mode is good fun too, albeit not quite as fleshed out as some may hope for -- but it is better than nothing. You can also plug in a mic into the game, and it picks it up, but you won't get scored for your talents (or lack thereof), but it should still be a fun addition to a party. And that's, perhaps, where DJ Hero can really shine, at a get-together of some sort. I know that during the NYC Activision event, everybody was glued watching the player perform on the stage with DJ Hero, and there were smiles abound. Each and every gamer there wanted a shot at the game, it really is that much fun.

As far as the techy stuff goes, DJ Hero looks just about what you'd expect out of the franchise. The characters are weird and cartoony looking, not aiming at even the slightest bit of realism, as they're decked out with not just ridiculous details, but ridiculous clothing and style choices, too. Although, I must say that it seems that DJ Hero may be lacking the anti-aliasing and overall smoothness of the Guitar Hero games, as characters on screen exhibit quite a lot of jaggies. Regardless, seeing as how 90% of the time you're looking at a rotating vinyl record with notes on it, character detail won't bother you very much.

The audio, on the other hand, is absolutely stunning, with the exception of Grandmaster Flash and his painfully annoying presence in the game. In fact, there is one particular track in the game, a Herbie Hancock and N.E.R.D mash-up that Grandmaster Flash put together, and all Flash does is just scream and commentate over the entire track...it's absolutely terrible. The production of the track is slick, but I seriously wished that Flash would just shut the hell up. Otherwise, this is probably the best and most unique soundtrack to come out of a game in a very, very long time. I also highly encourage people to enable the Dolby support and crank the volume up, it makes a big difference in the overall enjoyment.

For $120, I'd have to say that DJ Hero is worth the coin. It's library of fantastic mash-ups are really something worth listening to, and certainly worth playing. The turntable controller isn't perfect, but it's good enough to experience a vast majority of the game and love every single second of it. With every session I pick the controller up for, it becomes harder and harder to put the game down - it's that good. And while yes, the renegade bundle does offer more, I'd say keep the $80 and just spring for the standard game. Chances are, some of that content will appear as DLC anyways. I can only imagine how great next year's game will be.

11/2/2009 Arnold Katayev

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Comments (45 posts)

ace_boon_coon
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:45:12 PM
Reply

i think i'm going to pick this up. i can't pass up the jay-z eminem special edition.

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:48:08 PM

Thats the one I bought, the Renegade Edition, its awesome, it looks cool.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

ace_boon_coon
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:49:20 PM

awww man. i have to get that. i envy you lol

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:51:48 PM

The black gives it a more expensive look than that gray one, it looks cool, and the table helps so much, you have no idea, you can get on over to Best Buy to try it out, I did that cause I wasnt sure how it would play, but im glad I tried it before hand. I still like Rock Band better though.

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Thrill Kill
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 7:27:38 AM

like i said. they should call this dj feces

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:47:23 PM
Reply

Now I know you just didnt give this game a better score than R&C ACIT, I have this game ( The Renegade Edition) but I also have R&C, R&C is a much better game, Scarecrow will tear you a new one. But this is a moderately fun game.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

PilarVIRUS
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:49:29 PM

I'm sorry, but you'll need to move on from that review score. It's beginning to get really sad. The R&C review was his opinion. Nothing more.

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:52:41 PM

Im just saying, R&C is much higher quality than DJ Hero.

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chucknasty
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:16:56 PM

let it go man, let it go. if you already own and love RnC then you didn't need the review.
I hate music games because I suck at them so they could have given this a 10 and I wouldn't buy it.

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:17:05 PM

Ratchet and DJ Hero have NOTHING to do with one another. They are COMPLETELY different genres. This shouldn't even be a discussion - it's as apples to oranges as something can possibly be.

It's like asking what's better: Gran Turismo or Final Fantasy? There is no comparing.

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:20:59 PM

Well these games go through the exact same categories as one another and R&C is better in each one besides maybe sound. Im in no way criticizing how you do your kob, because I do respect what you do, im just saying R&C is higher qaulity, O and GT wins over FF IMO.

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:29:54 PM

haha, i feel like an idiot, (kob) my bad, meant job, well the K is right next to the J

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Naztycuts
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 7:26:46 PM

if u want to bi*** about review scores become a game journalist and rate the games yourself dude the people that do the reviews on here just want to help us answer the main question
DOES THIS GAME SUCK? yes no or kind of

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 8:46:04 PM

im pretty sure I just gave my opinion and i told him I respect his work and i am not degrading it, you just need to calm down pal.

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newchef
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 9:36:36 PM

@ Arnold Final Fantasy is better

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Victor321
Saturday, November 07, 2009 @ 10:41:43 PM

Wow, this is a great example or demonstration of how fanboy wars start =/

They start from something ridiculous and unorthodox such as this. R&C vs. DJ Hero? Does it matter, if by Arnold's standards, that they are both excellent quality?

Even if one is of better quality then the other, that isn't a good justification as to why arguments such as this should be started.



Last edited by Victor321 on 11/7/2009 10:44:28 PM

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Xra897
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:54:44 PM
Reply

this games getting a lot of mxied reviews

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chewy102
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:18:11 PM
Reply

I don't see how games like this are doing so well. They are fun (in a mini-game type of way) but the cost should be killing them. $6 for a handful of songs, how can people afford DLC like that. I may just be ranting but to me games like this are worse than sports games. One rip off after another.

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:22:41 PM

I felt the same way, but like I said, I stopped over to Best Buy to try it out, and it sucked me in, its a lot of fun.

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chewy102
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:45:05 PM

The true question is. Is it a long term fun, or something that only lasts a few songs?

I don't see music games any better than high priced mini-games. If it let you use any song you have on the HDD and set up the gameplay to match the songs beat. Then that might be a good/great game (beats on psp isn't bad) at around $40-$50. I have an i-pod for music and other games to play (my backlog was around 40+ games over 3 generations last I counted (damn gamestop and ebay). Why not do both at the same time and save that $140+?

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:51:29 PM

Your dealing with a company like Activision who likes to suck every last dollar out of you for a game, this is the first Activision music game ive bought, but yeah i play Beats and Beaterator all the time, and I have a lot of music stored on my PSP and CPU, im a huge music buff. I do believe this game has a lot of replayability in it to warrant such a price, maybe $30 less.

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Naga
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:28:18 PM
Reply

For some reason why can't anyone bother with a proper heavy Metal music game?
Whats really bad about this game for me is that I hate any genre that includes rappers, hoes, whores,gangstas, broken Britain and repetitive beats.
God of rock!!! heed my call o god of mighty Vai riffs.


Last edited by Naga on 11/2/2009 6:30:52 PM

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ace_boon_coon
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:32:43 PM

heavy metal is not in demand. not all rap is like that. stop listenin to what they play on the radio.

Last edited by ace_boon_coon on 11/2/2009 6:35:22 PM

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:37:12 PM

Yeah, theres a lot of underground rappers who are real and aren't all about the money and record deals, example: Haystak

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Naga
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:39:11 PM

:( shame
Guitar Hero:Instrumental Rock would've been a great Guitar Hero title though

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ace_boon_coon
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:39:32 PM

another example: lupe fiasco

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:40:37 PM

But hes pretty mainstream, i dont hear Haystak on the radio, but Lupe is a really good rapper none the less, who hasnt let the fame get to him.

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ace_boon_coon
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:50:11 PM

in that case i'd say tech9 as far as underground.

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 6:52:55 PM

Yeah, he makes some sick beats.

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raidtimedope
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 1:08:08 AM

Lord Alucard i guess YOU have no idea what REAL music is, rap music has a message in them its about REAL LIFE, plus real talent, i mean most of it, DO NOT LISTEN TO WHATS ON THE RADIO OR TV..... and make a judgement u idiotic piece of horse turd. and oh yeah..........go bump ur heavy metal, have a rib removed suck ur own penis, wear black nail polish....and dont ever talk about rap music...in other words something u dont have a frickin clue about.

and this goes FOR YOU TOO ASS HOLE FOR GIVING THIS GUY A THUMBS UP!!!! yeah YOU!!!! phukkface



back to topic, im buying this game tommorow. love the review!!!

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www
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 7:03:35 PM
Reply

I woulda loved to but its friggin expensive, another time

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NightHawk17
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 7:37:51 PM
Reply

I got mines last weekend, the renegade edition. The stand helps A LOT. It's so fun, the music is awesome, and it feels like dj-ing. only problem i have is no custom characters, and there is no one i feel i can relate to

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JMO_INDY
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 7:57:32 PM

The table helps me out so much as well, I also got the Renegade Edition, that black is sexy huh? HAHA

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Metal Head
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 8:20:47 PM
Reply

I also hate hip hop,rap, gangsta crap. People buy this crap because is what's hot. Lord Alucard you get thumbs up.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Banky A
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 9:20:31 PM
Reply

Wow.

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Banky A
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 9:28:15 PM

And why can't we just appreciate all music and stop hating on Rap, Hip-Hop, etc.

Besides. 'Music' just some random sounds, vibrations and buzzes assembled from countless years of mankind's mathematical progression and forging patterns.

=D Isn't it? jkKK

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sha4dowknight05
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 9:22:56 PM
Reply

Welll let's all stop talking about comparing others games and DJ hero. I ;m looking forawrd to this game and if i like it i will buy the renegrade edition becuase it looks better and it comes witht he table so yeah i always wanted to DJ but never had my own table to mess aorund on so if this works for me a HD BUY FOR ME!!!!

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fluffer nutter
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 9:33:11 PM
Reply

I don't listen to the radio and that's why I'm not a fan of the track listing. I prefer to use real turntables and a mixer but if the people enjoy this, so be it.

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Juanalf
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:28:59 PM
Reply

It seems neat but don't really like any of the tracks(with one exception);maybe if all the tracks were compose of old school tracks.I stopped listing to rap soon after Tupac died, so I have no idea who's a rapper these days(and don't care).

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___________
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 11:34:20 PM
Reply

im sorry guys but how the ^%$##@$%^%^%$#@@#$$%^% can this get a better score than my favorite series of all time?
like seriously?
hell might as well give halo ODST a 10 while your at it.

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Qubex
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:14:55 AM
Reply

...but how will DJ Hero play in 6 months time? It's a large investment for limited appeal in the long run; whereas Killzone 2, I can play that for years on and off...

Q!

"i am home"

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gumbi
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 1:08:55 PM
Reply

Wow, not for me thanks. I guess I can understand the appeal though. I love Rockband, probably largely because I love Rock. I'm afraid to see what 'Hero' game is next though... the average living room is gonna run out of space for all the plastic toy instruments we need for all these games.

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N a S a H
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 4:27:37 PM
Reply

Tried this one in a shop yesterday, no thanks.

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Dtownballa_PS3
Friday, November 06, 2009 @ 1:26:12 PM
Reply

I was shocked to here about DJ Hero as to i am a DJ and this is nothing close to being an actual dj, if it were somewhat realistic i would definantly play/buy it and it would be awesome if you could upload your own tracks (like a DJ)

but if its making money off of those who like the music and the way they made DJing SEEM then i cant complain haha

to here a real DJ come check out my stuff....

---> www.myspace.com/OB1Beatz

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buckoboy1
Thursday, November 12, 2009 @ 4:48:46 PM
Reply

IM AMAZED! I played this and got bored of it straight away, in my opinion i give it a 5.8 out of 10, IZ SHCIT

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