EyeToy: Play Review
The EyeToy is one of those peripherals that Sony has shown off for a long time, touting the capabilities of the PS2 and showing what kind of innovation the company is capable of. Most people never thought it would see a commercial release, but much to their surprise, the EyeToy has received a worldwide launch, and even more surprising, it's been a very hot selling item.
The EyeToy is a small camera that you place on top of your television set. Once set up, it allows you to become the star of the 12 mini-games included on the disc. The games are simple, but they work surprising well, and for the most part, the EyeToy is very accurate in judging your movements. The only difficulty I had with the EyeToy was that it's impossible to play during the day if you have a bright window behind you. Even at night you're going to need to make sure that you've got plenty of light in front of you, something which isn't easy to do in all rooms. Other than that small complaint, the device works incredibly well, and exceeded my expectations.
Soccer Craze: Here you can bounce a soccer ball on your head and if you're a cheater, you can use your arms as well. Your goal is to bounce the ball off the bad guys on either side of you, while avoiding hitting the good guys.
Boxing Chump: If you're ever dreamed of fighting a robot, here's your chance. You stand kind of sideways for this one, which is a little difficult since you need to face the screen to see what you're doing. You basically throw wild punches at the robot, but the game's a little sensitive and if you get too close, it calls a tie up and forces a break, which gets frustrating after the 5th time in a row that it happens.
Disco Stars: It has less to do with dancing than it does the classic game Simon. You watch the girl on screen do three moves, and then you mimic her arm movements. It's not very interesting, though the potential for a good game is there.
Ghost Elimination: One of the weakest games in the collection, you have to smash ghosts and slap the bats that are flying around. The game doesn't seem very responsive, making the whole exercise rather lame.
Mirror Time: A simple game that will blow your mind if you really get into it. You start off hitting the green icons, while trying to avoid hitting the red. After each round, the screen will flip upside down, or reverse, making you think before you act. As it gets even harder, half of the screen will flip, either horizontally or vertically, all while being mirrored. This is a great game to play with a bunch of people.
Rocket Rumble: This is very similar to the early PS2 game, Fantavision. You must touch each firework as it shoots upwards, and then when you have them all highlighted, you hit one of the detonators on the side of the screen. This is a neat idea, but I found that it was one of the games that didn't work that well.
Kung Foo: If you're seen any promo pictures for the EyeToy, you've seen the guy chopping at some little kung fu dudes. Here you must swing at all of the bad guys that attack you from every direction. In between rounds, there's a mini-game where you must break boards by hitting them right in the center. This is one of the better games found in the collection.
Beat Freak: You've got to follow the cd's that are shooting towards the four corners of the screen and wave your hands in the corresponding location in time with the beat. It's similar to Samba De Amigo, though the songs are too long, too few, and much less memorable.
Wishi Washi: This one's for all you obsessive compulsive people that can't get enough of washing your windows. Yep, you just wave your hands wildly and clear off the screen. It's kind of fun until you realize that you're cleaning virtual windows.
UFO Juggler: You "juggle" UFO's by spinning them with your hands, which causes them to launch. You're not really juggling anything, so the name doesn't really fit. Like most of the games it's fun for a few minutes and then gets old.
Slap Stream: There are some mice that are mooning you which you must hit, and some little bunny rabbits that you're not supposed to hit. Your goal is to smack the bad mice as fast as you can. The fart noises are good for a few laughs in this one.
Plate Spinner: In Plate Spinner, you try to keep four plates spinning at a constant speed, while shooing away baboons that want to knock them off of their sticks. It's one of the more difficult games, and as a result, it's one of the games you'll play the longest.
EyeToy: Play doesn't have complex graphics, nor will any of the sound effects or songs blow you away. Despite the fact that the games are simple, they almost all manage to be fun to play alone, or with a group of people. There's also a playroom, which is perfect for parties where you just set the camera up where people are walking around, and the EyeToy will add effects like snow, or trails of rainbow light behind your friends.
989's MLB 2005 baseball game is set to be the first game to support the EyeToy as it will allow you to easily import your face onto a player in the game. At this time, it's the only one that does this, but look for more games to support this feature in the near future. As it stands right now, there are no other games that support the EyeToy, so it's hard to justify $50 for one, but if you're one of those people that has to have the latest gadgets, this a good one to show off to all your friends.
3/28/2004 Aaron Thomas