09 Nov, 2005

EyeToy: Play 3 Review

PS2 Review | It's time to play again.
The first Eyetoy game was a gimmick when it was first released, it was one of the first titles to really make gaming appeal to a more mainstream audience. Last year Studio London released the follow up title Eyetoy: Play 2, and whilst it wasn't too much of an evolution from its predecessors, it introduced deeper mini games, and demonstrated that the camera was capable of more than just the basic mini games. Since the introduction of the camera there has been a wealth of Eyetoy titles, but the best quality games have always come from the Play series. So is Eyetoy: Play 3 more of the same or have Studio London done it again?

Anyone not familiar with the Eyetoy camera by now must be living in a cave, in the dark, with no communication with the outside world. Instead of using a conventional controller to play the game you plug a USB webcam (which is provided) into the USB port of the Playstation 2 and wave your arms around to play the games. It's a unique way of playing the game that becomes even more fun the more alcohol you consume. The problem with these games is that the novelty of them runs thin very quickly, so whilst their are a few Eyetoy games, not many of them last very long.

This man should not be working so hard

This man should not be working so hard
The new Eyetoy game will be instantly familiar with fans of the predecessors. From the main menu you're able to choose from going into the playroom or launching into the games. The playroom doesn't have too many new features, and it's unlikely you'll return to it after the first time but it is still a bit of a novelty and a great introduction to the world of Eyetoy.

There are a total of nine new mini games, which are located in the games option on the main menu. Each of these nine games is divided into three categories; Sport, Variety and Music. There are three games under each category, and each game features mini games within mini games. So whilst it's claimed that their are "dozens" of mini games, there really is just nine.

The games themselves are a bit of a hit and miss. The sport's category contains bowling, volleyball and touchdown. Bowling is one of the highlights of the compilation, and requires you to position yourself in the ball to direct it to the pins; there are also a few mini games such as a giant lane and a competitive match against the computer. Volleyball is straight forward as well, and requires you to jump and push up to hit the ball over the net. Volleyball is actually one of the most physically intensive activities, and you're likely to get exhausted very quickly. The last sport's game is called Touchdown and is based around American Football. Players will charge at you and you have to punch them down to score a touchdown. The sport's mini games are the highlight of the compilation and we can definitely see the potential of an Eyetoy: Sports title.

The music category is the second option and is comprised of less inspired games. The three games in the category are Be the Band, DJ and Maestro. Whilst they have different names and a different music style they all play on the idea of waving your hands over an instrument at the right time in time with the music. We've seen this idea done a lot of times now so these three mini games are really disappointing, considering they just appear to be rehashes of old ideas.

The last category of games is a culmination of "the rest" and is creatively titled variety. The first game in the category is boot camp, which puts you through a set of tasks including running, jumping and ducking. The beauty salon mini game let's you choose a hair style and move your arms to cut the hair. These two mini games are the most original, as they are things we haven't really seen before. The last mini game in the variety category is a ghost hunt game, which is a bit like the Kung games from Play 1 and 2. The only difference is that this game just isn't as fun as Kung.

This game doesn't quite bowl us over like we'd hoped

This game doesn't quite bowl us over like we'd hoped
Game play wise the games are still fairly addictive, the main problem we have with the game play is the fact that you sometimes have to sift through the boring parts of the game to get to the good parts. For example, if you just want to play consecutive bowling games then you have to go through all the training and basic mini games, there is no choice just to play part of the mini game, you have to play it all. This would also add more variety to the game, as you're not just doing the same thing repetitively.

The graphics in the game are fairly basic, but this is nothing new, the Eyetoy games always have a very unique look and this game is no different. The camera quality is still sufficient, but we're hoping that an update for the camera is in the works, simply because it is becoming a little outdated.

The music in the main menu is a lot more upbeat, and the music games definitely sound a lot better as the soundtrack is fairly decent. A lot of the character banter becomes extremely repetitive after only a few rounds, so that becomes increasingly annoying. We're also quickly getting over the robot that appears at the main menu and talks you through everything.

We doubt the mini games will draw you back as often as the previous games in the series simply because there isn't too much new in this instalment. A lot of the games feel very familiar, the real value of this game lies with the multiplayer, if you're likely to play the game a lot in multiplayer then you'll get good value out of this title. If you prefer to play your games alone then the entertainment and novelty will run thin very quickly.

One of the less entertaining and stiff mini games

One of the less entertaining and stiff mini games
Eyetoy: Play 3 is best described as a minor upgrade to a technology that simply looks like it is not going to stop. Most of the new games aren't very evolutionary, nor do they offer anything different. If you're a fan of the series you're likely to appreciate a whole host of new games, but if you haven't been too entertained by the previous instalments or haven't stayed with them for too long then this game may be worth passing on until next year's inevitable instalment.

Related Reviews:
PS2: Eyetoy: Play
PS2: Eyetoy: Play 2
PS2: Spytoy
The Score
Eyetoy: Play 3 is a disappointing followup to last year's incarnation. It really is just more of the same, and we don't like playing games that are feel familiar when they quickly become tiresome.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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21 Apr, 2005 Ape Escape, Eyetoy style. Australia's first review of the newest game to join the Eyetoy family.
8 years ago
They never run out of ideas

Like Mario Party!
8 years ago
Looks like Saddam finally made it into a Sony game after buying all those PS2 to control his missiles icon_lol.gif
8 years ago
Well, it sounds a little dissapointing. I was hoping for an all round good game, with it having bowling and volleyball, if the rest of the game was solid enough I'd pay $50

Oh well, maybe christmas.
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