Rockin’ out with dj hero

Just when you thought that collection of Rock Band gear would be the last set of plastic faux-instruments you would need to find storage space for, Activision adds another title to their already jam packed “Hero” line – DJ Hero. But don’t worry, although the package is a bit pricey, the game is a definite hit for those who can afford it.

Yes, a whole new musical “controller” comes with the game but DJ Hero’s turntable is unlike any other video game controller that has come out before. The controllers for similar DJ video games have many similarities to the DJ Hero turntable; this one just combined them all into one perfected package.

The turntable has three buttons on the record itself, reminiscent of the Guitar Hero controller, a knob to adjust the equalization of track, a “euphoria” button (think star power) and a trusty cross fader. These unique elements are what give DJ Hero its depth.

In its easier modes, the game simply seems like Guitar Hero with scratching instead of strumming. But once you work your way up to playing on hard or expert, you are forced to frantically multi-task in order to keep the party started. And, in DJ Hero, keeping the party started is what it’s all about.

DJ Hero comes with the usual dual play that we’ve come to expect from the “Hero” series. Two DJs can go at it on the same song trying to beat the others’ score. Also, to make things interesting, there are special mixes of certain songs that allow the DJ to team up with a guitarist via a Guitar Hero controller.

One of the most interesting aspects of DJ Hero is its party mode which is meant to be played, well, at a party! When in party mode, DJ Hero just continuously plays its wide selection of mixes on repeat for the partygoers to listen and dance to. If anyone feels inclined to do so, one can just pickup a turntable, press start, and begin playing the song that was playing. It’s a nifty mode that serves as both a game and a hell of a party playlist.

DJ Hero’s soundtrack is almost worth the price of the game. The soundtrack includes 94 mixes – often of two songs, sometimes one – and features some of the most adventurous sounds the musical video game genre has ever seen. A definite highlight mix is that of Eminem’s “Hi My Name is” and Beck’s “Loser.”

The game features a little something for everybody ranging from the rocker to the native tongue hip hopper. They have songs from The Beastie Boys, Gwen Stefani, 2Pac and a ton more.

There is so much detail in DJ Hero. Each member of the zany cast of characters has numerous costumes (except of course for the guest DJs such as Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash and Daft Punk who already have their pre-set iconic outfits). There are numerous headphones, turntables and record styles to choose from. You really feel like you are your own DJ with your very own style.

Despite strong reviews from nearly every gaming magazine, DJ Hero sales weren’t quite what analysts had initially expected but things are looking up for the franchise. The holiday season left many gamers a proud owner of a new DJ Hero set. Once a group of friends play DJ Hero once, they’ll all want to have it. Keep your eyes peeled – this one is coming to a dorm near you.