Posted by: Edward Fairclough | September 15, 2010

Preview: DJ Hero 2

Back in 2009 the music game genre was blessed with another title which allowed even more musically inspired people to enjoy video games. This time the classic guitar and drum kit were put aside and instead replaced with a funky DJ turntable, or ‘decks’ as some of us call them. Following in Activison’s tradition of names for music games, this new title was named DJ Hero.

Because of the ever increasing popularity of music based video games DJ Hero was welcomed into the gaming world with open arms and received mostly positive reviews thanks to its outstanding mixes of different types of music mixed by professional DJ’s. So it didn’t take a genius to work out that Activision would no doubt release a sequel in the near future, and indeed they have. Well, they are.

It can sometimes be hard to see how developers can add new features into a music game, but developers Freestyle-games have added some serious new fun features for you scratch away with in DJ Hero 2, so let’s take a look at them:

Freestyle heaven

As fun as it was, DJ Hero didn’t have many opportunities for the player to add their own personal input into a song, and in some circumstances the game felt a little scripted. So Freestyle-games have lived up to their name and added more freestyle features in DJH2 than you can shake a stick at.

The new freestyle features include scratching so you can control the speed and rhythm of each scratch, freestyle cross-fading so the player can choose when to mix tracks together and ‘freestyle samples’ where players can tap their own beat/rhythm in certain parts of the track, allowing the player to really get creative with each mix.

More track’s than you could wish for

DJ Hero had a great selection of tracks mixed by equally great DJ’s, but DJH2 takes the music to a whole new level. There are over70 mixed tracks performed by over 80 artists to feature in the sequel, with the soundtrack strongly representing the hip-hop genre of music but also to feature more elements of pop and dance than the original.

The best thing however is the new DJ line-up which has been brought to DJH2. As well as the classics like DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Shadow still available as playable characters within the game, Activision have recently announced that DJ’s such as David Guetta, Tiësto, RZA, DJ Qbert and Deadmau5 will all be available as playable avatars and will also be helping to mix tracks exclusively for the game.

Build an Empire

One thing that was lacking in DJ Hero was a complete story mode, well this is no longer a problem as DJH2 has a brand new campaign known as ‘Empire Mode’.

Players are able to create their own club and then travel the world making a name for both themselves as a DJ and their club, while unlocking a ton of new stuff along the way such as new mixes, venue’s, outfits, etc.

Little is currently know as to how much of an actual ‘story’ there will be in Empire mode, but its good to see that Freestyle-games are trying to create more of a variety of gameplay modes for players to experience.

Even more multiplayer for your money

DJH2 has ditched the ability to use a guitar in certain tracks and instead allowing players to use both 2 turntables and a microphone. So its now possible to have a DJ-off in your front room while someone else sings to the mix.

The ‘highways’ from both the decks will appear on screen and players can battle against one another to get the highest score possible. The singing/rapping will work much like it does in Guitar Hero and players will be judged on how accurate their vocals are compared to the original mix.

There will also be online multiplayer support, similar to the first game, for those that want to get serious with their mixing.

***

So it’s time to blow the dust of your turntable and get scratching once more. The demo for DJ Hero 2 is now currently available on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network and features 4 new tracks from the full game. Click here to head over to the official DJ Hero website where you can hear samples from many of the mixes to be features in the finished game.

DJ Hero 2 is coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii on October 19th in North America and Australia and October 22nd in Europe.

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