DJ Hero – First look

DJHeroAs someone who never really grew up on classic rock, heavy metal, punk, or alternative music during the 80’s (I enjoyed more pop and old skool rap), I was quite surprised that I learned to enjoy both the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises.  As a matter of fact, I was a late adopter of music and rythym based games, and it was only when I tried Guitar Hero III at a friends house did I finally buy one for myself and began to jam.  Funny thing is, I’m still not crazy about quite a few of the songs.  My brain has somewhat managed to block out some songs as I am too busy concentrating on the notes tracks and hitting my hammer-on’s and off’s more so than I am listening to the lyrics.  However, I will say I have also learned to appreciate some songs that I never would have never even given a chance to outside the gaming experience.

With that in mind, I always wondered if they would make a game using a turntable and I always had visions in my head what a game may look like if I wanted to experience the music I tend to gravitate towards: Dance, House, Rap, Pop.  Imagine my joy when I first learned that Activision announced DJ Hero.  I began to salivate at the thought of doing my own record scratching and mixing break beats and using a crossfader.

Well finally some details on the the gameplay and peripheral have finally surfaced, and now I’m more excited than ever.  I just hope it translates very well, and not a hack job like Konami’s ill-thought-out ‘Rock Revolution’.  Anyway, here’s what we can look forward to:

  • Over 100 songs have been licensed, allowing DJs to create 70 playable tracks.
  • Songs are a mix of two existing tracks, or mash-ups.
  • The red middle button will add a sample to the mix.
  • Controller features an effects knob to inject additional sounds.
  • Hit the crossfade button at the right time to keep the mix correct while you beat match with the colored buttons.
  • Turntable spins all the way around.  At higher difficulties, scratch sections add to difficulty by requiring you to scratch in certain patterns.
  • “Rewind Meter”, when charged up, will allow a player to spin the record backward to relive and replay favorite sections.
  • “Jukebox mode” allows the game to play itself as background music for parties, where players can drop in randomly and leave as well.

Some of the artists confirmed will be: Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, David Bowie, KRS One, Soul Searchers, The Zombies, Rick James, Nirvana, Herbie Hancock (can you say “Rockit”?), Jurrasic 5, Beck, Blondie, and many more.

The game is schedule for a fall ’09 release.