For years, gamers have been told by various companies that they were going to be fully immersed in their titles; essentially becoming one with the game itself. While there have been some classic gaming moments, this feeling of complete interactivity hasn't actually been realized at all. Sony's impressive EyeToy peripheral has done a lot to address this issue, capturing a player's image and movements to interact with and manipulate onscreen objects. Ever want to be a game character? Here's your chance… We recently got our hands on some of the new mini-games included in the latest title for Sony's USB camera, EyeToy: Play 2.
The first EyeToy title seemed to focus solely on using your hands or arms to play most of the mini-games. From what we've seen, its sequel appears to focus upon using your entire body more to succeed in these mini-games. We took a look at four of the newer games: Table Tennis, Baseball, Monkey Bars and Mr. Chef.
Play 2 takes a creative spin on the basic table tennis, a.k.a. ping pong, concept. Players essentially swing their arms as virtual paddles, and the faster you swing, the more power and spin you put on the ball. Instead of it being a simple game of swinging back and forth at a virtual ball, Play 2 breaks the game up in stages – a "bonus" stage and a competition stage. During the "bonus" stages, you rack up points based on your aim towards specific objectives. For instance, you may be asked to hit the ball into corners of the table marked with different point scores or smack the ball into objects. The competition stage involves colorful opponents that will definitely give you a challenge as they fire off curved and powered up shots.
The baseball mini-game included in Play 2 is a creative mix of both upper body movement and full body control within the illuminated area to succeed in the game. The concept of the game is played out in two parts. First of all, you choose whether or not you're a right handed or left handed batter, which determines which way you'll face the camera. After this decision, you practice your timing with a pitching machine before you're thrown into a baseball game against a computer team. Similar to the Table Tennis title, the harder you swing, the farther the ball goes. However, once you've hit the ball, your work isn't done, as you'll need to actually run in place to advance around the bases.
Monkey Bars is a creative mini-game that involves virtual skyscrapers and a character that looks like a mix between a simian and a mechanical spider. Instead of fully appearing as the main character, gamers are displayed on a screen in the center of the monkey's stomach. In the corners of that screen are four colored orbs, which players need to wave at to make the monkey swing and rotate in that direction. The overall goal is to get the monkey from the top of the skyscraper to the ground, while collecting bonus tokens that add points to your score or additional seconds to the game clock. As you progress, you also need to defend the monkey from obstacles by punching to the left or right, which activates two punching bags from its sides. It sounds funky, but this is a very fun game.
The Mr. Chef mini-game is possibly the most diverse game in Play 2, with multiple stages for each level. You first start out fulfilling incoming food orders, making burgers and fries of varying numbers and sizes. This progresses to mixing milkshakes also, seeing how many you can make in a minute or so. Shortly afterwards, you get challenged to a "chef-off" by a rival cook. Over the next few stages, we engaged in chopping pickles, smashing tomatoes and grating cheese against this competitor, with each round being judged to see who the best cook is.
While we had fun playing around with these four mini-games, we're also looking forward to checking out some of the other games and features of EyeToy: Play 2 when it comes out in Mid August. Check back soon for a full review!
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