The Game Vine: A new kind of video game hero

As the creators of the axe-wielding hit video game Guitar Hero, Activision is now focusing its hero-generating powers on a different genre: dance music.

Players choose mixes from well-known disc jockeys such as DJ AM and Grandmaster Flash to play on an imitation turntable controller. Songs by artists like Daft Punk and Jay-Z are expertly woven together with other popular songs to create fresh tracks exclusive to this new game, which is called DJ Hero.

Players spin these original mash-ups on a turntable controller, which is included with the game. Although there are only three buttons, this game is not any easier than its Hero predecessor - there are sliders and knobs that complicate gameplay. While this necessary controller is the key feature raising the price of this game, DJ Hero wouldn't be half the game it is without it.

There are many "heroes" to choose from, as in the past games, complete with outfit customization and a variety of turntable choices. Although the story mode is essential for unlocking new mixes and character options, there is still an option for multiplayer gameplay that allows for a guitar and turntable to play together, adding a new element to each song.

Along with Band Hero - due to be released on Nov. 3 - this endeavor into a new genre of music is but one of Activision's new forays into a world other than classic rock. It's fortunate that the developers have realized that their rock journey is coming to a close with enthusiasm steadily waning from sequel to sequel.

Hopefully this innovative game will help them rebound from the less than successful Guitar Hero: Metallica and Aerosmith, and the soon-to-be released Van Halen, which was even given out for free with the purchase of Guitar Hero 5.

DJ Hero is entering into the arena of interactive controllers, following the next-generation systems over into the motion-sensitive controller world seen more commonly with the Wii. Whether this game inspires a new generation of DJs or just "heroes," it is sure to entertain and amuse with its exclusive mash-ups and inventive controller.

DJ HeroAvailable for: Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii