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Dj Hero 2

DJ Hero 2 is a rhythm video game and a sequel to DJ Hero. DJ Hero 2 uses a special turntable-controller to simulate turntablism, the act of creating a new musical work from one or more previously-recorded songs using record players and sound effect generators. The game, like the first in the series, is developed by FreeStyleGames and is published by Activision, and was released worldwide in October 2010.[1]



DJ Hero 2 follows from its predecessor in simulating the performance of a disc jockey mixing one or two songs using a special turntable controller. The controller includes a rotatable turntable to use for recording scratching, three "stream" buttons to match notes from the two music tracks and an effects track, and a slider to control the crossfade between tracks. These actions are presented to the players through on-screen notation that scrolls in time with the music. Players score points by performing the actions correctly, but are not penalized otherwise. By successfully completing a consecutive set of actions, the player can increase their scoring multiplier up to 4x; the multiplier returns to 1x should they miss any actions. Certain marked sections, when played correctly, fill a "Euphoria" (the "Star Power" for this game) meter which can be unleashed using another button on the controller and will temporarily double the scoring. The player can also earn the ability to rewind a song by a few seconds by playing a long string of consecutive notes. They can rewind the song by quickly spinning the turntable in reverse; the rewind effect can be used to either correct a mistake or further boost one's scoring.

Small changes have been made in the turntable playback within DJ Hero 2: freestyle effects samples, previously based on game-wide preselected "effect packs", are mix-specific, and the game will not penalize the player for small variations in fast scratching sections as long as it follows the general beat of the song.[2] Specially-marked freestyle sections, previously limited to only added sample effects over the track, will now allow the player to freely mix between the two tracks, use their own scratch effects, or add effects hits while within these sections .[2]

In addition to using a turntable, players have the option to sing or rap to the mixes' lyrics, similar to vocal parts in current Guitar Hero or Rock Band games using a compatible microphone controller from most previous rhythm games. The game will score vocals based on the matching of pitch, beat and rhythm.[2]

DJ Hero 2' features an improved single-player career mode called "Empire". Empire provides more structure for the player to proceed through the game than the simple set lists used in DJ Hero.[3] Through Empire mode, the player works though a number of pre-determined setlists and boss battles (as described below) with the celebrity avatars and fictional DJ's at one of six different venues, earning stars that unlock additional venues to play at. Completing certain setlists or battles unlock new characters, outfits for those characters, and virtual turntable decks for the player. Five of these decks are "power decks" that slightly change the scoring mechanism or play style of the game; one increases the maximum multiple to 5x, while another one increases the rate that notes are displayed but increases the base scoring system.

The primary focus of DJ Hero 2 has been the social aspects, according to FreeStyleGames' creative director Jamie Jackson;[3] as such, many of the games' new modes feature multiplayer considerations. The game will support the "Party Play" mode introduced in Guitar Hero 5, allowing players to jump into a song, alter the difficulty during gameplay, change between turntable and vocals, and leave at any time, while the game continues to run in a jukebox mode.[4] Several new competitive modes vie two DJ players against each other; some modes have both DJs performing alongside each other but with competitive edges such as a "Checkpoint" race where each DJ attempts to earn the best score within a section of a song. DJ Battles will see two DJ's performing call-and-response style along with open freestyle sections.[2] The online mode includes a simple role-playing game mechanic whereby participating and winning battles with other players earns the player DJ Points that lead to level increases and additional perks.

The game will not include "DJ vs Guitar" mode that was featured in DJ Hero, where a second player could use a compatible guitar controller to play alongside the DJ player.


DJ Hero 2 was officially announced in June 2010 for release in the last quarter of 2010.[5] Prior to the game's announcement, Activision revealed a month before the game's release that it is actively seeking artists for downloadable content and a sequel to the game.[6] David Guetta has stated that he is set to work on the game's sequel to arrive late in 2010.[7] Activision CEO Bobby Kotick stated that despite low sales of DJ Hero, they are committed to continuing the series, with the sequel due in 2010.[8] The sequel, DJ Hero 2, was further confirmed during an Activision investors report for 2009, citing it as one of only 2 major Guitar Hero titles to be expected from Activision in 2010, with an expected late-2010 release date.[9]

Work on DJ Hero 2 started some months after the first game was completed, as the development team had endured heavy working hours to meet the release deadline. FreeStyleGames' creative director Jamie Jackson said that DJ Hero 2 took about seven months to complete.[10] While they were able to easily build on the existing framework for DJ Hero, FreeStyleGames wanted to do more than just include new mixes, and sought to include additional features such as the Battle Mixes into the game.[10] Many of the game's new features are a result of feedback from players, including the game's social modes and improvements in the game's interface to provide a cleaner look and instantaneous visual feedback to the player.[3] The team also worked at improving the game's graphics; the appearance of DJ Hero's graffiti-based menus gave the impression of being a hip-hop game, but FreeStyleGames wanted to distance DJ Hero 2 from that.[10] They also wanted to clean up the gameplay's interface, providing better feedback to the player and making it easily to tell when they were winning or losing.[10] While DJ Hero 2 will not use Kinect or PlayStation Move motion-sensing technology, Jackson has not ruled them out for a future iteration of the game.[3]

Another step to move the game from the apparent hip-hop nature was through its song selection. Jackson felt the first game was weighted too heavily to the genre, with about 60% of the songs being hip-hop. The songs in DJ Hero 2 represent a wider variety of music, including dance, drum and bass, and techno, along with some contributions from hip-hop.[11] Jackson noted that they were able to work better with artists and publishers for DJ Hero 2, after the successful launch of the first game; with artists and publishers now knowing what to expect, "there is more understanding, so it has opened the doors to us in terms of getting more popular music", according to Jackson.[3] However, licensing for such music remained a difficult barrier.[10] Mixes for DJ Hero 2 are made first through computer-aided mixing of the two song tracks combined with effects noises, with simultaneous authoring of the gameplay markers. Noise for the scratching sections are filled in by recording the sounds of the tracks actually scratched on a DJ deck.[12] will be contributing his song "OMG" featuring Usher for DJ Hero 2, which he and performed live at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Usher had previously been approached by Kotick before the release of DJ Hero for future projects for Activision. Usher found, after following the success of DJ Hero, that the game was "very interesting" as a means of connecting younger gamers to music such as his that they would not be able to experience live at a club, leading to his desire to be a part of the sequel.[13]

FreeStyleGames found that by selecting mix aritsts such as Deadmau5 and Tiësto who are more widely known than some artists in the first game, they were able to give DJ Hero 2 a different feel, embracing the theatrics of these artists.[10] FreeStyleGames had tried to include Tiësto within the first game, but could not do it within the deadline, but instead was used as part of the first game's promotion,[10] and later would be used as Activision's "ambassador" for the game to Europe.[14] Furthermore, the game's soundtrack has been selected to include more dance and pop tracks taken from European artists to make the game more Euro-friendly.[14]


A demo for DJ Hero 2 was released to the Playstation network and the Xbox Live on September 7, 2010. The demo contains four mixes, two of which were playable: Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes - "Don’t Cha" vs. Pitbull - "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" and Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis - "Just Dance" vs. Deadmau5 - "Ghosts N Stuff". The mix Estelle featuring Kanye West - “American Boy” vs. Chic - "Good Times" was used as a tutorial and the mix MSTRKRFT featuring N.O.R.E. - "Bounce" (Beat Juggle) could be heard in the menu background.[15]

A browser game viral DJ Hero 2 Mix 2Gether was released on October 17, 2010. The viral game was made by digital agency Fish in a bottle and features a cut down version of the full game product. Three mixes are included in the viral and are all playable: Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis - "Just Dance" vs. Deadmau5 - "Ghosts N Stuff", Blakroc featuring Pharoahe Monch and RZA - "Dollaz and Sense" and Tiësto and Sneaky Sound System - "I Will Be Here" vs. Tiësto - "Speedrail". Unique to the viral game is a "Create A Mix" mode which allows players to create their own mixes, share them and challenge friends through email, Twitter, facebook and Myspace.[16]

DJ Hero 2 will be sold with various promotional items. Within Europe and select stores in North America, players purchasing the game in one of two bundle packages (either with one or two turntable controllers) will receive the predecessor DJ Hero free.[17] Other North American stores offer carrying cases for the turntables, MP3 versions of selected mixes, or redemption codes for in-game customization options.[18]


A glitch was observed by players on Xbox 360 where, if they were playing while online and had exactly 100 friends attached to their account, the game would freeze and/or they would be unable to play online. Activision issued a patch to correct this a few days after release.[19][20]

The music video for Tiësto's "Speed Rail" is composed only of footage from DJ Hero 2 including the Tiësto avatar.[21]


Main article: List of songs in DJ Hero 2

DJ Hero 2's setlist will include 83 mashups from nearly 100 songs from about 85 different artists.[5] Game Informer stated that the game's soundtrack still strongly represents the genre of hip-hop, but adds more elements from electronica, pop, and dance.[4] David Guetta, Deadmau5, DJ Qbert, Tiësto and RZA will be playable avatars within the game and they will help create mixes for the game.[5][22][23][24]

DJ Hero 2 will support downloadable content in the form of new mixes that can be purchased from the consoles' respective online stores. In addition, through an additional free add-on to be released in November 2010, players will be able to purchase existing downloadable content from the first game to use within DJ Hero 2.[25] Rock band Linkin Park has stated that three of their hits will be released as downloadable content.[26]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87.5%[27]
Metacritic 86/100[28]
Review scores
Publication Score B+[29]
Eurogamer 9/10[30]
Game Informer 9.25/10[31]
GameSpot 8.5/10[32]
IGN 9/10 (UK)[33]
8.5/10 (US)[34]
PALGN 8.5/10[35]

DJ Hero 2 was well-received by critics, who felt the game was a significant improvement in both gameplay, presentation, and song selection from its prequel. Michael Brown of noted while there was very little overall change to the gameplay, "it's the minor tweaks that make it a definite improvement over the original".[29] Keza MacDonald of Eurogamer believed that DJ Hero 2 was "much slicker, clearer and more tasteful" with changes in presentation and interface that quickly allows the players to jump into the game.[30] Video game talk show Good Game: Spawn Point gave the game an 8 out of 10, praising the DJ Battles feature, which they believed had some of the best songs in the game. "There’s a little something for everyone here which does mean there’s going to be some stuff that isn’t for you, but I still enjoyed playing pretty much all of the mixes."[36]

The NPD Group's North American sales estimates for DJ Hero 2 during its launch month were 59,000 units.[37]


  1. Sean Ryon. "DJ Hero 2 To Feature Eminem, Dr. Dre, More". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Donlan, Christian (2010-06-10). "DJ Hero 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Hartley, Adam (2010-06-10). "Interview: DJ Hero 2’s Jamie Jackson". VG247. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Miller, Matt (2010-06-16). "DJ Hero 2 Mixes It Up". Game Informer. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Bramwell, Tom (2010-06-08). "DJ Hero 2 due out this autumn". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  6. Bailey, Kat (2009-11-13). "Activision Working On 2010 'Hero' Slate". Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  7. Pigna, Kris (2010-01-02). "DJ Guetta Confirms DJ Hero 2". Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  8. Kollar, Phil (2010-01-15). "Activision CEO Confirms DJ Hero Sequel For 2010". Game Informer. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  9. Nunneley, Stephany (2010-02-10). "Acti Bliz slashes music SKUs, 60 million Guitar Hero songs downloaded". VG247. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 "Game Talk: DJ Hero 2". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  11. East, Thomas (2010-10-13). "DJ Hero featured too much hip hop' - dev". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  12. Dan Amrich. (2010-08-31). Where do DJ Hero tracks come from?. Activision. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  13. Snider, Mike (2010-06-24). "E3 2010: Usher says 'DJ Hero' gets kids into the club". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Minkley, Johnny (2010-09-06). "Tiesto becomes DJ Hero ambassador". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  15. Nunneley, Stephany (2010-09-07). "DJ Hero 2 and Warriors of Rock demos hit Xbox Live". VG247. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  16. "DJ Hero 2 Mix 2Gether viral game". 
  17. Purchase, Robert (2010-10-06). "Get DJ Hero free with DJ Hero 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  18. Lee, Garnett (2010-10-06). "Choose Where to Get DJ Hero 2 Based on Special Offers". Shacknews. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  19. Gaskill, Jake (2010-10-20). "DJ Hero 2 Glitch Won't Let You Play Online If You Have Too Many Friends". G4 TV. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  20. Gerstmann, Jeff (2010-10-21). "DJ Hero 2: If It Locks Up, Ditch A Friend". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  21. Cullen, Johnny (2010-10-28). "New Tiesto music video made entirely from DJ Hero 2 footage". VG247. Retrieved 2010-10-28. 
  22. Baltin, Steve (2010-07-02). "David Guetta Goes From Collaborator to Video Game 'Hero'". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  23. Hussain, Tamoor (2010-07-30). "Tiesto announced for DJ Hero 2". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  24. Purchase, Robert (2010-09-02). "DJ Hero 2 snares Wu-Tang's RZA". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  25. Robinson, Andy (2010-10-13). "DJ Hero 2 DLC detailed (already)". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  27. "DJ Hero 2". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  28. "DJ Hero 2 (360)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 Brown, Michael (2010-10-26). "DJ Hero 2 Review". Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 MacDonald, Keza (2010-10-19). "DJ Hero 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  31. Helgeson, Matt (2010-10-19). "DJ Hero 2". Game Informer. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  32. Watters, Chris (2010-10-22). "DJ Hero 2 Review". Gamespot. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  33. Wells, Matt (2010-10-19). "DJ Hero 2 UK Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  34. Hatfield, Daemon (2010-10-19). "DJ Hero 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  35. Hassett, Cian (2010-10-28). "DJ Hero 2 Review". PALGN. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  36. "Good Game: Spawn Point stories - DJ Hero 2". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010-11-13. 
  37. Martin, Matt (2010-11-17). "Tony Hawk: Shred flops with only 3000 units sold in US". Retrieved 2010-11-17. 

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