GAME ZONELucio Guerrero
eyetoy: play 2
Retails for: $49.99
They say television adds five pounds to you. They are right.
That's is especially evident when you are playing EyeToy: Play 2, where you can see yourself (via the magic of an included USB camera) in the game playing against cartoonish opponents. You will find that you'll be asking yourself questions like, "Am I really this fat?" "Did I really put that shirt on?" "Is my head that disproportionately larger than my body?"
But in between those questions, you'll also have the chance to play a fun game that will leave you scratching your head on how this technology works.
This title comes with dozens of games that combine numerous genres, including becoming a master chef, hitting home runs, battling it out for the table tennis crown and fight off kung-fu warriors, ninjas and ancient monsters. Gamers use their bodies -- not the controller -- to play.
For example, in table tennis you swing your arm when the ball approaches to return it. In another game, you make hamburgers by sliding the bun, beef and cheese onto a plate.
The technology is a neat idea, but it's still a little new and the PS2 overcompensates for you. For example, you can hit the ball without making much effort.
There is also the picture quality. I don't expect HD quality, but you do end up looking a little fuzzy. We expect the technology will improve and others will incorporate the idea of placing you within the game. Imagine how this technology would be useful in role- playing games or first-person shooters.
However, those flaws aside, you will have fun with this game because of the novelty of it. The games are geared towards a younger audience but some will appeal to adults. It will make you do foolish things -- there is an air guitar game that lets you release your inner rock star -- and it's guaranteed to entertain. As a party game, you can be sure to get much use out of this title.
And if you get bored with the games, use the EyeToy as an incentive to lose weight -- because yes, you really do have a double chin. (Rated E for everyone.)
Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Islands
(Nokia; N-Gage; $34.99)
We know that the N-Gage is no PSP, but this title makes little effort to be anything but a throwback to the 1980s. A war game with almost no violence (ok, so sometimes you hear a soldier get shot and scream) that is more about strategy than game play. The gameplay is a bit awkward in that you make these chess like moves and then wait to see what the enemy does. We've seen other N-Gage games that put a little more effort into their games. This one, unfortunately, is DOA. (Rated T for blood and violence.) - Lucio Guerrero
Mario superstar baseball
(Nintendo; GC; $49.99)
While not as good as "Mario Power Tennis" or "Mario Golf," this game does offer up plenty of fun, arcade-styled baseball for fans of Nintendo's resident mascot/plumber. The relatively short single player mode has you trying to beat different teams to recruit better players than your initial roster before your inevitable match against Mario's nemesis Bowser. Nintendo has always been good at getting the notoriously loner video game fan to share the controls and "MSB"is no exception, multiplayer definitely extends the fun. (Rated E)
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PSP adds web-browsing capabilities -- at last
After a two-week delay, Sony Computer Entertainment America finally released an updated operating system for the PlayStation Portable. Firmware 2.0 was available late last week for download via computer or directly to the PSP with a Wi-Fi connection.
Now that it's out, how does it work? Well, it certainly isn't going to replace your computer. Web-browsing requires a Wi-Fi connection and you enter website addresses much like you send text messages through on mobile phones. The web browser itself only allows for three tabs, so you're only able to surf three sites at one time. The browser memory is also only as good as the size of your memory card. The other most noticeable omission: the browser doesn't support Macromedia Flash-based sites.
The update also now supports TIFF, GIF, PNG and BMP formats and users can now display photos in those formats as wallpaper.
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