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EyeToy Play 2
Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: SCE Europe
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Party/ Action/ Rhythm

Graphics & Sound:
EyeToy Play 2 is one of the latest incarnations to utilize the nifty little EyeToy PS2 camera, along with Groove, AntiGrav and several more to come. Developed by powerhouse Sony themselves, they had a wealth of resources to throw at this title and it shows.

First off, let me familiarize your with the whole concept. A tiny camera sits atop your TV screen, connected to your PS2. This in turns allows the screen to interact with the player and tracks your every move. You can even take pictures and send them over the web if you’re online. Be sure to run this title in as well lit a spot as possible though, so the EyeToy catches all your action.

Graphically, because of the party game nature, the mini-games are fairly simple and cutesy - ideal for this great family game. The ultra-clean menus are easy to navigate through, and the text is clear as well. The idea is not to wow you over with amazing visuals, just enable you to interact as efficiently - and fun - as possible.

Musically, it is a very good mix and changes with each particular game mode. Obviously in Drummin and Air Guitar, it plays a key role in how you strum or bash. Overall, nothing that distracts or annoys.


Gameplay:
EyeToy Play 2 is brimming with games - 87 in all! 12 new major modes are here from Mr. Chef, Knockout, Secret Agent, Goal Attack and more, plus the 75 smaller, yet equally groovy mini-games. It even includes a sneaky little feature called “Spy Toy”, a hidden camera that can take snapshots of whoever disturbs your room or PS2 area.

You have to hastily grab ingredients in one game, repair a flooding basement in another and even guard a soccer goal (your images shrunken down to fit). Either way, you will be giggling like a maniac. Others worthy of note are the really fun Homerun game, where you swing and then frantically wave your hands up and down, not unlike old school days on my buddy’s NES “track pad”, for some hectic Olympic feats. You won’t be confused for Jimi Hendrix in Air Guitar, but you might tear your rotator cuff if you try too many Pete Townsend rifts. Sadly, not all of the games stand up to their stellar brethren, like the lackluster Table Tennis, Secret Agent and Monkey Bars.

The gameplay is all about having a blast with your buddies. The fun increases tenfold with some folks gawking over your shoulder, and ALL ages will take to this soon-to-be-classic title. Surprisingly, I found myself breaking a sweat often, and it’s not the 90-degree heat talking either. A few hours playing Homerun will burn a few calories of your ever growing gamer tush. Maybe as not as exhausting as Dance Dance Revolution (my fraternity brother lost 20 lbs. one summer), but it gets you off your rump at least.


Difficulty:
One thing most people over the age of 8 will agree on… EyeToy Play 2 is a pretty easy game. As long as you read the directions and have full motor control of your limbs and vocal chords, you should make a fool out of yourself in no time. At first, you may whiff a few times at Table Tennis, or may need to open your blinds some more, but overall this is a relaxed, easy experience.

Game Mechanics:
As I said earlier, the menus are super fast to navigate and the intuitive nature of the EyeToy really makes you appreciate the designers at Sony. They came up with innovative ideas of incorporating your very persona into a TV screen, while combining some of the best pastimes of popular culture - cooking, playing music, sports and so on. At times it’s gimmicky, and in other times, it’s pure brilliance. Overall, EyeToy Play 2 should be a must-have for EyeToy owners, and the complete package for $50 is a steal for newcomers to this zany party game.

-Tybo, GameVortex Communications
AKA Tyler Whitney

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