A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DJ Hero 2 contains some suggestive lyrics that refer to sex, drugs, and some other potentially sensitive themes, such as the line "sometimes I think I'm going insane, I swear I might hijack a plane" in Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message." Also, female dancers often move in a seductive way and wear tight and revealing clothing. However, the game's primary focus is to provide a platform for players to have fun playing, mixing, and learning about music.
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What's it about?
As with its innovative predecessor, DJ HERO 2 is a rhythm game that challenges players to \"mash-up\" two music tracks together into one mix. With the aid of a wireless turntable peripheral (included in the $100 bundle, or you can just use last year's model), you'll master scratching, cross-fading, sample dropping, and other DJ effects as you follow onscreen prompts to press the certain buttons (red, blue or green) at the right time. Perform well and the virtual crowd will go wild. This time around Activision has added new mixes, more modes, and additional support for extra peripherals you might own, such as microphones and guitars. Artists include Lady Gaga, The Jackson 5, Kanye West, Metallica, Damian Marley, LL Cool J, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Daft Punk, Eminem, Flo Rida, Nelly, Timbaland, Drake and Snoop Dogg.
Is it any good?
The new soundtrack -- featuring 83 mixes in total -- is well worth the price of admission. The music covers a wide assortment of genres (techno, pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B, and more), including songs that can be heard on the radio today. The game is a lot more fun with friends, and this sequel offers six new multiplayer game modes, including Party Play -- which allows up to two DJs and a vocalist to jump-in and jump-out on the fly -- and a freestyle option for playing around on the turntable however you like.
Activision didn't try to mess with the formula in this sequel. The developer opted instead to deliver a rich musical selection, many more modes, and other goodies that justify the purchase. Note: All three versions of the game are the same (aside from low-resolution visuals in the Wii version).
Online interaction: All three versions of the game allow for multiplayer support via the Internet. In the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions players can communicate with one another and potentially be exposed to foul language and inappropriate subjects of conversation. The Nintendo Wii version doesn't support voice chat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the selection of music featured in the game. What do you think of some of the contentious lyrics? Is the impact of profanity lessened when it has been bleeped out? Do you think that Activision is justified in including songs that reference drugs, sexuality, and racial slurs?
Families can also discuss the game's depiction of women. The revealing clothing and seductive moves of the game's dancers are part and parcel to hip hop culture, but would the game's authenticity have been diminished had these elements been toned down?
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