|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: FreeStyle Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-3||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Multiplayer modes were added to the game, but they don't add much. Being able to join a buddy locally or online in co-op and competitive play is a nice addition, but I expect this game will remain focused on single-player. In a smart move, you can actually have two other players join in even if they don't have a turntable. That's right; support for a guitar and a microphone (emcee action) is also included. Of course, three-way jamming is relegated to just a handful of tracks, but going head-to-head in competitive duels on all of the songs may make up for it. Still, the multiplayer modes are not strong enough to keep you from being a loner. Unlike other titles in the 'Hero' line, DJ Hero excels when you're geeking out alone, not when you're hanging with friends. In fact, due to the extended sets, those who are just sitting around watching someone else play are in for a real yawner.
That is, unless you pop the game into Party Play. Similar to that of Guitar Hero 5, you can just sit back and enjoy the available tunes with good company as a party accompaniment. While the tracks on offer here won't replace the Pablo Honey, Physical Graffiti, and Lethal Injection that thumps in the background at my shindigs, the soundtrack is solid enough that this mode is no gimmick. I suspect gamers far less square than I will appreciate the functionality.
In addition to the enjoyable set list, the songs all shine in crystal clear fidelity. Graphically the game is very solid, if not amazing. I really enjoyed the varied, unlockable environments and customizable, pre-set DJs. Overall, the funky visual style effectively communicated the appropriate vibe. Still, like all other music titles, don't expect to be wowed by particle effects, detailed textures, and complex lighting and shading.
DJ Hero is a well made title that even old farts can enjoy. From the quality set list, accessible turntable peripheral, and generally nicely implemented mechanics, there's a lot for any gamer to enjoy. On the downside, the multiplayer elements aren't nearly as convincing as they should be, making this a game you'll likely play alone. Also, I've got a feeling that the appeal is narrow enough and the game bundle expensive enough that it may never gain the traction it needs to become a phenomenon. Nevertheless, there is a lot of innovation and fun to be had here that I'd like to see rewarded with a nice run at retail.
CCC Editor / News Director