Friday, November 6, 2009

"Scratch: The Ultimate DJ" Game - Features a Numark Controller (DJ HERO KILLER?)

You've probably noticed my recent obsession with DJ Hero over the past few months.  Although it's not exactly the most authentic DJ experience, I thought it was the closest I would ever get to combining my love of DJ'n and video games.

Now that DJ Hero has finally hits stores, I thought I was going to go out and cop that ASAP but I just found out about a new DJ game "Scratch: The Ultimate DJ" which is making me think twice about my potential purchase.  I wish I knew when this was coming out because this looks twice as good as DJ Hero.  All I have been able to find is a Q1 2010 release date even though it was originally scheduled to release this past summer.  

Based on the video clips I've seen, this is probably as close as you can get to the authetic DJ experience through a video game.  Genius Products and Genco Interactive looks like they have spent a lot of time developing their product to make sure it stands up to the competition.

The turntable may be small and kind of cheap but it looks like it functions exactly as it should.  The crossfader and beatpad are made by Numark so you know that is legit and fairly well made.  They even had DJ's like Mix Master Mike come in and give their feedback to make sure it would satisfy even the harshest critics. 

They were also collaborated with Quincy Jones III who is an award winning producer who has created beats for LL Cool J, 2pac and Ice Cube to name a few.  He helped them gather hit top tier artists such as  Run-DMC, Eric B & Rakim, Kanye West and Gorillaz for the playlist which is huge.  If you don't have the music and name recognition, it doesn't even mattter how good the game may be.  People just won't buy it. 

Here are a few more details I grabbed from their site to give you some more insight into the controller and game play:

"The game has two modes—Solo and Studio. Solo is based around gameplay, where you match the beats, samples and scratches to the song being played using a combination of MPC-style control pads (produced in conjunction with actual MPC manufactuer Akai), a crossfader (which works as a toggle rather than a sliding fader) and of course the turntable (Numark’s standard CD-J wheel). It’s standard rhythm gaming fair and many players might leave it at that. But game designers Genius are mostly enthused about the additional features.

The game play mode itself offers ample room to “improvise,” allowing the player to insert his own scratches and sample triggers in between the scoring notes. And the live audio scrubbing means that manipulating the turntable wheel and crossfader creates real scratches, just like you can on a professional CD-J. The game even follows the nuances of scratching, tracking hundreds of variation of real scratches performed by actual DJs. We’re told that there will also be tutorials to teach proper scratching technique, meaning the next generation of CD-J turntablist could be trained using the game."

I am definitely going to be keeping a close eye on this game as more video previews drop.  It may not end up having the same marketing budget as Activision's DJ Hero but it looks like a way more authentic DJ game that could actually help someone learn some real (albeit minimal) DJ skills.  I really think this is going to inspire kids to try DJ'n for real.  That might not always be a good thing since some people have zero musical talent and would get booed out of the DJ booth but if this gets some kid interested in the art form and takes it seriously, I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  Who knows.  Maybe it will help inspire the next Mix Master Mike or DJ Q-Bert.  You never know. 

Either way, this game looks SICK and I need to get it.  I need to start saving my money ASAP. 

Read more about the making of the game at - Addicted to Sneakers, Sports, Hip Hop and Gadgets

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