Considering the success of the Guitar Hero franchise it was only a matter of time before Activision's wallet-squeezing department came up with another way to milk the public's pockets dry through peripheral-based button mashing. Welcome, then, to the turntable-purist's nightmare, building upon Red Octane's tried and tested formula of rhythm based gameplay with a setlist that encompasses clubland classics and DnB mash-ups galore.
If you fancy trying your hand at some virtual deck-spinning then you might be pleased to know that HMV are offering the game, complete with turntable peripheral, for just under seventy quid at £69.99 on all large console platforms, with free delivery included. Whilst this isn't a particularly noteworthy price for the Xbox 360 version (it's the same price at Amazon), it is a good £5 cheaper than the nearest competitor for the PS3 and Wii versions (Toys R Us - £74.94 inc. delivery).
- Click here to buy DJ Hero with Turntable for £69.99 from HMV (PS3 Game)
- Click here to buy DJ Hero with Turntable for £69.99 from HMV (Wii Game)
DJ Hero is different, that's a fairly good place to start. Just because you've managed to sweep aside 'Through the Fire and Flames' on Expert won't mean that you'll necessarily be a dab hand at this particular game, which is a good thing. Thankfully, there's an excellent tutorial (voiced by Grandmaster Flash) that sets you up with the game's five core mechanics: button taps, crossfades, effects, scratching and Euphoria - this incarnation's Star Power equivalent, and soon you're on your merry way, treading the remix road to stardom via 24 sets of 3-5 songs each, earning points and elusive stars for your troubles.
It's a road that has its fair share of steep finger-busting mountains, although instead of having a traditional difficulty curve, Freestyle Games have just pretty much lobbed a bunch of tracks at you and said 'Have fun', but do you what? It really is. Primarily a single-player experience (although there is a competitive multiplayer element to the game), DJ Hero is surprisingly intuitive and fun when you get into it. The setlist is fantastic, if slightly limited, and spans a dazzling array of genres - hell, Ace of Spades is even in there - with some quality guest appearances from some impressive real-life stars: Daft Punk, the late DJ AM and DJ Shadow all crop up to lend their talents and their likenesses.
It's a phenomenal party piece (much more so than Guitar Hero), and will only improve as more and more downloadable content becomes available, but there are a few downsides. The first is that there is no Freestyle mode: it would have been fantastic to have been able to create your own mini-mixes. The peripheral, too, takes some getting used to and can be a little slippery at times, but it's well made and on the Expert difficulty setting it really feels like it's not just a slab of plastic, as each and every movement corresponds to the nuances of the track. It's pricey, sure; but it's also a lot of fun, and with 93 mash-ups to choose from, there's a lot of content here to be had.