DJ Hero 2 Review

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Games

Last year we got the original DJ Hero game and I really enjoyed it. The song mashups were very good and the gameplay was solid. Now we have the sequel DJ Hero 2. How does it fare compared to the original? Let’s find out.

The gameplay from the original is more or less the same. You still tap the keys on the turntable controller, scratch, cross-fade and so on. There are some pretty interesting improvements to the core gameplay mechanics. There are now freestyle sections which let the player tweak the songs as they see fit in any given mix. There are freestyle scratch sections where you can freely scratch on the controller. The best improvement in my opinion is the freestyle cross-fading sections. In these sections you can freely fade between each track and create some really cool sounding parts of the mix.

The career mode is now called Empire mode and it is basically the same as the original. You go to venues and play sets of mixes and earn stars to unlock other venues. One thing that is different is in any given venue you can pick and choose what mixes to play or what modes to play. There are DJ battle levels and so on. What you are trying to do is earn enough stars to unlock other venues but you do not need to clear an entire venue to move on. If you want every possible star in the game you will of course have to play every set and every DJ battle though.

The multiplayer has also received a pretty big overhaul. You now gain levels in multiplayer by defeating your opponents. You also unlock icons and titles for your DJ. These are similar to the icons/titles in Street Fighter 4 and Modern Warfare 2. There are also new multiplayer modes as opposed to just score battle from the original.

One interesting mode is where you are playing for the longest hit streak. There is a nice twist though. When you earn Euphoria(DJ Hero’s equivalent of Star Power from Guitar Hero) you can hit the Euphoria button on the controller to “bank” your current streak. This saves your streak at the point Euphoria is used. So if you miss a note you will still have that streak as opposed to going back to zero. After saving a streak you will start a new one and that can then be added to the one you saved. This is nice mode.

Now we get down to the song list itself. The song list is still very solid, however I feel the original DJ Hero still has a stronger song list. I’m not sure if they just had better DJs doing the mixes in the original. They had Daft Punk and the late DJ AM in the original so that is a possibility.

Or if it was because they had an entire list of songs to use with the DJ/Guitar mode back in the original which seems to be missing from DJ Hero 2. The DJ/Guitar mode was really gimmicky and felt tacked on but some of the mixes done for that mode were really good. Now they have replaced that mode with a vocal mode for people to sing. This plays just like the vocal modes in Guitar Hero/Rock band. Its a nice addition but unfortunately does not lend itself for a separate song list.

Another thing that really should have been in this game and even the original is the ability for the players to create/share their own custom mixes. They should let us pick a song and then pick another to mix it with. You could then enter into a freestyle mode and record your mix and post it to Xbox Live or the Playstation Network. That is something they really need in the game and it would add a lot to replay value.

The final verdict is DJ Hero 2 is a good game. The music is solid the gameplay and multiplayer improved. The only things holding it back are the still awesome but not as good as the original games song list and not being able to create your own mixes.

Pros:

  • New gameplay improvements
  • Greatly improved multiplayer

Cons:

  • Song list not as good as the original
  • No mode to create your own mixes and share them with friends

Overall Score: * * * *

(All scores are out of 5 stars)

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