During the rhythm gaming boom in the early 2000s, it seemed like every video game company was coming up with their own music related game. Many games would try to brand themselves as “simulations” of real instruments but few actually tried to go beyond instrument-like controls, Sega’s Crackin’ DJ breaks that mold.
Released in 2000, Crackin’ DJ has you using 2 turntables and a crossfader to follow on screen cues that result in song remixes. Songs vary from originals exclusive to the game to remixes of classic Sega game tunes. What makes the game stand out from other DJ games is the focus on turntable scratching and crossfading over hitting arbitrary buttons to play samples. This results in an experience that more accurately represents actual DJing while also being fun to play skillfully and entertaining to watch others play.
Unfortunately, Sega never released anything other than a single sequel to game. Both games remain arcade exclusive with no signs of home versions ever being created. The game has become rather rare and the decline in arcades in the West is making it even harder to find a machine. If you ever come across a Crackin’ DJ machine in some old arcade, make sure to give it a spin!