The first DJ Hero got decent reviews but didn't sell as well as Activision had hoped, but they've given the developers a second chance. I haven't played the first one, but the turntable bundle is $55 on Amazon these days, and the game looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
The sequel is adding something that everyone complained was missing from the original: multiplayer options that extend beyond ten or so songs. Videogamer.com describes the multiplayer this way:
Accumulator is a bit like a turntable-based variant of The Weakest Link: two players work their way through a mix, filling up a progress bar in the centre of the screen by "banking" streaks of 50 beats or more; if you hold out for a longer streak you'll fill up the bar quicker, but obviously this also increases the odds that you'll c*ck up, forcing you to start from scratch. It's a simple setup, but one that seems like a natural fit for the game's focus on dexterity and timing, with friendly competition adding a further level of pressure to the already considerable challenge.
Accumulator mode looks fairly nasty in its own right, but if you're the kind of gamer who really likes a good scrap, you'll probably get most of your kicks via the new DJ Battles system. Here the game adopts a call and response-style approach, utilising specially-crafted mixes that echo the nightmarish demands of the hardcore tracks in Hero 1. One player works their way through a brief, 20 second section of mixing, then they have a break while the other player follows suit with an identical interlude; this alternating process then repeats itself over the course of the whole mix with the best performer nabbing the win. That all sounds very sedate, but in practice it looks like a towering contest of skill and ego, as each DJ attempts to outshine their rival.
Other new features include full integration of vocals, so you can score bonus points by singing or rapping over the mix, and freestyle sections where you can scratch, cross-fade, and sample the tracks at will. So far as artists go, it looks like the game will be all original mixes again featuring big names:
DJ Hero 2 will carry 70 mixes, mashed together from the works of 85 different artists. Freestyle has already revealed the presence of Dr. Dre, The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West, Metallica, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, while Activision's recent showcase event revealed the inclusion of MSTRKRFT, David Guetta, Pitbull, The Pussycat Dolls and Deadmau5.
The game is expected to be sold on its own and as a bundle that includes two turn-tables and a microphone because multiplayer is where it's at.
Color me skeptical but very interested.