I've said this many times before, but we all know that Konami has paved the way for all music games. Now, Activision is jumping into the DJ scene, with Konami's Beatmania being the original franchise to bring this type of rhythm gameplay to the public eye. Having established itself with its 'Hero franchise, DJ Hero is the first major spin-and-scratch release to hit this generation of consoles, with another game, Scratch: The Ultimate DJ to follow months later.
But because this is an Activision title, you can most certainly expect DJ Hero to pull out all the stops. For starters, there are a total of 101 songs that can be each remixed 94 different ways. Artists include everything from 50 Cent, to the Beastie Boys, to DJ Shadow, N.E.R.D, Foo Fighters, Gary Numan, Benny Benassi, and much more. I've actually had a chance to witness DJ Hero first hand, and I was extremely impressed with what I experienced.
The turntable is fairly easy to use and doesn't require a whole lot of explaining to understand and get used to. In fact, after I had my time with the game, I noticed that everyone else before and after me were able to pick up and play with relative ease, and that's a huge plus considering this is an all new instrument many of us are not familiar with. You can scratch, mix/crossfade, throw in samples, rewind, adjust and perform effects. You'll be able to enable Euphoria, which works similarly to Star Power in Guitar Hero, and using Euphoria doubles your earned score points. Activision has also touted that lefty's will be able to reconfigure the turntable and scratch away no problems.
Now here's where things get a bit crazier and more fun. You can engange in battles against a friend, or spin in a co-op mode in offline and online multiplayer modes. An autoplay feature makes its way here too, allowing people to jump in and out at any time. But it's the guitar controller compatibility that really makes DJ Hero unique, as it'll allow you to jam along with a guitar and turntable for certain songs. This will, of course, inevitably lead to enabling a full band in future iterations. A microphone can be used, as well, but you're not scored when using it – it's merely active as just a prop, of sorts.
Below is a known sample of the artists and DJs that make their presence known in DJ Hero, this is not the full list:
Bell Biv DeVoe
Black Eyed Peas
DJ Jazzy Jeff
Eric B & Rakim
LL Cool J
Tears for Fears
The Aranbee Pop Symphony Orchestra
Also, do keep in mind that a Renegade Edition of the game with Jay-Z and Eminem will be made available, and it includes a Renegade Turntable Controller, as opposed to the standard turntable, a hardshell carrying case that can also be used as a DJ stand, and an exclusive Jay-Z and Eminem 2-disc set that features a plethora of exclusive and unreleased tracks.
DJ Hero is slated to hit October 27th. From what I got to experience, I think Activision's got another hit on their hands.