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DJ Hero

For: Mobile

Disco-nnected

Product: DJ Hero | Developer: Glu Mobile | Format: Mobile | Genre: Music/ Rhythm | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 917KB | Reviewed on: K800i other handsets | Version: Europe
 
DJ Hero Mobile, thumbnail 1
It makes sense that Activision and Glu have moved to DJing after a bazillion interpretations of Guitar Hero.

While they lack the same ‘air guitar’ potential of guitar-based music, decks do have a strange pull for non-musician friends, as anyone with a pair lying around will know.

DJ Hero attempts to tap into that part of the brain where everyone is a superstar DJ, but due to a combination of poor note-tracks and relatively sparse content, it only ends up being the bootleg EP of rhythm-action games.

An itch you can scratch

The setup should be familiar to anyone who’s played either Guitar Hero or Rock Band before.

Circles stream down from the top of the screen, this time along a vinyl record. Tap the corresponding key as the circle passes the bottom line and a multiplier increases. Mistime a press and the song dims and the multiplier is lost.

Alongside the normal mobile ‘three button’ setup that uses ‘4’, ‘5’, and ‘6’ to activate notes, there’s cross-fading (‘8’) and scratching (rapidly hitting a button) to worry about as well.

Adding to this is the DJ equivalent of ‘Star Power’ called ‘Euphoria’, gained by successfully hitting a blue sequence of notes correctly. Once activated, Euphoria instantly doubles the multiplier, allowing for some high-scoring 8x note streaks.

Can I get an Encore?

Like recent Guitar Hero games, DJ Hero allows you to download MP3 tracks of the mixes. Those without a free wi-fi connection on their phones may want to avoid this, though, as the data costs over 3G are likely to be through the roof.

If they are available, these MP3s are generally entertaining mixes, usually consisting of a track from the '80s like ‘Shout’ by Tears for Fears, mixed in with something more modern – in this case ‘Pjanoo’ by Eric Prydz.

While the mixes may be good enough to listen to without the game keeping up interest, DJ Hero only manages to fit five tracks in total. The difficulty modes and online leaderboards help to encourage repeat play, but it does feel stingy considering most other rhythm-action games have almost double this number.

Head-scratcher

The real issue with DJ Hero, though, is that the note tracks (the sequence of buttons the player needs to press) for the songs are terrible, with both so detached from one another that it often feels like playing a game with music, rather than playing the music.

The great presentation and occasionally synched notes do entertain on occasions, but these decks are only good for a quick spin.
 
DJ Hero
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 13 September 2010
With only five tracks and very loose beat matching to what’s playing, DJ Hero lacks the length and depth of its axe-wielding compatriots
 
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