Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Get out your candy necklaces and make sure to take your E before you go in because you wanna make sure you’re peaking with everyone else. The highly anticipated DJ Hero (from the makers of Guitar Hero, unsurprisingly) is just around the corner. There been a lot of speculation as to just what we should be expecting from the newest addition to the rhythm game genre.
[image1]As the name implies, instead of aspiring to be the next rock god idol, you’ve chosen to take your vinyl collection to the underground scene and you’re out to wax and milk all those suckas out there. Controls will have you tapping, cross-fading, scratching and taking the beat back all the way to the top. The new turntable style controls feature a 360 degree spinning record with three colored buttons. You’ll either have to tap them or hold them down as you move the record back and forth (just like a real DJ!) along a game board similar to that of Amplitude or Frequency’s. You can even take the control console off and flip it to the other side for some left handed hip-hop action [Hop-Hip? ~Ed].
As the three lines on the screen come down some of them will cut to the left or right sharply. In instances like these you’ll move the cross fader controller to the left or right to keep your needle from skipping off the groove. It seems to be where a lot of the difficulty will come from as well. The same basic concept of keeping rhythm is there, but the new controller will require a whole new set of disciplines. Keeping up with both the scratching a fading will quickly offer a new and formidable challenge, especially on the harder difficulties for even the most seasoned fake guitarist or drummer.
Star power has been replaced with Euphoria mode but essentially it’s the same function. Providing a temporary boost to your multiplyer and making your pixelated audience feel the love. You’ll also get a chance to give your score a quick boost by using a secondary effects knob when cued by an orange arc coming down the on screen pipeline. If you can tweak the knob along with the on screen cue, you’ll get a brief, but rewarding multiplyer.
[image2]One completely new and unique feature is the rewind ability. As you tear it up on the turntables, you’ll be rewarded with the ability to bring the beat back to the last phrase you’ve completed. When you add this on top of everything else, you start to see how deep this thing can really get. It’s more than just Guitar Hero with a different interface.
But what’s the point of all this unless you’ve got a set that’s gonna knock’em dead? Fortunately there will be at least one hundred mash-ups, mix-ups and super sets by such famous DJs as Z-Trip, DJ Shadow, the late DJ AM, the fresh prince’s own DJ Jazzy Jeff and everyone’s favorite French robo-techno duo, Daft Punk. Not only did they all lend mixes to the game, but they all appear as playable characters too. On top of all that they even recuited Eminem and Jay-Z for a couple of tracks.
And for anyone concerned that your old plastic guitar is going to gather dust in the corner while your laying down the funk, don’t worry. DJ Hero will have a mode that allows you to play a special DJ/Guitar set list. As you would expect, it functions just like the original series, but with glow sticks all over the screen and no backing band.
DJ Hero is shaping up to be a welcome change of pace from the last few years of imaginary band dominance. Be prepared for the bass to bump the dope beats on October 27th for the Wii, PS3, PS2, and 360.