I’m a DJ Hero

Look what I found for $10 at the Giant Tiger!

It’s DJ Hero for the Nintendo Wii. I really like how much it looks and feels like a turntable a scratch deejay would use. And I love that it was on sale for a fraction of the original cost.

Here is a screen cap of the game. You can see that a record is spinning and that there are circles approaching the bottom of the screen. You need to press the correct button on the turntable controller when the record note passes over the button.

The music on the record is split into three different tracks or streams. The blue stream is the music backdrop, the red stream is for sound effects, and the green stream is all about the vocals. Of course, real records don’t work this way at all, but it really does work for the game play.

As you work your way through the challenges, you get to battle some celebrity deejays including DJ Q-Bert and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan.

In the above picture you can see the green stream on the right has a scratch symbol. To perform a scratch you need to hold down the button on the controller while moving the platter back and forth. The red line shows an open box approaching. You can tap out any pattern that you choose at this point to add some interesting sound effects to the mix.

I like how the game gives you chances to freestyle. There are portions where you can use an effects knob to filter the sound of the record, where you can use the crossfader to cut between two different vocal streams, and places where you can put a backspin on the record to repeat a certain section.

This game doesn’t exactly give you the DJ experience. Real records and real mixes just don’t work this way. Deejaying is a difficult skill and requires things that simply wouldn’t work in a video game setting. That being said, I appreciate how the game designers have made this a difficult game. You need to press buttons rapidly, control the effects knob, crossfader, and turntable platter, and watch out for times when you can get special bonuses.

This game is worth picking up if you find it on sale. I want to pick up a second unit so I can battle against a live opponent.

One word of caution though, the game allows you to add a player to sing vocals but due to the nature of cutting, scratching, and adding sound effects, the vocal mix is quite disjointed. I wouldn’t recommend buying a microphone solely for this game. Stick to the tables and if you like the art of deejaying, trying moving on to the real thing.

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