Def Jam Rapstar Updated Hands-On

Today we didn't even have to use our AK...we gotta say it was a good day.

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Hip-hop fans finally have a game that's just for them: Konami is bringing Def Jam Rapstar to consoles later this year, a game that will look to do for rap fans what Rock Band and Guitar Hero have done for guitar slingers. We got our hands on the game earlier this year at Konami's spring press event, and today on the show floor of E3 2010 we wrapped our hands around the mic and had a go with Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day."

While nobody would ever confuse our flow with that of Mr. Cube, you don't need to be master MC to have a good time with the game--that's what variable difficulty levels are for, after all. You can play by yourself or as part of a duet--for example, when singing Kanye West's "Goldigger," one person will be laying it down as Kanye, and the other player will be singing the parts performed by Jamie Foxx.

There are three main modes in Rapstar: Party, which is essentially a chance to pick up and rap straight away; Career, which follows your path through all of the songs in the game and even serves as a tutorial of sorts, teaching you the finer points of rapping and singing; and Freestyle mode, where budding hip-hop stars can put their own lyrics over a number of preproduced beats and tracks. You'll also be able to tie specific samples to the face buttons of your controller, which you can cue during your songs.

If you've got a camera hooked up to your gaming console, you'll be able to record a video of yourself rapping to your favorite songs. With the easy-to-use interface, you'll be able to add rudimentary graphics to your video performance, as well as special video effect filters, audio filters, and more. After that, you can upload your video to the Def Jam Rapstar Web site, where community members will be able to rate videos, share comments, and issue challenges to one another. Everyone will have a respect rating that will be based on the number of rap battles they've won or lost, as well as the number of challenges they've ignored. Certain performances will then be featured in the game (though they'll be moderated for content before being featured).

Even if you don't have a huge interest in hip-hop, there will probably be a song or two you know on the game's soundtrack, and you can expect plenty of DLC to follow after the game is released later this year.

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