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REVIEW

DJ HERO 2

The sequel to last year's freshest music game is back, but is it as much fun this time around? DJ Love Bolin has put it to the test.

  • Text: Love Bolin (Gamereactor Sweden)

It's all about money, as usual. When a new DJ Hero comes out, it's with few real news since they are really only needed to be able to put a "2" at the end of the title. It would have been enough with just releasing new mashups in the online store. But no matter how I feel about cramming more boxes in next to all my editions of Singstar I still have to play this "sequel" to last year's freshest music game.

Despite a non-intuitive controller, the first DJ Hero was a nice break from the flood of rock games that we've seen ever since the first Guitar Hero made us Westerners start to collect pieces of guitar shaped plastic. The game was more club than arena. more groove than guitar masturbation. But compared to the original, the sequel doesn't hit from below - it feels a bit sad when the challenger suddenly stagnates and keeps to the path it once created for itself.

DJ Hero 2

The controller, the turntable, is exactly the same as it was in the first game. No news there, in other words. Of course it's nice to not force us consumers into buying upgraded plastic, both from the economic and the environmental angle. On the other hand it becomes even harder to motivate the "2" in the title.

The music is a matter of taste. Personally I enjoyed the music in the first game, despite a couple of bad eggs. In the second game there's a lot more black sheep, and The Prodigy, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Snow all give me a terrible itch I can't seem to reach. But then I get music from M.I.A., Daft Punk and New Order, and I soften up and find it easier to forgive and forget.

DJ Hero 2

Still, I can't help thinking that the track list is creeping a lot closer to the mainstream this time around. It also feels as if someone chickened out when it comes to the tracks from old school-artists. House of Pain is in there, and of course it's with "Jump Around": Salt N Pepa gets a piece of the pie with "Push It" and Jackson 5 gets "ABC". When I go out to a club I want the DJ to surprise me, I want to discover new music and not have to dance to old radio hits. Don't think too much about if you agree with me or not, I've included the track list below this review so you can make up your own mind.

I know, I'm whining a lot for a review where the final grade is so high. I'm assuming you've already glanced to the top right and seen the 8/10 I've put there. The reason for this is simply that I've had a lot of fun with DJ Hero 2, that when I manage to nail a song with some nice cross-fader freestyling it feels just as awesome as when I did it back with DJ Hero last year. It actually feels just as good as when I discovered Japanese music games ten years ago.

DJ Hero 2

DJ Hero tries to be a social game, with support for a microphone and two turntables, Facebook connectivity and online modes. I couldn't care less about all of this. DJ Hero 2 still doesn't have much party potential and the microphone feels just as worthless as the guitar did in the first game. I see DJ Hero 2 as a single player game where I can put on a pair of headphones and disappear into the music in front of my TV.

Sometimes I'm reminded of how far the DJ-culture has come. From the streets to the super-commercialism of DJ Hero. Like any other form of culture with economic potential it's picked up from its original context and re-packaged to be able to sell better. It's also interesting to consider how something as experimental as turntableism has been made into a game. DJ Hero 2 gives you more options and creative freedom when it comes to scratching and mixing, but of course there's still a lot lost in the translation. I don't know a really good guitarist that enjoys Guitar Hero, or a good singer that enjoys Singstar. A real DJ wouldn't enjoy DJ Hero. But for us regular mortal stereo jockeys, it's a perfect moment to at least play at being DJs. And it works perfectly.

DJ Hero 2

DJ Hero 2 is easy to summarize. If you liked the first game, you'll like this one. If you're interested in giving the series a try, buy the first game since it has better music and a more forgiving price tag. In my home, DJ Hero 2 will keep spinning for a long time; especially if they fill up the online store which is terribly empty right now. As a music game for the lonely player, few things beat DJ Hero 2. Despite Rihanna and product placements.

DJ Hero 2

Full track list:
Produced and Mixed by A-Trak:

* Justice - "D.A.N.C.E." Remix
* Naughty By Nature - "O.P.P." Mixed With Jackson 5 - "ABC"

Produced and Mixed by Diplo:

* Kanye West - "Heartless" Mixed With DJ Shadow - "Midnight In A Perfect World"
* Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel - "Pon De Floor" Mixed With Harold Faltermeyer - "Axel F"

Produced and Mixed by DJ Jazzy Jeff:

* Busta Rhymes - "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" Mixed With M|A|R|R|S - "Pump Up The Volume"

Produced and Mixed by DJ Qbert:

* DJ Qbert - "Super Battle Breaks" Remix
* Newcleus - "Jam On It" (DJ Qbert vocals) Remix

Produced and Mixed by DJ Shadow:

* Kanye West - "Love Lockdown" Mixed With Metallica - "The Day That Never Comes"
* Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West - "Put On" Mixed With DJ Shadow feat. Q-Tip and Lateef The Truth Speaker - "Enuff (DJ Fresh Remix)"

Produced and Mixed by Tiesto:

* Adamski - "Killer" Remix
* Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance" Remix

Produced and Mixed by Z-Trip:

* Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force - "Planet Rock" Mixed With The Crystal Method - "Busy Child (Still Busy After All These Years Remix)"
* Missy Elliott - "Get Ur Freak On" Mixed With Dillinja and Skibadee - "Twist 'Em Out"

Produced and Mixed by RZA:

* Damian Marley - "Welcome To Jamrock" Mixed With Walter Murphy - "A Fifth Of Beethoven"
* LL Cool J - "I Can't Live Without My Radio" Mixed With Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - "The Message"

Produced and Mixed by The Scratch Perverts:

* The Chemical Brothers ft. Q-Tip - "Galvanize" Remix
* The Prodigy - "Omen" Mixed With Orbital - "The Box"

Produced and Mixed by FSG DJs:

* 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman - "California Love Remix" (Remix by FSG)
* 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman - "California Love Remix" Mixed With B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars - "Nothin' On You"
* A-Trak - "Say Whoa" (Remix by FSG)
* Basement Jaxx - "Where's Your Head At" Mixed With Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix )"
* BlakRoc ft. Pharoahe Monch & RZA - "Dollaz & Sense" (Remix by FSG)
* Calvin Harris - "I'm Not Alone" Mixed With New Order - "Blue Monday"
* Daft Punk - "Human After All" (Remix by FSG)
* Damian Marley - "Welcome To Jamrock" Mixed With Dillinja and Skibadee - "Twist 'Em Out"
* David Guetta & Chris Willis - "Love Is Gone" Mixed With Sam Sparro - "B&G" a/k/a "Black & Gold"
* David Guetta ft. Kid Cudi - "Memories" Mixed With Pirate Soundsystem - "Bashy Bashy"
* Deadmau5 & Kaskade - "I Remember" (Remix by FSG)
* Deee-Lite - "Groove Is In The Heart" Mixed With Chic - "Le Freak"
* Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden - "Bonkers" Mixed With Basement Jaxx - "Where's Your Head At"
* Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden - "Bonkers" Mixed With The Prodigy - "Omen"
* DJ Shadow - "Midnight In A Perfect World" (Remix by FSG)
* Edwin Starr - "War" Mixed With Justice - "Waters Of Nazareth"
* Eminem - "Not Afraid" Mixed With Lil' Wayne feat. Static Major - "Lollipop"
* Estelle ft. Kanye West - "American Boy" (Remix by FSG)
* Estelle ft. Kanye West - "American Boy" Mixed With Chic - "Good Times"
* Flo Rida - "Low" Mixed With David Guetta vs. The Egg - "Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away)"
* Flo Rida ft. Will.I.Am - "In The Ayer" Mixed With Clinton Sparks, DJ Class, & Jermaine Dupri - "Favorite DJ"
* Gorillaz ft. Mos Def & Bobby Womack - "Stylo" (Remix by FSG)
* Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - "The Message" Mixed With Kool & The Gang - "Jungle Boogie"
* House Of Pain - "Jump Around" (Remix by FSG)
* House Of Pain - "Jump Around" Mixed With Busta Rhymes - "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See"
* Iyaz - "Replay" Mixed With Rihanna - "Rude Boy"
* Janet Jackson - "Nasty" Mixed With Justice - "D.A.N.C.E."
* Kanye West - "Heartless" Mixed With Lady Gaga - "Lovegame"
* Kanye West - "Heartless" Mixed With DJ Shadow - "Midnight In A Perfect World"
* Kanye West - "Love Lockdown" Mixed With Donna Summer - "Bad Girls"
* Kaskade & Deadmau5 - "Move For Me" (Remix by FSG)
* Kelis - "Acapella (David Guetta Extended Mix)" (Remix by FSG)
* Lady Gaga feat. Colby O'Donis - "Just Dance" Mixed With Deadmau5 - "Ghosts N Stuff"
* Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ft. Ying Yang Twins - "Get Low" Mixed With 50 Cent - "In Da Club"
* Lil' Wayne - "Go DJ" Mixed With 50 Cent - "In Da Club"
* Lil' Wayne feat. Static Major - "Lollipop" Mixed With Flo Rida - "Low"
* LL Cool J - "I Can't Live Without My Radio" Mixed With Chic - "Good Times"
* M.I.A. - "Galang" Mixed With Wayne Smith - "Under Mi Sleng Teng"
* Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel - "Pon De Floor" Mixed With Harold Faltermeyer - "Axel F"
* Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel - "Pon De Floor" Mixed With New Order - "Blue Monday"
* Malcolm McLaren - "Buffalo Gals" Mixed With M|A|R|R|S - "Pump Up The Volume"
* Missy Elliott - "Get Ur Freak On" Mixed With Sean Paul - "Infiltrate"
* MSTRKRFT ft. N.O.R.E. - "Bounce" (Remix by FSG)
* MSTRKRFT ft. N.O.R.E. - "Bounce" Mixed With A-Trak - "Say Whoa"
* Nas feat. Keri Hilson - "Hero" Mixed With Talib Kweli - "Get By"
* Nelly - "Hot In Herre" Mixed With Warren G feat. Nate Dogg - "Regulate"
* New Boyz - "You're A Jerk" (Remix by FSG)
* Newcleus - "Jam On It" Mixed With Donna Summer - "Bad Girls"
* Pitbull - "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" Mixed With Nightcrawlers - "Push The Feeling On (MK Mix 95)"
* Pussycat Dolls ft. Busta Rhymes - "Don't Cha" Mixed With Pitbull - "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)"
* Robin S. - "Show Me Love (Stonebridge Radio Edit)" Mixed With Calvin Harris - "I'm Not Alone"
* Salt N Pepa - "Push It" Mixed With Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force - "Planet Rock"
* Salt N Pepa - "Push It" Mixed With Armand Van Helden - "I Want Your Soul"
* Sam Cooke - "Chain Gang" (Remix by FSG)
* Sean Paul - "Get Busy" Mixed With Harold Faltermeyer - "Axel F"
* Sean Paul - "Get Busy" Mixed With Rihanna - "Pon De Replay"
* Snow - "Informer" Mixed With Jackson 5 - "ABC"
* Soulja Boy Tell 'Em - "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" Mixed With Chamillionaire - "Ridin'"
* Sparfunk & D-Code - "Apocalypse" (Remix by FSG)
* Stevie Wonder - "Superstition" Mixed With Edwin Starr - "War"
* The Chemical Brothers ft. Q-Tip - "Galvanize" Mixed With The Chemical Brothers - "Leave Home"
* The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Mase & Diddy - "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" (Remix by FSG)
* The Prodigy - "Firestarter" (Remix by FSG)
* Tiesto & Sneaky Sound System - "I Will Be Here" Mixed With Tiesto - "Speed Rail"
* Tiesto vs Diplo - "Come On" (Remix by FSG)
* Timbaland ft. Drake - "Say Something" Mixed With Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West - "Put On"
* Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. - "The Way I Are" Mixed With Tiga - "You Gonna Want Me"
* Tweet ft. Missy Elliott - "Oops (Oh My)" Mixed With Snoop Dogg - "Who Am I (What's My Name)?"

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Good mixes, challenging difficulty levels, great design
-
Track list isn't as good as in the first game, very few real news
BETA +