PS2 REVIEW: EYE TOY KINETIC

Whomever said video games are bad for your health never imagined a game like Kinetic would one day come along. by Daemia

January 5 , 2005 - What better way to keep your New Year's resolution to lose those unwanted pounds than to do it playing videogames. It sounds too good to be true, like watching educational programs on TV instead of going to school.

EyeToy: Kinetic is not a miracle breakthrough. It's like a digital Richard Simmons, coaxing you out of your catatonic state to hit the floor running, jumping, jogging, prancing, dancing and pretzel twisting. You will receive aerobic workouts, tips from professional trainers and the latest in Yoga, Martial Arts and Pilates-inspired exercises designed to tighten your body and soften your mind.

What makes Kinetic different than your regular fitness TV show or workout video is that it incorporates the EyeToy as an interactive feature. It puts your image onscreen and allows you to play a variety of specially designed mini-games that disguises the routines and makes it feel like less of a chore. Of course exercise is synonymous with repetition and it won't take long until the novelty of all the games wears off and you're faced with the prospect of exercising again.

Even the developers are aware of the novelty factor wearing off so they've enlisted the aid of professionals from Nike Motionworks to put together a 12-week workout schedule to whip you into shape. There is a freestyle mode if you don't want to commit to the three months, but more on that later. The 12-week mode offers enough variation to keep you stimulated for the duration.

At the beginning of the mode you will enter your age, weight and general level of fitness. A program will be customized for you complete with your own personal trainer who will motivate you and scold you when you miss a few days in a row. The workouts takes place three times a week and utilize the PS2's internal clock so that your trainer will know if you missed a day. It's not that we here at Cheat Code Central want to see you have a heart attack, but this is Cheat Code Central after all and there's no law against re-setting the internal clock if there's been a few good videogames that you simply couldn't tear yourself away from.

Incorporating similarly styled mini-games from the original EyeToy game, you will find yourself kicking, punching and dodging objects such as colored balls in an attempt to generate an aerobic workout. Blue balls will appear at each end of the screen and you must make contract with them while avoiding travelling red balls. It's quite a workout and will really get your heart pumping. Anaerobic exercises are also included. Anaerobic literally means "without air." These exercises are short but of high intensity and are designed to improve muscle strength. A silhouette of your trainer will demonstrate some of these exercises for you so you can see exactly how to perform them safely.

There are four main exercise categories: Cardio, Combat, Tone and Mind & Body. Some are intense, and others, like the Mind & Body, are designed to relax your stressed mind. Before and after each workout you should do some stretching exercises. This helps you avoid straining yourself and it also aids in faster muscle development.

The disciplines of Yoga, Tai Chi, Tai Kwon Do and Karate are touched on. They aren't explored in detail but give you a sampling of what they are about. Yoga and Tai Chi are low impact and are part of the Body & Soul category. A taste of these Martial Arts might pique your interest to join a local club and take some lessons in any of these disciplines.

You can customize your own exercise regiment in the Routine mode. You will have access to all of the same mini-games and workouts but you aren't at the mercy of a personal trainer and you don't have to commit to the 12-week program.

Unlike other EyeToy games, this one requires that your entire body get in the picture, not just your upper body. These are full-body workouts that include the use of your legs. To this end the game comes with a special wide-angle lens to capture your body from head to toe. To facilitate this you will have to be at least six feet away from the camera. This requires a large open space. You might have to move the couch. That's enough of a workout for me. You will also need some good lighting as your image is not as easy to pick up under low lighting conditions due to the longer distance and the wider camera range.

The music varies depending on the exercise. There is some dance-oriented techno for cardio workouts and some New Age ambient music for those contemplative states. The instructions from the trainers couldn't be any easier to follow. The graphics and motion-captured images leave no room for error.

This is a serious fitness tool. You don't need costly equipment and the entire package costs less than an average month at the gym. It's also a great alternative for those that may be self-conscious about going to one.

By Daemia
CCC Staff Writer

Features:

  • Inspired by Aerobics, Capoeira, Kick Boxing, Yoga, Modern Dance, Tai Chi and more, EyeToy: Kinetic is a new in-home personal trainer that creates personalized workout regimens with on-the-spot performance evaluations for a more effective workout.
  • Utilizing the EyeToy technology EyeToy: Kinetic provides players with a superior fitness experience all in the comfort of their own home.
  • Experience a true "interactive" fitness experience unlike traditional workout videos with EyeToy: Kinetic's real-time performance evaluations.
  • Designed to improve general fitness, reactions, posture, balance, breathing and all-around body toning and conditioning.
  • Two unique personal trainers provide professional guidance and encouragement.
  • Players can choose from four Zones of discipline: Cardio, Combat, Toning and Mind & Body for an all-in-one fitness program.
  • Select individual routines from the four Zones to shape specific body areas, or choose a challenging and intensive 12-week training program, which keeps track of workout schedules and monitors progress.
  • Train in four different environments: Dojo, Dance Studio, Zen Garden and Loft.
  • Designed for all fitness abilities.
  • Includes the EyeToy Full Vision Lens adaptor to allow for a full-interactive experience.
  • Features a clean, sophisticated graphic design throughout.
  • Utilizes never-before-seen EyeToy technologies.
Rating out of 5
Eye Toy Kinetic (PS2)
4.5
Graphics
You can choose from various backgrounds but if you want to active the EyeToy properly you're going to need lots of room and lots of light.
3.5
Control
It can take some work to get the EyeToy to function properly with the positioning and the light issues but once you do it's clear sailing.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is perfect and the instructions are flawless. Easy interaction.
4.5
Play Value
As long as you're serious about getting in shape, the more you see of this game, the less people will see of you.
4.5
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
System: PS2
Dev: SCEA London
Pub: SCEA
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1 - 4
Review By Daemia