Play it again, Sam...
Oh, rhythm games. When will I realize that you are my drug?
So, I've always been a huge fan of electronica and techno music, as well as the DJ and remix subculture. That's why, when I first heard that DJ Hero was coming out, I was ecstatic, and preordered it in full immediately. The first game was pretty fun, and I was able to smash through most of the mixes, but it's still lying on my shelf, a few choice songs un-5 starred.
Then DJ Hero 2 came out under my radar, and so I decided to pick it up using some gift money. Soon as it came, I started playing it.
And had a tough time putting it down.
Seriously, Freestyle Games has improved a hell of a lot of the problems from DJH1, including the wonky sampling system, which has been replaced from Flavor Flav going "Yeeeeeeeahhh boyeeeeee" endlessly to contextual samples that actually make sense. And not only that, but the freestyle scratching and crossfading make me feel like I have so much more control over the mix.
Even though this is the biggest change from the first game, the other tweaks also stand out. First off, the graphics don't look like PS2-era polygonal messes; they now belong with the current-gen games, alongside Rock Band 3. Second, the mixes this time around are smoother, with more variety, as no one song is used more than twice (so no more endless repeats of Rihanna's "Disturbia"). Thirdly, the actual inclusion of a story ("Empire Mode", where you play through clubs to gain rep and defeat other DJs in battles and such) as well as the megamixes gave a nice cohesion to the game that was lacking in the last one. The new battle modes, especially over Xbox Live, are a new spin (ahahaha, sorry) on the old system, and the power decks area good way to evaluate a DJ's strengths, whether it be scratching, tapping, rewinding, etc.
FSG has already allowed for previously downloaded content from DJH1 to be used in the sequel, and I'm hoping for a Rock Band-style reintegration of all of DJH1's songs into DJH2 for a low-ish price.
Overall, it's a very strong sequel, and I'm only wondering where FSG can go from here. 4.5/5 stars.