Grinding out guitar rock has become a party staple thanks to Guitar Hero and Rock Band. This fall, Activision expands the field a bit to draw in gamers not so interested in hair bands and killer riffs.

Grinding out guitar rock has become a party staple thanks to Guitar Hero and Rock Band. This fall, Activision expands the field a bit to draw in gamers not so interested in hair bands and killer riffs.

DJ Hero, the more unique of two new games, not only introduces hip-hop and R&B to the music-game genre but also adds a peripheral shaped like a record spinner.

The turntable controller has a nice weight to it, and spinning the platter to scratch and mix is fairly effortless. Three colored buttons in the spinning ring replicate the familiar mechanic of the guitar controller's note buttons. In fact, two players can collaborate in DJ Hero by using multiple turntables, or a turntable and guitar on songs with strong six-string tracks in the mix.

Playing DJ with a plastic controller might seem strange, but the new gameplay and diverse (though fairly limited) music selection will likely please dance music fans.

Unfortunately, while the game has a fairly robust number of mixes, many of them reuse basic songs multiple times. So if you're not a fan of a particular song, chances are you'll be annoyed when it's included in multiple mixes.

Band Hero takes a more traditional route, offering a game that works with most of the existing accessories for Rock Band or Guitar Hero but focuses on a wider array of popular music.

Band Hero is built with the same features as the recently released Guitar Hero 5, and where that game felt schizophrenic in its song lineup, Band Hero does a good job of hitting all the popular music marks. You get songs from pop musicians like Taylor Swift, Nelly Furtado and Fall Out Boy, plus classics from David Bowie, Devo and Katrina and the Waves.

Downloadable content is available for both titles. For DJ Hero, the content is offered apart from the normal selection for other Hero titles. These downloadable options are priced higher since each mix includes more than one song, so don't let the price shock you.

Band Hero players can access downloadable content that was purchased for Guitar Hero, and for a nominal fee Activision offers a song transfer option to import music from previous Guitar Hero games as well.