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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.0
Visuals
7.5
Audio
7.0
Gameplay
8.5
Features
8.5
Replay
8.5
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 2
PUBLISHER:
SCEA
DEVELOPER:
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1-4
RELEASE DATE:
August 16, 2005
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
EyePet

EyeToy: Kinetic

EyeToy: Operation Spy

EyeToy: Antigrav

EyeToy: Groove

More in this Series
 Written by Matt Swider  on August 30, 2005

Review: And they refer to Nintendo as the ?innovative? company.


EyeToy: Play 2 adds to the innovative fun provided by the EyeToy lineup of games. Using PS2's unique webcam-like accessory instead of a controller, players are once again inserted into a collection of mini-games while moving their heads, arms, legs and head. Not only does this version provide more games than before, it also adds more involving gameplay to the mix. This means that the single-player mode lasts much longer and that the multiplayer mode is even more addictive. Sadly, like all EyeToy titles, technology kinks come back to haunt this game in less than adequate lighting conditions. Also, some games are considerably better than others. Still, properly setting up a room yields hours of fun from this novel gaming experience.

AirGuitar puts a virtual guitar in your hands and requires you to pick, strum and slide on a series of power chords with precise timing and in the correct pattern. The process is similar to Dance Dance Revolution titles, only this game makes use of your hands and the magic of EyeToy's motion sensors. Of course, since you're not directly hitting a physical button, the game does cause complications due to the sometime imprecise camera. So it won't be a virtual guitar lesson, just lots of fun IF you're in a properly lit room.

BubblePop consists of popping bubbles, exactly as the name explains. However, the simple gameplay gets a bit more complicated with the introduction of red-colored bubbles. These bubbles should be avoided at all costs, as popping too many results in a game over. The design of the normal and red bubbles goes from easy to hard, forcing you to maneuver your body so that only the correct ones burst. In one case, you'll actually have to pop bubbles on the left side of the screen, shift completely out of the camera's view to avoid the red bubbles in the middle and then reappear on the right side of the screen to finish off the rest. It's one of the more simple games, but it's also one of the more addictive ones.

DIY involves Do It Yourself home improvement jobs in which you won't break anything but a sweat. There's brick laying to be done, nails to be hammer in straight, tearing down walls with your fists, sawing through logs, and just about everything else Bob Vila does on a normal day. The variety is what makes this game fun, something that was missing from the original EyeToy: Play.

Drummin' is another game that follows the rhythm game formula, making it like AirGuitar only with a different instrument. The setup is almost identical to EyeToy: Groove in that icons appear in the center of the screen and float outward to a drum that must be hit with specific timing. The cool part about this mini-game is that the different drum sets possess unique sounds, giving gamers a little introduction to the world of percussion.

GoalAttack casts you in the role of soccer goalie. Unlike previous mini-games in which your image takes up the entire screen, this game projects a small, moveable square inside a goalie net. It's possible to shift the image right and left by moving in those directions or stretch it up by jumping in the air. There's less variety here than in other games, but the technology works seamlessly, nonetheless.

Homerun also features a square image of the player placed inside a batter's box. While the name of the game leads you to believe that it's all about hitting homeruns, it's not just a homerun derby. Whenever the ball isn't hit out of the park, you have to move about to cause the square image to run to a base. The addition of base running is a nice surprise, especially when you don't even know that you have to hustle down the first baseline after hitting a grounder to shortstop.

Knockout is a slightly better version of Boxing Chump, the boxing game featured in the first EyeToy: Play. While the original gameplay remains intact, your opponent is a little smarter. He'll block more of your punches and rotate around your position in the ring. The incoming punches can become predictable and easy to avoid, so some players may find this mini-game a tad on the shallow side compared to the others.

Kung2 is also an update from EyeToy: Play mini-game, Kung Foo. Players stand in the center of the screen and karate chop advancing enemies from all sides. This new version involves ninjas with projectiles as well as bosses battles. While the gameplay hasn't advanced much here, the original was one of the more fun mini-games, so it's still an enjoyable rehash.

MonkeyBars is very unique in that it places you inside a square frame on top of a building. Using a series of poles to swing down the side of the building, you must reach the bottom while avoiding enemies and collecting items. It's a bizarre setup, but a fun game, to say the least.

Mr. Chef is the most creative mini-game of the bunch because its theme is rich and offers enough variety to keep the gameplay fresh. You begin by preparing burgers behind the cook window at a fast food joint. A waitress will skate by to deliver the order in the form of a diagram and you'll have to grab ingredients surrounding you and put them on a plate. Grab a role, the hamburger patty, cheese, ketchup, and another role for the top, and then two sides of fries. Once you run out of a specific type of ingredient, you're forced to go into the back and whip up fresh portions. This means that once the fries are through, you must salt new ones; once the ketchup is out, you'll have to pound tomatoes; once the cheese is gone, you'll have to grate more. It's definitely an involving game that really puts you in the mind of McDonald's employee.

SecretAgent takes you through a number of stealth tasks in which you must avoid being detected by cameras, guards, and lasers while collecting items and breaking alarms. Although it is well designed and an excellent use of the camera technology, the mini-game becomes stale after a couple of tasks are complete. Nevertheless, it's still good for giving it a try once or twice.

TableTennis rounds out the package of single-player mini-games package with an appropriate game for the camera technology. Although it's in no way perfect because it's not easy to judge depth perception, batting a ping pong ball back and forth can be fun and this game is pretty forgiving even if you're not entirely accurate.

Mini-games exclusive to multiplayer
BombDodge is an explosive version of hot potato. Weightlifting trains players to lift a weight to the top of the screen. ChopperLanding calls for hitting a landing pad when a helicopter hovers above it. Building Crush gives Rampage fans some hands-on demolition experience. Runnin' has you? umm run by flailing your arms and legs. And, finally, Sunflower is all about causing a cloud to rain down upon your flower so that it can grow to the top of the screen. They're all simple, but fun games.

Although mini-games are the meat of EyeToy: Play 2, extras include EyeToy Cameo, SpyToy, Video Messaging and Playroom. Cameo inserts you into two different games, HeadSpring and Head Together. SpyToy acts as a security camera complete with audio and motion sensor recording, so if you're paranoid about protecting you video game collection, this is a fitting security system. Video messaging allows players to record video messages and Playroom contains tech demos like coloring, pool (the billiard kind), sonic sub and sonic goo. None of these are as entertaining to explore as the mini-games, but they do round out the package with time-wasters.

Bottom Line
EyeToy: Play 2 provides PlayStation 2 owners with more reason to own an EyeToy camera. The technology isn't perfect at times, but it certainly supplies a fun gaming experience in an active fashion. For those debating on whether or not to purchase this version over the first EyeToy: Play, the choice is easy as Play 2 offers even more mini-games as well as a lot of variety and involving gameplay. Unless you're camera shy, EyeToy: Play 2 is a top pick.


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