Video Game Review: DJ Hero


Activision, the makers of the "Guitar Hero" franchise, have ventured into the world of turntablism with "DJ Hero." The game puts you in control of scratching and mixing some of the hottest hits in music today.

The music covers several genres including hip-hop, dance, pop and rock. With an innovative turntable controller and great tracks, "DJ Hero" is sure to be an entertaining game for any music fan.

'Guitar Hero' This is Not

Although it may still have the core elements of "Guitar Hero" (color coded buttons, notes and star power), "DJ Hero" brings many new elements to the table. The first and most obvious would be the new controller, which looks and functions like a turntable. The controller features a cross-fader which is used to switch between to tracks, a record platter with the well recognized guitar hero color buttons and a knob that works like the whammy bar in "Guitar Hero." The platter can also be removed and switched to work for a left or right handed person.

VIDEO: Jay-Z talks about his video game, "DJ Hero."Play

Crazy Mash Ups

Besides the new cool controller that this game features, "DJ Hero" has an amazing playlist and mash up of music from many genres. The 93 original mixes were created with star DJ's like DJ Shadow, DJ Z-Trip, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the late DJ AM lending a hand. The wide variety of music is mixed well for the game and will surely have a great appeal to lovers of music. Mixes mashing up 50 Cent and David Bowie together make this game unique and will have you bobbing your head along to the music as you play. Any music lover will enjoy listening to the tunes as much as they will love participating in the game.


The game play of "DJ Hero" is similar to the other Activision Hero games. You are presented with a series of color coded notes that come down the screen. In "DJ Hero" you need to turn the record platter and simultaneously hold down the corresponding color note that follows along on the screen. The cross-fader is used to switch between the two tracks in the mix. There are areas in the game that are called freestyle sections in which you use series of samples that you selected in the beginning of the game. This feature does not add any worthy element to the game since you do not earn points for freestyle sections. Gamers will find these sections more of a distraction than anything else and are more likely to leave them out than to join in. This features seems to be the most gimmicky part of the game. Unlike "Guitar Hero," gamers cannot fail a song. The only outcome of missing notes is the music cutting out for a short period and how many star points you will earn. This feature works in favor of anyone interested in playing the game but takes away a challenge for more veteran gamers of the music genre. The game itself if pretty easy to pick up on but will take time to completely master.

Game Tutorial

The game starts with a comprehensive tutorial that will help your feet get wet and get you accustomed to the new buttons. "DJ Hero" is also not as party and multiplayer oriented as the other music games out there.

Multiplayer Game Mode Falls Short

Multiplayer challenges are not as fun since you are both playing the exact same track rather than playing against each other in a battle or alternating verses like the "Guitar Hero" games feature. There are certain tracks that you will be able to use the "Guitar Hero" guitars alongside the turntables but they fall short on creativity and fun. Another reason why this game is not multiplayer friendly is the price of the bundle. Priced at $119.99 not many people will be able to have access to the game or be willing to pay to have two turntables in their house. Unlike the other "Guitar Hero" bundles that come with more than one instrument that are in this price range, this game only comes with the turntable.

Is Size of Bundle A Setback?

The reason why Activision Hero games do so well is because of the great music. "DJ Hero" does not fall short on that. But at the price range that this game is at you would expect more including better multiplayer and party gaming options. Other "Guitar Hero" bundles come with more instruments and elements that make it a fun game to play with friends and family. They can also be used in most of the Guitar Hero games prior or for newer releases. If you already own the instruments you will be able to use them for the other games in the family. With "DJ Hero" you are limited to being able to just play the game you have purchased and will not be able to use it in the library of Hero games already out there. Overall "DJ Hero" is a good playable game featuring great music and a new format. The game will be a great addition for any music lover but the price might be a deciding factor.