EyeToy Play 2 ReviewCain Dornan
Sonys unique and revolutionary game controller, the EyeToy camera, returns in the somewhat anticipated sequel: EyeToy: Play 2. Featuring a number of new games, EyeToy: Play 2 offers yet another laughter-filled experience. Both hardcore and casual gamers from around the world have come to appreciate the simple, pick-up-and-play games that are featured in the EyeToy series, offering a unique gaming experience that anyone from all ages would be able to enjoy. In Play 2, a number of brand-new games, as well as the return of some classics, offer another fun-filled, physical enjoyment. However, does EyeToy: Play 2 different enough from the original Play to make it a worthwhile, additional purchase?
The EyeToy is essentially a motion-sensitive camera that places the player, or players, on the actual screen. No conventional controller is needed to control the games. Instead, players are required to use their hands, arms, legs, head or any other part of the body to participate in on-screen games. From here, the game will have players doing a range of tasks, such as hitting drums in time with the beat, participating in a boxing match between a moving opponent, hitting jumping ninjas from all sides of the screen, grabbing objects from around the screen and become a legendary chef. Essentially, the game isnt intended for a sole person, rather, a group of friends or a family are guaranteed to have plenty of laughter-filled hours of enjoyment.
One problem with the EyeToy camera is that it isnt quite as accurate as it needs to be. Moving through the menus can be a pain, as trying to highlight a certain icon can require several attempts, making the menu controlling more frustrating than enjoyable. To overcome this, Sony should have also included the ability to move through the menus with the Playstation 2 controller if you are incurring difficulties getting to your destination.
As for the accuracy in the games themselves, the EyeToy often prevents you from performing the required activities. The Air Guitar game, for example, requires the player to strum the strings accordingly whilst holding your other hand in the position of which the note is played on. Although this sounds like fun, the inaccurate motion capture sometimes prevents you from actually placing your hands on the right strings, losing you valuable chords.
Another game that sometimes succumbs to an inaccurate motion capture is the Mr. Chef game. Mr. Chef requires you to make a customers hamburger within the set time limit. The motion capture on the EyeToy often prevents you from actually grabbing the required ingredients and moving it to the burger. Sometimes the ingredients will move a little, and then return to its original position. Other times, the ingredients dont respond to your movements at all. This quickly becomes frustrating and destroys what could have been a promising game.
Other games that are available in EyeToy: Play 2 includes the DIY game, which requires you to perform a range of do-it-yourself activities, such as sawing pieces of wood, laying bricks and demolishing walls.
Goal Attack simply requires you to use all parts of your body to prevent opponents from scoring a goal. The small box containing your body is moved is moved from side-to-side in front of the goal as you dive left and right to save goals.
Knockout is a fun boxing game, requiring you to punch a moving figure whilst protecting yourself from returning punches by ducking or blocking. In-between fights, you are required to show your skill by punching bags as quick or as hard as you can. If you are knocked out, you are required to quickly hit all of the on-screen stars before the time runs out.
Bubblepop is a simple, yet addictive game that requires you to pop as many green bubbles as you can by moving your arms around the screen within the time limit. The game becomes progressively more difficult as red bubbles, which lose you points for popping, begin to appear more frequently.
Drummin simply requires you to hit drums in time with on-screen instructions. As you progress through the game, you incur boss battles, which require you to copy the boss by hitting the drums accordingly.
Homerun is a simple baseball game, requiring you to use your hand as a bat. Once you hit the ball, you are required to run on the spot to move to the next base. Before and after games, you attend training where balls are quickly thrown at you by an automated ball-thrower.
Kung 2, a slightly updated version of the game with the same name in the original EyeToy: Play requires you to hit flying ninjas that attack from all sides of the screen.
Monkeybars is a strategic game requiring you to make your way down the side of a building without touching certain objects. In order to do this, you need to touch coloured corners for where you wish to move next. This can be a rather frustrating game if you dont fully understand it.
Secret Agent involves grabbing on-screen items whilst evading search lights, cameras or trip wires, or unlocking safes or doors by selecting locks according to colour.
Finally, table tennis is just like the actual sport: using your hands as bats, hit the ball across the table, scoring once your opponent misses the ball.
The twelves games that are available cover a range of creative and enjoyable aspects, with some offering more enjoyable gameplay than others. Each game offers a range of mini games, requiring you to do activities that are related to the actual game that you are participating in.
The multiplayer mode, which allows up to four players to compete, adds some further enjoyment and lifespan to the game. Operating by taking the game in-turns, with only one person playing at any one time, allow four people to test their skills to discover who the true champion of EyeToy really is.
As well as the games, Play 2 offers a range of other activities. These include a motion detection feature, which can be used to monitor movement within the room. This can also be set-up as a security feature, which springs the camera to life when someone enters the room, recording their every move. The Playroom also offers a range of different additional gadgets, such as controlling a game by using colour or to extract a picture of yourself and place it on a different background.
The EyeToy camera manages to capture your figure rather clearly and place it on the screen appropriately. Apart from this, the game uses basic cartoon-styled characters and objects for you to use throughout the games. This works well, and suits the game perfectly. The menus have also been created in a simple, cartoon-styled layout. Some occasion full 3D objects and figures in a few games would have added some visual variation to the games.
EyeToy: Play 2 offers a range of simple, basic music pieces which works with the game perfectly. Sound effects are less realistic; rather, Sony has taken the more cartoon approach, although the drumming and air guitar games sound great.
EyeToy: Play 2 is a great addition to the original Play title. Featuring a range of new, fun games, as well as a couple enhanced classics, this sequel offers plenty of hours of fun for either a family or a group of friends. Apart from the sometimes inaccurate motion capture camera, there are little faults with the actual games themselves. Although the included twelves games offer a solid amount of gameplay, it would have made the game a lot more worthwhile if Sony had included some more.
Overall, EyeToy: Play 2 is a great game that is worth the money, especially as Christmas is fast approaching us.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.