Eye Toy: Groove
When the Eye Toy camera first came out accompanied by a set of minigames called Play, I thought of it more as a novelty a popular novelty, to be sure, but one that needed real games if it was going to have true staying power. Groove fits that bill, and its just about everything I was hoping for. Dancing? Check. Cool licensed songs? Check. Seeing yourself and your friends look goofy on television? Big, priceless check. The solid single-player mode is essential for practice, but the multiplayer modes are where this game really gets its groove on. I almost died laughing during a round of battle sync mode, in which two people dance simultaneously doing coordinated moves. And with a song roster ranging from the Village People to Jamiroquai, everyone should find a song worth booty-shaking to. The motion-sensing camera lacks the precision of a dance pad, unfortunately, so you can be good but still get dinged if you dont have the camera perfectly aligned for your frame. And how is it that choosing your mode, song, and difficulty level via frantic hand signals to the camera is harder than playing the actual game? Even with these faults, though, this game rocks literally.
Someone at Sony mustve loved Segas classic music game Samba de Amigo (Dreamcast) as much as I did, cuz Groove is criminally similar. But prancing about in front of the camera is even more fun than workin the maracas, and with Groove's stellar song list and enjoyable multiplayer modes, youll wanna shake it all night long. (Dont go too crazy those snapshots and video of your spastic dancing are primo blackmail material.) Using your body for everything even entering your name gets tiring quickly, but youll be too busy groovin to notice your arms have stopped working.
Dont let the fact that youll look more like youre robbing a beehive than actually dancing deter you getting into the groove is good fun, and like Samba de Amigo minus the maracas, the game reads movement remarkably well. Perfect for parties, its also instantly accessible, even for your non-gaming pals. Unfortunately, it lacks the variety and lasting appeal of Eye Toy pack-in Play. But seeing how getting caught funking solo could guarantee you a spot alongside Internet celebridorks like the Star Wars Kid, saving it for special occasions shouldnt be too hard.
Download Eye Toy: Groove
While an extraordinarily clever idea, the Eye Toy is balanced on the cusp of gimmicktude. The petite black camera captures your image live a video camera and sends a mirrored version of it back to your television. The Eye Toy was released with Play when it first came out and while the game disc was chockfull of fun little mini-games it really didn't offer a cohesive gaming experience.
Eye Toy: Groove, the second Eye Toy to hit game shelves, goes far to improve on that offering up a game with a single concept, but still doesn't fully realize the Eye Toy's potential. As you could probably guess by its title, Eye Toy: Groove is a rhythm game and comes packed with 28 songs ranging from disco to oldies to club and rock from some pretty big names aiming to get you out of your chair to shake your Groove thing.
The basic concept of the title is pretty simplistic, during most of play the screen is lined with four circles (Two on the top, one on each side and one in each bottom corner). As the music plays, floating little colored heads appear in the center of the screen and start heading toward one of the circles ' the goal is to wave your hand in front of the circle as the face passes through it. Timing is key. Sometimes the faces appear in waves, forcing frantic, quasi-rhythmic finger pointing and hand waving, other times the circles are replaced by wide bars that stretch the side of the screen. As the song progresses other modes, including a section that pays off the capture of two bouncing balls with an in-game photo op, and a psychedelic freestyle mode, keep you on your music toes. The game also includes several multiplayer modes that allow you to compete head-to-head with friends or dance on the same screen cooperatively.
The music is great, with enough variety to please just about everybody some of the time. I would have loved to see the programmers have a little more fun with the graphics however and perhaps some more varied dance modes would have been nice.
Overall, Eye Toy: Groove is an enjoyable experience; something that feels mostly like a stand-alone game, but still doesn't quite close the deal.