Developer/Publisher: Activision

Platform: XBOX 360

Players: 1 - 2 (Co-Op / Online)

Rating: A++

For years corporations have tried to capture the essence of Hip-Hop culture onto video games. We’ve seen rapping aliens stuck on earth, Queen Latifah versus Coolio in a game of streetball, and actual emcees going at it in the squared ring.

Sadly those aforementioned attempts and many others failed to really connect the dots between the music and gaming. Now capitalizing off the insane momentum from Guitar Hero, DJ Hero (Activision) gives gamers a true feel of rocking the party behind the 1’s and 2’s.

DJ Hero - Jay-Z vs The Jackson 5

What keeps DJ Hero ahead of all other music related titles is its set up. The controller is a traditional DJ rig; half of it is the record platter with three buttons and the other half is a mixer with a slick cross fader, sound effects knob, and euphoria button which is DJ Hero’s version of star power.

Thankfully the mixer and turntable can switched around to accommodate the left handed population. Players with no previous DJ experience might feel awkward during an initial run through, but DJ Hero provides great tutorials to get you up to speed.

When playing any song, commands will pass around the spinning vinyl. Each command is represented by a corresponding colored button. When it's time to scratch you hold that button in question and move the record platter back and forth just like in real life. Additionally, the cross fader is applied just like in real life with the ability of closing out an audio source with a simple push to the left or the right.

Musically DJ Hero shines brightly. The game packs ninety three original mixes, beautifully mashing up 50 Cent and David Bowie, Queen and Beastie Boys, The Killers and Rihanna, Bell Biv Devoe and Cameo, and more. Legends like Grandmaster Flash, DJ Shadow, and Jazzy Jeff also contribute making this a great stand alone soundtrack.

Where DJ Hero falls a tad bit short is in the multiplayer mode. With another turntable, two friends can compete against each other. In theory this sounds great but the multiplayer isn’t as innovative as expected. Both players are just competing to get the most points through their individual performance, so hopes of collaborative beat juggling, etc. are out the window.

Nitpicking aside DJ Hero is outstandingly fun. Real life DJ’s and novices alike will be able to cut, scratch, and blend with ease. The music provided will ensure countless hours of fun at any party. No worries about the needle skipping either.

DJ Hero - Queen vs. Daft Punk