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Video Game of the Week – DJ Hero 2

When it was released last year, DJ Hero was seen by many as the ultimate music game. Not only did it deliver a great collection of songs, but the gameplay actually put you in charge of the musical experience

The core gameplay of DJ Hero 2, which was released on October 19, remains the same as the original. Players hold down one of three buttons to match notes that arc across a spinning record on the screen. Two of the buttons reflect the two songs that are being “mixed”, and the third button controls samples and effects that can be added into the mix.

Players must also adjust a cross-fader, which alters the volume of each song to match onscreen symbols. Certain tracks are given up or down arrows, requiring the player to “scratch” the record by turning the turntable in the opposite direction. The higher up the difficulty ladder you climb, the more intricate the patterns you are expected to follow. And the better you do, the more stars you gather to unlock new tracks, venues and other items.

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it can be. But like Guitar Hero and all good rhythm games before it, DJ Hero makes ample allowance for the beginner. In fact, that might be one of the most welcome improvements in DJ Hero 2: the lower difficulty settings have been completely reworked to provide a more convincing DJ experience.

Brand new DJ Hero 2 game modes include Freestyle, which lets you change how a mix sounds each time you play; Empire Mode, which sends players on a journey from a lowly warehouse DJ to the head of a music empire; Party Play mode, which lets players just enjoy the music and jump in whenever they want; and three new multiplayer modes.

Of course, at the heart of the great player experience is the phenomenal roster of over 80 superb musical mixes and mash-ups, including tracks from popular artists such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, Flo Rida and dozens of others.

DJ Hero 2 is offered as a stand-alone game for those who already have a turntable ($59.99), or as a turntable bundle ($99.99). Multiple turntables can be used for DJ Battles or switching back and forth between players during the same mix.

Whether you have ambitions to be the next Grandmaster Flash or just love listening to great beats, DJ Hero 2 is an infectious and invigorating experience.

DJ Hero 2 is rated “T” for Teen (lyrics, suggestive themes) by the ESRB. Check out the ESRB video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org

Publisher: Activision
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii
Genre: Rhythm, music
RRP: $59.99 (software only)
Release Date: October 19, 2010
ESRB Rating: “T” for Teen

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