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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Music

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

FreeStyle Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

October 27, 2009

 

- Some really good tracks

- Sturdy controller

- Guitar accompaniment on a selection of tracks

 

 

- For those with coordination challenges, you'll just be frustrated

 

 

Review: Guitar Hero 5 (PS3)

Review: Guitar Hero World Tour (360)

Review: Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (360)

 

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DJ Hero

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

dj hero          dj hero

 

By now you should all be familiar with the gameplay and general idea behind the "Hero" games so I'll skip the obligatory "press the right button as the note cross the beat line" explanation so I can jump right to the part where I complain about my complete inability to play this game with any proficiency.

 

While I have nothing but good things to say about the construction of the DJ Hero controller (it has been dropped several times and still functions) I can't say the same thing about my skill with it.  The turntable part has a three buttons on it to correspond with the note lines. "Scratching" and hitting the right buttons is relatively easy but when you throw in the cross fader and the effects dial, well, for me it's like patting my head, rubbing my belly, and eating chicken chow mein with

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chopsticks. It's hopeless (and a visit to my ophthalmologist might be in order).  Fortunately there's no fail state -- I could just keep bumbling along. It makes the tracks sound pretty awful but at least my failure isn't constantly shoved down my throat.
 

Sliding the control to my 10-year old son and watching him quickly figure out the system

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kind of depressed me. But at least he proved that it was possible to play. (I was ready to just call DJ Hero impossible and move on to something else.)  It took me a lot practice even to be somewhat successful with the training wheel songs and the damn tutorial.

 

It was a good move by FreeStyle Games to include some support for the Guitar Hero controller. It's only a handful of tracks that support this, but it's a mode we played often simply because we could be do something together without feeling frustrated and actually having a lot of fun.

 

dj hero          dj hero

 

With 100 songs and 94 mixed tracks, there's a lot to hear with DJ Hero and thanks to my ineffectiveness and the attention span of my 10-year old we haven't come across the chief complaint of many reviewers: that songs are too often reused in the mixes.  Really, with 100 songs, there could/should be a huge library of mixes not just 94. As it is, the sound is great when you're not failing.

 

Head on over to Youtube if you want to see some real displays of coordination as gamers blast through on Expert. While these players just might be naturally gifted, I like to think it took them hours and hours of practice. So, unless you're gifted, I'd probably give DJ Hero a pass. If there were more guitar modes to create a "party" vibe I'd probably have something different to say.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(December 4, 2009)

 

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