I played this game last weekend at my aunt and uncle’s place on Wii and it was fun (Paul here’s your post, as you predicted). So, I looked around online and found it for $85 on Amazon, which was 35 bucks cheaper than anywhere else. I think they still have it for $95, which is a lot cheaper than any other site or store.
Anyway, I bought the regular version for my PS3 and it comes with the game, turntable and some batteries for the turntable. There’s a special edition with an Eminem and Jay-Z CD and a turntable stand. I’ve found that it’s easy enough to use the turntable in your lap, or on your coffee table, so I don’t see how it’s worth paying another 80 bucks or so for that version.
Let’s talk about the music, that’s the appeal to us hip-hop fans. I’m still on the fence about mashups myself, and the game features mashups exclusively. To me, this is the only thing that they could do if they want to feature hip-hop in the game. Obviously, this is due to the language, and how the pool of songs would be significantly smaller if you are trying to make a family friendly game. I am fine with this. Any way to get some of this stuff into the ears of your mainstream consumers is okay to me. Some of the artists featured are Eminem, Jay-Z, Masta Ace, Public Enemy, Gang Starr, Kid Cudi, Beastie Boys and more.
Once I started playing the game, I found myself nodding my head for 2 hours straight as I worked my way through the first few sets. The mashups are pretty dope overall. There are a couple rock mashups that I wasn’t really feeling, and you have to give Activision a pass for including a Vanilla Ice/MC Hammer mashup, which was a horrible idea. Let’s put two of the worst rappers together on the same song! The game play is easy enough, but can get pretty challenging. Personally, I’m not that good at Guitar Hero, but I found that I am pretty good at DJ Hero and picked up medium right away. Medium is about as high as I get on Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Here is a sample of me playing one of the easier songs on hard (a mash of MA’s Born To Roll and Mr. Big Stuff that I dig):
As shown in the video (quality isn’t great and it is in reverse), you can cross fade, scratch, simply press one of the 3 buttons, manipulate the volume and use “samples”. My default samples are Flavor Flav, hence some of the Yeah Boyees, etc. You can use these samples when you see When you are on a roll, you can access euphoria (through a lit up button on the turntable), which doubles your points. At certain times, you can reverse as well, which also lets you double your points by spinning the “record” on your turntable and replaying some of the song you just played.
The biggest challenges to me are cross fading and reverse. It can be a little tricky to fade without going to far and making the “needle” come off the record. Reversing is tricky because it might put you in a spot where you don’t have the fader in the right spot. Although, I have found that it tends to give you a second to figure out where you are after starting back up. Here’s another sample of the game; me playing on medium to an Eminem/Beck mashup:
Overall, I found myself really getting into the game and the music is solid. I think hip-hop heads will enjoy this game, at least those of us that also like video games. Hopefully, it will get some people wondering who some of these artists are and they’ll look into their catalog of music.