Come On DJ, Spin That Wheel

As a fan of music games, hip-hop music and DJ-ing, DJ Hero caught my eye the moment it was announced. At first, I had my reservations in regards to how it would control. Unlike my previous forays into video game musical instruments, I do have a bit of background in real DJ-ing, which skewed my perception of how it would work. While I am no DJ Shadow or DJ Q-Bert, I do have the ability to blend tracks on CD turntables and do some basic scratching. I was kind of bummed that the controller would only feature one turntable and I wasn’t so sure I was cool with having buttons on the turntable. It wasn’t until I got my hands on it a few weeks ago that I changed my stance.

It was Valentines Day of all days, and I was out on the town with my girlfriend when we walked by a video game store I’d never been to before. Maybe it makes me a bad boyfriend (or I have an awesome girlfriend, I’ll go with the latter) but she was cool with us stopping by. At the back of the store, they had the Renegade Edition of DJ Hero set up with the stand. The game was set at medium difficulty, and without knowing beforehand how to play the game, I got it within seconds. It felt really good to flip the cross-fader and scratch the record in a way that sort of (but not really) simulated the feel of DJ-ing. I cranked the difficulty up to expert just for fun, and I lasted about a few seconds before I got decimated. In spite of the thrashing it gave me on expert, I was able to see that this game was pretty fun to play and I would love to work my way up to the point where I could fake DJ with the best of them.

The only major sticking point though, has been price. It launched in my country for $130, which is a lot to ask for in a one-player experience. Rock Band launched here at $170, but three people could play together out-of-the-box. For months, I have been keeping tabs on the price of DJ Hero, waiting for the most opportune time to strike.

Luckily for me, I was able to take advantage of a web-exclusive deal from a major retailer in my country that sold a refurbished version of DJ Hero for a much more reasonable $50. It sold out within a few hours, so sorry to my fellow countrymen and women who missed out.

I’m looking forward to getting some real hands-on time with DJ Hero in the next few weeks. I know that the game isn’t perfect, but the core experience felt compelling enough the first time around to warrant a serious stab at it.

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