EyeToy: Kinetic Review

Kinetic.  Adverb.  Of or relating to the motion of material bodies and the forces and energy associated therewith.

EyeToy Kinetic isn’t necessarily a game but a tool to get you moving.  EyeToy Kinetic uses the EyeToy to track movements used for different exercises.  These exercises are part of a full body program that Kinetic sets up for you.  Does this really work, or is it a gimmick to justify the EyeToy?

The main characters in Kinetic are Matt and Anna.  Matt is a muscular guy who believes in hard work.  Anna is enthusiastic, always giving an encouraging word.  These are your instructors to help you get through your routines and give you advice during your workouts.  While they don’t show up much throughout the game, they look alright even though they lack a texture detail.

The mini games are a little better than most of the other EyeToy games, but that’s not saying much.  Most of the games involve a few graphics on the screen.  Some have an interactive ball on the screen, while others use virtual bricks or walls.  They aren’t anything special, but they do have some nice lighting and particle effects.

There are some exercises where you can watch your instructor work out with you in a particular room.  The rooms lack texture and there are only four of them available.  A little more variety would have been nice.

While Matt and Anna aren’t on screen very much, they are a rather chatty bunch.  They tell you to move away from the camera, encourage you to do better, and let you know how much time you have left in the program you are using.

You can choose the music you use for the program or choose not to use any music.  Unfortunately, the amount of music available for you to choose from is rather small.  A little more variety would have been nice because you’ll find yourself bored by the tracks available rather quickly.  Your best bet for the game is to select no music and put in a CD of your own choosing to work out to.

The EyeToy is one of the more unique accessories for any console.  Getting the EyeToy set up is a bit of an issue.  This is amplified because of the “Full Vision Lens” attachment.  Most EyeToy games show you from the waist up.  Since the Kinetic uses your entire body, the Full Vision Lens makes the camera see more of your body without having to adjust your distance to the camera too much.  You will need to adjust the camera and the lighting a bit to get it to work, but it doesn’t take too much of an adjustment.

The EyeToy works most of the time, but the introduction of the lower body makes things move difficult.  While arm and hand movements registered easily, most of the foot actions weren’t.  I felt like I was kicking the mark on the screen, it wouldn’t register as well as it should.  This was frustrating for a lot of the games.

Kinetic is designed to set up a thirteen week program where you exercise three times a week.  The exercises and their intensity are based on the day of the week, the kind of shape you are in, and how far along you are into the program.  You put in some information into a profile and it generates your program.  You can have multiple profiles saved onto the PS2 Memory Card.

The exercises are separated into four different zones.  The Cardio Zone implements high energy aerobic exercises to help weight loss and strengthen your cardiovascular and respiratory system.  The Combat Zone uses short, highly intensive workouts to help build strength and muscle.  The Mind and Body Zone exercises use holistic workouts to build concentration and flexibility.  The Toning Zone targets specific muscle groups with simple but effective exercises.

Each of the zones has a large number of different exercises.  While most of the games are a slight derivative of the other ones, having a variety helps to keep Kinetic feeling fresh.

While you do have a “score” for most of the exercises, the exercises are more of a way to get your body moving.  You don’t have to perform well to get a good workout.  Then again, what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.  You don’t have to do anything at all while the workout is going.  Some of the exercises don’t even really use the camera other than to show you on the screen along with your trainer.  You can cheat yourself if you really want to.

Although Kinetic can set a workout routine for you, you are also able to set up you routine if you want.  It also allows you to practice the exercises in these routines.  This enables you to look at the different routines available for each zone.

While Kinetic has a thirteen week program, you can play it at any time.  There is a wide variety of games to play, and each of the games has a different purpose.  It is highly customizable for the workout you want to have during that time.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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