The original "DJ Hero" brought two of the biggest hip-hop artists, Jay-Z and Eminem, together for a special edition of the game. In the sequel, which hit stores on Tuesday (October 19), Activision and Freestyle Games have tapped one of the most popular electronic music producers, Tiësto, to provide new tracks for gamers to master.
"DJ Hero 2" has a broader track list, with a bigger focus on dance music, so Tiësto's involvement was an obvious move for Activision. The publisher asked Tiësto, who provided one track for the original game, to create much more for the sequel. To that end, he recorded an exclusive track, titled "Speed Rail," which he describes as "very fast, uplifting, and it's very easy to put vocals on top."
Tiësto also has two remixes in "DJ Hero 2," including one where he uses Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." Why Gaga? Apparently it's his way of introducing people to his own music. "A lot of kids who buy the game are going to want to remix Lady Gaga," said Tiësto. "Then I put very cool bass lines and dance beats underneath, so they get more of the sound. That's one of the reasons I got involved in 'DJ Hero,' because for me, it's amazing to expose my music to a whole new different crowd who've never even heard of Tiësto, hip-hop people, rock people."
Tiësto's style of music, electronic dance, is just starting to explode here in the U.S., which he attributed to social media. "I think the interest for dance music has always been there," he explained, "but it didn't get exposed to the audience. Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, more people got exposed to it, and finally the big breakthrough is there. You can see it everywhere now, New York, L.A., everywhere there's dance clubs opening up."
In addition to Tiësto, other big stars featured in "DJ Hero 2" include DJ Shadow, RZA, Diplo and A-Trak. The game contains 83 tracks in total, with more coming later by way of downloadable content through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.
Gameplay-wise, the features from the original "DJ Hero" return, but the sequel also introduces new multiplayer modes. One such mode is called DJ Battle, which allows two players to play through a song, call-and-response style, battling for the best score overall. There's also an improved single-player mode and vocal support if you'd prefer to go the MC route.
"DJ Hero 2" is in stores now for PS3 and Xbox 360.