DJ Hero 2 E3 preview

Improved on just about every level, DJ Hero 2 certainly won’t suffer from previous criticism that it was just a hip-hop game. The developers behind the Activision title took great pains to show that the game is an even board with many different styles of party/dance music represented as well as rap and hip hop stylings.

New modes have been added, including drop-in/drop-out gameplay, vocalist tracks and new modes like freestyle scratch and freestyle crossfade. The accumulator allows players to bank note streaks and there are check points that levels the playing field and can even let a medium-skilled player take on a player of higher skill levels.

The freestyle mode has been expanded and samples are taken from songs played to enable players to feel more connected to the music. And the look of the game really captures the brightness and vibrancy of the dance club scene.

The title is also about social gaming, though there is a competitive element included. Head-to-head battles do not feature the vocalist track, and players can get a bit nasty and lock out other players with strong performances.

There is also a party mode that allows players to build a track list of up to two hours in length. Gamers can play out the set list or just allow it to run in the background. The vocalist track is reminiscent of previous games like Guitar Hero (single mic only), with the simplistic octave prompts and scrolling lyrics. Better be familiar with the songs, though as trying to keep up with lyrics that can be very fast-paced provide a solid challenge

DJ Hero 2 is a step forward for the franchise. It is clear that the dev team took the foundations of the previous title and expanded it. The game will ship as a bundle with the turntable or as a stand-along disk for those who have previously purchased the controllers.

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Michael Lafferty
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