DJ Hero
Developed By: FreeStyleGames
Published by: Activision
Released: October 2009
ESRB rated T
Released for: PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360
Pros: Fresh, fun game play; lots of songs
Cons: Swearing and suggestive lyrics, price

Just when I’m starting to get sick of all the music games coming out, Activision throws this game into the mix. DJ Hero is a fresh new music game that is challenging and addicting. A handful of the songs have guitar support, but you have to have the turntable to play this game. The game with the turn table included is around $120 and there\'s a Renegade edition for $200.

The controller itself is nice and sturdy and I found it easy to use and customize. It\'s configurable for left and right handed players. You can even change the ordering of the buttons on the screen. The renegade version offers metal knobs and a case that converts into a stand. The controller was relatively comfortable to use after many songs, my thumbs would be sore from scratching. I was most comfortable playing this game using a tray table.

In DJ Hero, it’s all about the stars baby! The better you play the more stars you can earn, with a maximum of five per song. As you accumulate stars, you will unlock new DJ’s, turn table skins, gigs, head phones and new venues to play at. Some gigs have a bonus song available if you get three or more songs on the songs in the set. There are unlock codes available so you can unlock gigs regardless of how many stars you have.

The music set list is very impressive with over ninety custom mixes for the game. There is downloadable content available for purchase from 5.99 to 7.99. I haven\'t bought any DLC yet. The mixes are done by many prominent mixers such as Grandmaster Flash (the guy who invented scratching), DJ Yoda, DJ Shadow, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Daft Punk, Z-Trip, and the late DJ AM. Many of the mixes have rap and some of them have a rock n’ roll sound to them. Even if you’re not a fan of dance music, these songs may grow on you. The songs are often a combination of two songs and some of the mixes have three or more songs combined. Some of my favorite songs in the game are: Satisfaction vs. Elements Of Life, Robot Rock vs. We Will Rock You, All Eyez On Me vs. Bittersweet Symphony, Somebody Told Me vs. Pjanoo, I Heard It Through The Grapevine vs. Feel Good Inc., Technologic vs. Cars, Shout vs. Six Days, Beverly Hills vs. Fresh Rhymes And Videotape, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life vs. Word Up. You can go here for the full song list:

The whole purpose of this game is to make two or more songs mesh together. If you fade in or out too early everyone will hear it cut out. If you push a button at the wrong time, you\'ll hear static and music lacking a proper beat. All the hard work or matching the beats per minute has been done for you. All that\'s left to do is keeping the beat and mixing the songs together. Some mixes sound really great together and others just don\'t go well at all. For example, as much as I like Straight Up and Ice Ice baby, they just weren\'t meant to be combined.

As I mentioned earlier all the tracks are pre-mixed; there is room to add your own personal touch. When the red stream is widened, you can press the red button and insert sound effects of your choice. Before you select a song you can choose a themed sound pack such as space or city sounds (gun shots, police sirens) or phrases such as "Oh Yeah!" etc. To change the sound effects within the song you can twist the effects knob. With some of the rap songs,  I found the city sound effects fit in the best and the space ones go well with the Daft Punk songs.

As you can guess, there are some appropriateness issues in some of the songs. Eminem’s My name Is should be My Name Is has some swearing and vulgar language. Bust A Move has a strong sexual message and some of the other songs featuring rap are glorifying the thug/gangster lifestyle (All Eyez on Me). Some of the venues and DJ avatars feature females wearing skimpy bikini like outfits.

The graphics look good, but some of the DJ avatars are just plain weird looking. The recognizable DJ’s look pretty accurate, my favorites include DJ AM and Daft Punk. The venues have a lot of lights, effects and a detailed dance floor. The character animations look spot on.

Multiplayer can be played online or locally with another turn table or a guitar. I didn’t see any games to join but when I created a game, I had someone join me in about ten seconds. The multiplayer is a competition for the better score. I like how your stars will transfer to your local save from multiplayer if you do better online.

With the wide variety of songs, downloadable content, various difficulties and online play, there is plenty of fun to be had with DJ Hero. Like many music games, there are some questionable songs but you can skip past them. The sound track is pretty awesome and I recommend this game to rhythm game junkies.

Game Play: 18/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 10/10
Stability: 5/5
Controls: 5/5
Game Score: 46/50

Appropriateness: 40/50
-3 sex outside marriage shown positive
-3.5 sexy clothing
-3.5 for swearing

Login Form



Please consider supporting our efforts.  Since we're a 501 C3 Non-Profit organization, your donations are tax deductible.