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DJ Hero Review

Puts the 'Wii' in 'wiicky wiicky waa'

The Guitar Hero series has more or less reached saturation point now. Though undeniably fantastic, the recently-released Guitar Hero 5 demonstrates that there's only so much you can do with a plastic guitar. It's for this reason that we're actually surprised DJ Hero took so long to appear, since it provides a much-needed breath of fresh air to a series that's been threatening to go stale for a long time.

Rather than strumming and drumming along with songs as you do in Guitar Hero, the aim in DJ Hero is to mix records together. As a result, DJ Hero's soundtrack consists entirely of mash-ups. If you're not familiar with these, they're basically what happens when a DJ takes two songs and mixes them together to create one song. They do this by switching between the tracks, 'scratching' the records, fiddling with the levels and generally performing all sorts of clever shenanigans to make a single track that should, if all goes well, get the dancefloor jumping.

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The mash-ups in DJ Hero are all completely brand new and the vast majority sound great, with some mixed by famous acts such as Daft Punk, DJ Shadow, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash and the late DJ AM. There are a couple of stinkers in there - Jackson 5 mixed with Third Eye Blind is one of the most sickeningly cheesy things we've ever heard - but for the most part we found our feet uncontrollably tapping away as we played, and with around 80 tracks on there it's not like you'll be struggling for choice.

Of course, the music's all well and good but DJ Hero could still have been a complete failure had the controller not been up to scratch. For the most part this isn't the case. The three-buttoned turntable is pleasingly weighty and can be sat on your lap or table with relative comfort. The 'spinning' mechanism is nice and loose, allowing for easy scratching without too much effort, which is handy when playing on the Expert setting where every scratch has to be performed perfectly in the exact directions the DJ originally did it when recording the track.

Wheel Of Fortune

We only have a couple of complaints about the controller. Firstly, the cross-fader (which you use to switch between tracks) takes a lot of getting used to. Any time you switch to the left or right track it's tricky at first to get it back to the middle position without going too far and switching it to the other track instead. You'll get the hang of it eventually but it had us tearing our hair out for the first couple of hours.

Click to view larger image
Our only other gripe, minor though it may be, is that those three buttons are extremely loud and clacky when you press them. This isn't a problem when you're playing the game with the sound booming, as the developers clearly intended. However, if you're playing the game with headphones on so as not to disturb anyone, you may not realise that your loud clacking is actually making them chew their fingers down to the knuckle in pure rage.

The set list consists of around 80 mixes and since the vast majority of these involve two songs being mixed together you'd expect around 150 or so different songs. This isn't quite the case however, as the mixes have been created using a pool of around 100 different songs instead. While this essentially means there's a lot of overlapping (Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl ends up in three mixes, for example, and Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby makes more than its fair share of appearances too), it's not too cheeky since each song sounds drastically different when mixed with another. The aforementioned Jackson 5 vs Third Eye Blind song might sound like someone's injecting you with the most sugary syrup known to man, for example, but when you take the same Jackson 5 song (I Want You Back) and mix it with Jay-Z's HOVA the results are very different.

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  1. piccadillio Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 11:46

    So DJ Hero is too expensive, but paying the extra £20 per motion-plus unit to have some fun with Wii Sports Resort is not a big deal?

    Oh, right.

  2. ClockMenace Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 12:03

    $120 USD is a hefty price...I do wonder why GH wasn't this expensive.

    This still looks really fun, considering I've seen it in action.

  3. LiamGodOfFood Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 12:08

    Went to see what it was like in HMV but it broke before I got there... I don't know why it's so much more expensive than Guitar Hero. Surely the guitars cost just as much to produce as the turntables? Are they just raising the price because they can, now that they have extremely high publiciy on it?

  4. Locarii Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 12:15

    Like Piccadillo said, so paying for millions of official Nintendo accessories like 4 of everything is fine, but $120 is way too much to consider for a game with a turntable in it. A turntable would be more expensive to make BTW then a guitar, so the price seems about right =/

  5. ChrisONM Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 12:24

    So DJ Hero is too expensive, but paying the extra £20 per motion-plus unit to have some fun with Wii Sports Resort is not a big deal?

    Oh, right.


    *sigh*

    I know you like to think there's a Nintendo bias everywhere mate, but the fact is two players can play Wii Sports Resort for £70. A £50 game and an extra MotionPlus.

    For two-player DJ Hero you'd need, at the VERY least, the game with a set of decks (£100) and a Guitar Hero guitar (let's say £20, for the beneift of the doubt). That's £120 to play only a handful of songs that support the guitar. If you want to play proper two-player DJ Hero, with two decks, you're talking £200.

    It's CLEAR that £70 for two-player Wii Sports Resort is a big deal, but when you compare it to £200 for two-player DJ Hero there's a clear difference there. That's not me favouring Nintendo, it's me favouring a saving of £130.

  6. Shadow Samus Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 15:06

    Looks good, and some of the mixes sound insane (they'd better release a soundtrack CD!)

    My one question is, since there are two versions of the game, what does the Renegade version add to justify it costing £40 extra? :?

  7. Comic-Geek-Tom Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 17:12

    Its looks like a pretty fun & interesting game but at that price i'm probably not going to get it.

  8. Eternal Darkness Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 18:10

    So DJ Hero is too expensive, but paying the extra £20 per motion-plus unit to have some fun with Wii Sports Resort is not a big deal?

    Oh, right.


    *sigh*

    I know you like to think there's a Nintendo bias everywhere mate, but the fact is two players can play Wii Sports Resort for £70. A £50 game and an extra MotionPlus.

    For two-player DJ Hero you'd need, at the VERY least, the game with a set of decks (£100) and a Guitar Hero guitar (let's say £20, for the beneift of the doubt). That's £120 to play only a handful of songs that support the guitar. If you want to play proper two-player DJ Hero, with two decks, you're talking £200.

    It's CLEAR that £70 for two-player Wii Sports Resort is a big deal, but when you compare it to £200 for two-player DJ Hero there's a clear difference there. That's not me favouring Nintendo, it's me favouring a saving of £130.


    Don't worry he is always like that....

  9. Bretteh Friday 30th Oct 2009 at 18:12

    So DJ Hero is too expensive, but paying the extra £20 per motion-plus unit to have some fun with Wii Sports Resort is not a big deal?

    Oh, right.


    *sigh*

    I know you like to think there's a Nintendo bias everywhere mate, but the fact is two players can play Wii Sports Resort for £70. A £50 game and an extra MotionPlus.

    For two-player DJ Hero you'd need, at the VERY least, the game with a set of decks (£100) and a Guitar Hero guitar (let's say £20, for the beneift of the doubt). That's £120 to play only a handful of songs that support the guitar. If you want to play proper two-player DJ Hero, with two decks, you're talking £200.

    It's CLEAR that £70 for two-player Wii Sports Resort is a big deal, but when you compare it to £200 for two-player DJ Hero there's a clear difference there. That's not me favouring Nintendo, it's me favouring a saving of £130.

    It's this reason I won't buy the game.

    I was intrigued, the music intrigued me more than any Rock Band or Guitar Hero thus far (I'm a sucker for remixes to be fair) but when I went into a shop and asked how much it was I was genuinely shocked.

    Over £100 for this, is ridiculous.

    I would never pay more than £60 for a game and I'd only pay £60 if it was a decent special edition thing or a peripheral.

    Needless to say I've had an instant regret with my peripheral/collectors edition in recent years (Arkham Asylum, Wii Fit).

    I love gaming but I have come to the point where I realise that nothing the industry releases anymore is worth near £60.

  10. chazrinelli Saturday 31st Oct 2009 at 11:42

    I bought it full whack £170, got £10 off from tradeins and another £5 for loyalty rewards from GAME and to be honest all of you guys complaining about the price is ridiculous. It is amazing, and totally worth it. The black and gold decks are fantasticand really stands out. The table is brilliant, all the foaming inside protects it the decks really well. And the it actually perfect size! I thought it would be small but its not! The CD with JayZ and Eminem is ok, I just don't really like that sort of music.

    The mashups are simply brilliant, they give everyoone hours of fun, and downloadable content will certainly pick up some more pace!

    If you dont want to pay for two decks, then don't, theres no need, just take it in turns to play, simple as. or if a friend has it, ask them to bring theirs round. Also if you shop around, Tesco or Asda normally have it at around £85 so saving a bit their. But the Renegade edition is 100% worth it, but if you do go out and get it, make sure you bring a weight lifter! Its a little heavy...

  11. ILoveWii Saturday 31st Oct 2009 at 19:19

    So DJ Hero is too expensive, but paying the extra £20 per motion-plus unit to have some fun with Wii Sports Resort is not a big deal?

    Oh, right.


    *sigh*

    I know you like to think there's a Nintendo bias everywhere mate, but the fact is two players can play Wii Sports Resort for £70. A £50 game and an extra MotionPlus.

    For two-player DJ Hero you'd need, at the VERY least, the game with a set of decks (£100) and a Guitar Hero guitar (let's say £20, for the beneift of the doubt). That's £120 to play only a handful of songs that support the guitar. If you want to play proper two-player DJ Hero, with two decks, you're talking £200.

    It's CLEAR that £70 for two-player Wii Sports Resort is a big deal, but when you compare it to £200 for two-player DJ Hero there's a clear difference there. That's not me favouring Nintendo, it's me favouring a saving of £130.

    £70 for two player WSR? Where do you buy from?

    You can find WSR for £30 in some places. And M+ cost £15 usually. Two player can be as low as £45.

    Same goes for DJ Hero, it costs £80 some places. But it's still pricey, I agree. It'll go down though.

  12. SteveMega Saturday 31st Oct 2009 at 20:38

    Buy Rock Band 2.

  13. dizzy boy Sunday 1st Nov 2009 at 17:18

    lame, dj`ing for real is much more fun.
    if i want mash up`s on vinyl, htfr.com is the place to go.

  14. foxmcloud555 Sunday 1st Nov 2009 at 20:38

    so what precisely is the renegade edition? just different decks or is the software different too?

  15. ILoveWii Sunday 1st Nov 2009 at 22:18

    so what precisely is the renegade edition? just different decks or is the software different too?

    The Normal Edition of DJ Hero comes with a copy of DJ Hero and a DJ Turntable with stickers.

    The Renegade Edition of DJ Hero comes with a copy of DJ Hero, a DJ Turntable which has a golden finish, golden knobs and a golden disc in the middle of the deck with stickers, a case to carry it in which converts into a stand to hold the Turntable on and a 2-Disc Eminem/Jay Z Album with 24 (12 each) of their greatest songs with exclusive packaging.

  16. chazrinelli Monday 2nd Nov 2009 at 00:39

    Also, if you think about it, the 3 buttons used would need some expensive kit inside as if wires were used it would get round when rewinding and eventually snap. Your paying for quality.

    Get stickers with Renegade too, hidden in the CD pack :p

    Like I said it is worth the money, the game is awesome!

  17. luigitime2k8 Friday 4th Dec 2009 at 16:58

    Hey for those of you in Ireland or Europe, it's 80E in HMV, instead of 129E! I just got it for Christmas. But does anyone know does it support GH: On tour instead of a guitar, like Band Hero? Cant wait to open it the sountrack is just epic!

  18. trace456 Wednesday 23rd Dec 2009 at 13:53

    got this game for xmas , tescos £69.99
    BARGIN

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