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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1-4
November 09, 2004

EyeToy: Kinetic

EyeToy: Operation Spy

EyeToy: Play 2

EyeToy: Groove

More in this Series
 Written by Matt Swider  on January 05, 2005

Review: Now with 100% less my image and 100% more my movement.

The EyeToy is as innovative as accessories come, yet its short but satisfying rhythm and mini-game titles involve little more than simple hand movement. AntiGrav, on the other hand, finally focuses on a whole-body experience in which players take to a hoverboard and perform airborne acrobatics via camera. The game's more intricate control demonstrates an evolution of EyeToy development. At the same time it fails include more than five tracks. Still, it floats above enough limitations of the first two camera-controlled offerings to produce a brighter picture for EyeToy's future.

AntiGrav's basic hoverboard movements are executed by leaning right, leaning left, jumping, and crouching. They're translated to the futuristic-looking character, making you feel just as futuristic upon seeing how much control you have without a controller. The camera also picks up hand movement, important for performing tricks and grabbing targets along the track. It can sometimes be more difficult for the EyeToy to pick up such precise movement, making it the game's one technical downfall depending on your lighting situation.

Riding rails is the best way to steer clear of hazards like futuristic cars and forks in the road. Simply touching a rail locks the hoverboard in place, though it's impossible to derail until it ends. Along the way, there are easy obstacles that require jumping and crouching in time as well as collectable rail targets for extra speed or points. It's also possible to grab gear icons to cause a rail switch.

Ramps are also an important part of the game, as they enable players to go airborne and perform tricks in the process. The bottom part of the screen displays a series of trick icons that must be performed in order. Although the motions are relatively simple, the real trick is to ensure the camera doesn't lose track of your arms or set the hoverboard in an awkward position. Even with this technical snafu, it's still amusing to watch the character move along with you like a marionette.

To become a master of puppets, it's best to walk through the tutorial despite its slow-pace compared to the rest of the game. In addition to basic moves and tricks, this is where players learn to fly through the air upon hitting a launch pad. Leaning left and right steers the board again, but standing tall and crouching makes it rise and fall in the air. To increase speed and points while in flight, it's important to fly through three types of rings. As you might expect, the smaller the ring, the more it's worth. While camera problems can still cause trouble, it's the most fun and least frustrating aspect of the game.

Flying through the air, grinding rails high and low, and levitating just inches from the surface is simply fun for all EyeToy owners with a pair of arms and legs. That's why it's a shame the game only includes a total of five courses. Sure, there are two modes, speed (racing) and style (tricks), and sure, the course contains multiple paths, but the lack of tracks takes a toll on AntiGrav. The fact that I was forced to race each three times to proceed to the next didn't help much either. A turn-based multiplayer mode for up to four players is a plus, but again, the fun remains limited to those five tracks.

Bottom Line
AntiGrav is more innovative and more involving than the two previous EyeToy titles and it doesn't have my image starring back at me. The biggest thrill is seeing the onscreen character mirror my movements in real-time and take off at top speed on a hoverboard. However, less camera dropout, more tracks, and an online mode to race others at the same time would have made this game perfect. Even one of those improvements would have made it a purchase every PS2 gamer should consider. At its current state, its appeal may be limited to EyeToy owners or those already looking to buy one. For these people, it's worth trying out at least once and then hoping there's a superior sequel on the way.

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